Questions about calendars. The Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar that determines the dates of Jewish festivals.

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Why were leap years decided only by judges and not with the cooperation of witnesses?

Ramba"m Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh 4:9 says: The year can be made full only by [judges] who were invited [to participate in the deliberations]. What is implied? The head of the High Court tells ...
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162 views

Is is prefered to have the Pasach meal on the first or second night?

I remember being told that the Seder can be on either the first or second night. Is this true, and if so, is it prefered for it to take place on one over the other, or are they both equal? Edit: The ...
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3answers
35 views

Rambam Kiddush HaChodesh - Chapter Six - halacha 5

a copy of a few lines from the halacha: Similarly, when the days of a lunar year are counted in groups of seven, according to the weekly cycle, there is a remainder of four days, eight hours, and 876 ...
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28 views

Concerning the time when Esther must be read

The first Mishnah in Tractate Megilla says: מגילה נקראת באחד עשר, בשנים עשר, בשלושה עשר, בארבעה עשר, ובחמישה עשר--לא פחות ולא יתר. The Megilla is read sometimes on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, ...
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2answers
104 views

Why not say tachanun until 2 Cheshvan?

It's recorded in most siddurim I've used that some people have the custom to skip tachanun on Isru Chag (the day after Sukkos), and start again the day after, while others don't resume saying it until ...
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Pshat in Pasuk of Velo Yavor

Chazal say that the reason why we don't read the Megillah on the 16 is because the passuk (Esther 9:27) says "velo yavor" - וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר. Why is there a need for this Passuk? The Megillah said that ...
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210 views

How can I identify which dates Jewish holidays/special days fall on?

Not being Jewish I scheduled an event this year, only to learn shortly before it occurred that the date was a Jewish Holiday and so I had essentially excluded Jews. I live in the United States, and ...
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1answer
27 views

Why is Rosh Hashana two days in Jerusalem?

Rosh Hashana is the only festival celebrated for two days even in Jerusalem, since there was a possibility that witnesses for the new moon would come in the middle of the day and the Beis Din would ...
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1answer
272 views

What are the exact Shmita dates (in Gregorian) since 1900 or a general formula for determining the dates?

I know there are these two questions already (Trying to get Shmita year dates without a headache) and (When is the next shmita year (as of 5772)?); however, they don't appear to provide either a table ...
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1answer
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How accurate is the Molad?

To the best of my knowledge the Molad is every 29.5 days + 793 Chalakim. Is there any information showing if the current Molad calculation is accurate scientifically? If it is off by how much is it ...
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271 views

When was the last time the “Leap Year” postponement rule was used to delay the date of Rosh Hashannah?

This site explains that there are 4 rules that would cause Rosh Hashannah to be postponed 1 or 2 days after the date of Molad Tishrei. You can view all 4 rules on the web site, but rule 4 states: ...
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3answers
231 views

Why is the day of Rosh Chodesh announced before every month except Tishrei?

Why is Tishrei the only month not included in the custom of announcing the day(s) of Rosh Chodesh on the Shabbos before the month begins?
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Did the people who followed the triennial cycle celebrate “Simchat Torah” in the same manner as those who followed the annual cycle?

I noticed this related question that briefly discusses Simchat Torah, but it mainly answers those that follow the annual cycle. People following the annual cycle clebrate Simchat Torah on a Yom Tov ...
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195 views

How do non-literalist Jews interpret the “year zero” in the Hebrew calendar?

As I understand, the Hebrew calendar is counted from the "date of creation". Currently you have the year 5774. In the Christian world there are some creationists who also believe that the world is of ...
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272 views

When is Musaf said?

When is the Musaf said? I know it is part of the Shacharit service. I mean when as in what holidays, fast days, etc... Would you say it on Tisha B'av for example. If not, why? At the end of ...
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41 views

Splitting the Double Parshiyot

As far as I can remember, during the course of the year there are eight sets of parshiyot that are sometimes joined together: תרומה תצווה ויקהל פקודי תזריע מצורע אחרי מות קדושים בהר בחקותי חוקת בלק ...
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2answers
91 views

Secular Names for Days of the Week

Is there a problem using the secular names for the days of the week? If so, is it 1) because they originally come from Polytheistic gods or 2) simply because the people forbidding them are of the ...
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1answer
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When was the last time when we had 4 consecutive leap years when Matot and Masei were read separately?

