It was recently reported by Yated that some South
African Jews are planning to emigrate to New Zealand.
In that context, I would like to remind readers that the
days of the week and Shabbos in New Zealand which are
accepted by Jews since Creation, are in accordance with the
date line decided upon by the Chazon Ish zy"o, namely
one day later than that of the local non-Jewish population
of New Zealand.
In other words, our Shabbos falls on the non-Jewish Sunday
there. Yom Kippur which shows on a calendar as falling on
Wednesday is to be observed on Thursday, and so on for all
the other yomim tovim.
The truth is that the Chazon Ish was not the first one to
make such a ruling. HaRav Y. M. Tikochinsky zt"l
already came to the same conclusion in his book Bein
Hashmoshos, which was published in 5789 . On page
53 he writes the following: "The poskim z"l have
written at length about the line to be drawn beyond which
lies the `East.' Most of them hold that it is 9 degrees
eastwards of Yerushalayim. (See the Razah, Rosh
Hashono 20, Yesod Olom, second maamar
chapter 17, and the Kuzari, section 2 chapter 20, as well as
In 5741  approaching Yom Kippur 5742, Rav Tikochinsky,
amazingly, changed his mind altogether, and his book, A
Day on Earth (Hayomam Bekadur Haaretz), contains lengthy
discussions (taking up almost 100 pages) to justify his
theory which goes counter to the one he earlier quoted in
the name of the majority of poskim.
In the book, Zichron Shaul, section 1, "Shabbos,"
HaRav Shaul Barzam z"l, brother-in-law of HaRav Chaim
Kanievski shlita, writes that the group which met to
decide the issue of Shanghai did not have the status of a
beis din, since most of the participants were not
proficient in this topic, and relied mainly on HaRav
Tikochinsky and Professor Frankel.
One of the participants thought that only the times of Yom
Kippur and the yomim tovim were being discussed, and
not that of Shabbos.
In a periodical published in 5728  someone who calls
himself a "geographer who has an air of Torah about him"
wrote that HaRav Tikochinsky and HaRav Herzog consulted with
him, and the ruling of HaRav Tikochinsky was correct since
"it does not detract from the honor of Chazal or part of
them, if they were not aware of the globular nature of the
Earth or its ramifications, such as the continuity of
sunrise and sunset." Rachmono litzlon. Can we rely on
such a ruling?
In the responsa Yoshiv Moshe, pages 21-22, both the
opinion of the Chazon Ish and that of HaRav Tikochinsky are
mentioned, but he points out that the views of the latter in
Hayomam Bekadur Haaretz were not accepted
lahalocho, and that the mashgiach, HaRav Y.
Levenstein zy"o put on tefillin in public on
the day that was Shabbos according to Hayomam Bekadur
Haaretz, based on the statement of HaRav Chaim Ozer
zy"o that the Chazon Ish was the shofet
beyomecho and the posek hador whose rulings had
to be obeyed.
Incidentally, HaRav Eliyashiv, in his responsum quoted
there, does not relate at all to this topic of the date
line, and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky told me that the rumours
regarding his father-in-law's standpoint on this issue are
to be totally disregarded.
The rabbonim of our generation shlita have held that
we cannot make lenient rulings on a matter on which only the
majority of poskim have expressed an opinion in
I have only made these very brief comments, because I have
already written at great length about this topic in the
rabbinical publication Otzros Yerushalayim -- 5732 --
pages 1564 -- 68, 70, 76-79, 84, 86, and also in my book
Beirur Halocho 5753-5755, Orach Chaim,
Tinyono, volume 2, pages 150-159, and Teliso'o,
pages 183, 192.
I will elaborate more iy"H in volume 6 of Beirur
All this leads to the conclusion that everything possible
should be done to prevent or minimize the emigration of Jews
to New Zealand, to prevent halachic perplexity and chaos
HaRav Y. A. Zilber (Y.A.Z.) is the author of Beirur
Halocho. His comments on the calendar appear regularly
in Yated Ne'eman.