More and more observant Jews are crossing the Pacific every year, for both business and pleasure.
Numerous questions arise, such as: ·
- What day is Shabbos in Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, and Australia?
- At what point do I cross from one day to the other?
- May I fly from Asia to the US on Friday or Sunday?
- When crossing into “yesterday,” does one pray again?
- What about tefillin and sefiras ha’omer?
- What about crossing into “tomorrow”?
Finding answers to these and many other significant questions is not a simple matter. The Gemara and the Rishonim do not explicitly discuss the dateline, and almost everything about it (including its very location) is widely disputed by contemporary poskim — and often misunderstood by laymen. And due to the unusual intricacies involved, even many rabbanim do not have clarity on these issues.