I noticed that the only times that parshat Matot and Mas'ei are read separately outside Israel is during a leap year when the first day of the previous Rosh Hashannah occurred on Thursday. This would ...
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4answers
219 views

Is it permissible to write the English/secular date?

Is it permissible to write the secular/Christian date? Example: On a letter (bad example but you get what I mean). Some conceivable issues: We're told "this month (Nisan) shall be for you the head ...
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1answer
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Churban Bayis Sheini Not on Tisha B'Av?

I recently heard that the destruction of the 2nd Temple was not actually on Tisha B'av, the date of the destruction of the 1st Temple, but that it was pretty close, so the rabbis had it commemorated ...
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How does one “add a year” in the Hebrew calendar?

I'm trying to support the Hebrew calendar in my Noda Time project, and need to support an operation of "add a year" - or more generally, answer the question of "Given an original date and a target ...
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Cutting nails before Yom Tov

BSD I know that it says in Shulchan Aruch one shouldn't cut one's nails on Thursday (really two days before Shabbat) in deference to the Shabbos. Does this apply to Yom Tov as well? Meaning, should ...
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Is there a reference that explains the literal meaning and etymology of the names of the Hebrew months?

Is there a reference that explains the literal meaning and etymology of the names of the Hebrew months? I am looking for something that explains both the common Babylonian names as well as the Tana"ch ...
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2answers
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Why isn't Hallel recited on VE Day?

There is a good deal of controversy about reciting Hallel on days not ordained by ancient tradition. But there are at least some opinions that Hallel should be recited to commemorate dates of ...
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1answer
58 views

Page numbers in sefarim

Is there a reason for pages in sefarim being numbered using Arabic numerals (e.g. 1, 2, 3…) in comparison with the Hebrew numeration using letters? What is the earliest source for Arabic numerals ...
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Where and when did the numerical time units (hours) originate? [duplicate]

The Torah states no numerical divisions for the day. The closest numeric we find is that there are 7 days in the week, and that the start of the "day" begins with "erev" (and there are debates on when ...
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1answer
55 views

Why can the 1st day of Pesach never occur on Sunday in 2 consecutive years?

I am doing a lecture on the math of the Jewish calendar. I understand the concepts of the 3 types of year lengths - maleh, chaser and kesidrah - "full", "regular" and "deficient" years. I also ...
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2answers
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Why is Adar 1 30 days long?

The Talmud Ta'anit 6b says אין בין אדר הראשון לאדר השני אלא קריאת המגילה ומתנות לאביונים "There is no difference between the 1st Adar and 2nd Adar except for reading the Megillah and giving presents ...
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4answers
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In a leap year, is the extra month Adar I or Adar II?

I'm implementing support for the Hebrew calendar in Noda Time, my date/time library for .NET. I think I'm mostly there aside from text support (although beta testers would be very welcome!) but one ...
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The Book of Numbers and Passover

Why is LORD'S passover (Numbers 28:16) on the fourteenth day of the first month?
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202 views

Creation of State of Israel and birth of Abraham - 1948

According to the Jewish calendar, Abraham was born on the year 1948. The state of Israel was declared in 1948 according to the secular calendar. Is there any significance to this or is it just ...
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Trying to get Shmita year dates without a headache [duplicate]

I would like to know the shmita dates starting from 5775-5733. example:5775 (25 Sept 2014 - 13 Sept 2015)
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27 views

May the Jewish year be abbreviated in legal documents?

In conjunction with this question I would like to know if the popular abbreviation for the Jewish year 5774 commonly written as תשע״ד may be used in legal documents and if so why.
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59 views

Why do we abbreviate the Jewish year to the hundreds column?

The current Jewish year is 5774 however it is popularly abbreviated as 774 - תשע״ד. I would like to know why this abbreviation was adopted. I realize that to write out the number 5,000 would require ...
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2answers
711 views

If Yom Kippur hypothetically fell on Sunday, would you make havdalah?

I was curious about this hypothetical situation. If Yom Kippur would fall on Sunday, Motzei Shabbat, so immediately when Shabbat ends, Yom Kippur starts. Would there be some sort of separation, בין ...
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1answer
62 views

Where does 5774 fall in the 19-year cycle?

We are in a leap year, as indicated by the presence of Adar Bet. Leap years occur every third, sixth, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth years in the cycle. So how to tell ...
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95 views

“לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר” in al hanisim on purim this year

As I was reading Al Hanisim this year, something odd struck me "לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר" - the 12th month. What struck me was that this year is a leap year so we actually celebrated Purim in the ...
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What are the months of Jewish civil and religious calendar?

I understand that Jewish religion has two calendars; one is Civil for Kings, childbirth, contracts etc. and second for festivals. what are the months of these calendars and how they are related ...
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136 views

Why did Hashem create the world in such a way that a leap year is needed?

I understand why we have a leap year; to keep the sun and moon cycles in sync, so that Pessach is always in the spring. That's all technical, as a result of the moon orbiting too slowly - or the sun ...
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358 views

Why is Purim on Adar II during a leap year?

On a leap year, when a second Adar is added, we celebrate Purim on the second Adar. I would think it should be celebrated on the first Adar, since the Megillah goes out of its way in several places to ...
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1answer
103 views

Time Parameters of Mishenichnas Adar Marbin B'Simcha

Is "Mishenichnas Adar Marbin B'Simcha" just for the month of Adar, and then you take a step down in simcha for Nisan? Or are you supposed to raise your level of simcha and stay there until Av, when ...
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1answer
62 views

When does the year start in terms of saying “Ulichaporas Pasha” for a leap year?

When we add the words "Ulichaporas Pasha" during Musaf of Rosh Chodesh when it's a leap year, when is the year determined - Nisan or Tishrei?
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“When Adar Comes We Increase in Joy” - already from Adar I?

Does the Talmudic dictum משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה (When Adar comes we increase in joy) start even in אדר ראשון (Adar I) in a leap year?
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102 views

Is Jewish birthday the same every lunar year

I understand the Jewish birthday is calculated on the lunar year, which could cause the birthday to drift back and fourth along the lunar calendar. But supposing the child was born, say, first day of ...
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Parshas Zachor before Purim?

Prior to the story of Purim was there a special yearly reading of Parshas Zachor? At which point in history was it instituted to read Parshas Zachor before Purim?
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What calendar-dependent laws must non-Jews follow?

While the calendar is vastly important in Judaism, it seems like it is barely applicable to non-Jews. The "big seven" Noahide laws seem to be perenially applicable; they dictate general rules for life ...
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1answer
113 views

Can one say kaddish for a gentile?

We are inclined to say kaddish on the yahrzeit of a very dear friend who was not Jewish, just as we would for a relative. Is there a reason not to? I am also interested to hear reasons why this is a ...
4
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1answer
65 views

Counting years according to the solar calendar

I once heard there is an opinion in Rishonim (maybe Gaonim?) that says we count ones years of life according to the solar calender. So for example a boy would become bar mitzvah when he would turn 13 ...
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1answer
133 views

Making up a synagogue calendar manually is tedious work. Which software can do the calculations automatically?

The year 2014 starts soon. Lots of synagogues print up a customized calendar every year. (Sample.) Such a calendar includes shul-specific information (e.g. service times and maybe a weekly class or ...
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Yakkov living in Egypt 17 years - connection to 210 years of servitude

Parshas Vayechi starts off that Yaakov lived in Egypt for 17 years. I was thinking that 17 years x 12 months = 204 months. Usually in 17 years there are 6 leap years which would increase the total ...