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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1answer
182 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
48 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 ...
2
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0answers
33 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
126 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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2answers
233 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
169 views

Why does the torah give us exact dates for the flood?

This question asks why the flood didn't end on the 18th of Cheshvan (one year after the start). My question is more basic: why does the torah give us precise dates here at all? Bereishit 7:11 tells ...
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2answers
182 views

Shouldn't the flood have ended on the 18th of Cheshvan?

Inspired by this question: New date at sunset: question on Sifse Chachamim The Torah tells us that the Flood started the 17th of Cheshvan (Bereshit 7:11) and concluded the 27th of Cheshvan (Bereshit ...
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1answer
35 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 ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Why use Babylonian calendar instead of our own?

Why did the Hebrews not create their own calendar system instead of copying the pagan Babylonians'? I find it interesting that they use a pagan calendar which often honours pagan gods. Why is this ...
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1answer
691 views

Praying for rain in the Diaspora

Why on this year (and on other years that precede civil leap years) do we start praying for rain in the Diaspora (by inserting the phrase 'Vetein tal umatar") at maariv of December 5 and not maariv of ...
4
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1answer
286 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: ...
4
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1answer
41 views

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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3answers
261 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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1answer
116 views

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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4answers
278 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 ...
9
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1answer
179 views

S'feika D'yoma in Niddah

There are several types of vestos (patterns in menstrual cycles) that a woman is able to aquire. One such vesses is the vesses hachodesh, which relies on the day of the (Jewish) month. So for ...
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7answers
141 views

Books on the significance of the months in the Jewish calendar

I am looking for books/sefarim (Hebrew or English) that discuss the different months of the Jewish year, and their overall significance in relation to: Zodiac Signs Tribes Chagim Animals ...
2
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0answers
46 views

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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1answer
302 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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2answers
95 views

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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2answers
41k views

When is the next shmita year (as of 5772)?

When is the next shmita year? Is there disagreement about which year? If so, which Jewish sects or traditions believe the shmita is in which years? If you specify years since creation, please also ...
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4answers
230 views

Getting a head start on Shnayim Mikra

(Inspired by this question) Can one get a head start on Shnayim Mikra? Would it count if someone either started early (perhaps during the weeks with no Sedra in Tishrei), or just had some spare time ...
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1answer
88 views

Getting a late start on being Maavir Sedra for the year

I remember hearing when I was younger that ואלה שמות - is Roshei Teivos V'Chayav A'dam L'haavir H'sedra S'htayim M'ikra V'echod T'argum. If someone who has not been Maavir Sedra so far this year is ...
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1answer
52 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
109 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 ...
5
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1answer
78 views

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 ...
5
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3answers
986 views

Google says it is the Jewish Year 5774. The wiki says Judaism is 3000 years old. How is this discrepancy reconciled?

Google says it is the Jewish Year 5774. The wiki and other sources say Judaism is 3000 years old and suggest Abraham was born 4000 years ago. Where is the discrepancy? I am perhaps looking for an ...
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2answers
155 views

Reasoning for doing/not doing mourning customs in second half of the omer

In my observation, most people observe certain mourning customs between the beginning of sefirat ha'omer and lag b'omer (such as refraining from shaving, listening to live music, etc.). Some people ...
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0answers
78 views

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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2answers
939 views

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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4answers
3k views

How do we know that the civil Saturday is the correct Shabbat?

Disclaimer: I am not a religious Jew, this question is only out of curiosity. I understand that observant Jews observe Shabbat from Friday night to Saturday. And from this question and this it seems ...
2
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0answers
52 views

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
147 views

Why is my molad-time chart off by a day?

The HaMaor Mikraos Gedolos chumash has a chart of molad (forecasted first visibility of the new moon in Jerusalem, based on averages observable to the naked eye, assuming Jerusalem local time; am I ...
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2answers
61 views

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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1answer
67 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 ...
3
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0answers
51 views

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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3answers
156 views

Counting the omer with doubt before the fixed calendar

Currently, according to a previous question on this site, we count the omer without doubt: "Today is the Xth day of the omer" because we have a fixed calendar, and because counting with doubt is ...
1
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1answer
71 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 ...
1
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1answer
86 views

Last night *might* have been the first night of the omer. Right? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sefira Counting in Diaspora How do we count sefira with absolute certainty, as we do, and yet, in diaspora, we have a second seder and a second day of yom tov? Wouldn't ...
24
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3answers
594 views

The Fanatic Badge

Here on Mi Yodeya, one can earn the "Fanatic" badge for visiting the site for 100 consecutive days. Is it halachically possible to earn the fanatic badge in the Diaspora?
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1answer
45 views

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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6answers
384 views

Gematrias or Roshei Taivos for the year 5772

Looking for Gematrios of phrases and/or Roshei Teivos that are appropiate for the year 5772 (by adding up to either 5772 or 772, which is the accepted numerical abbreviation for the year after ...
5
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1answer
129 views

Why announce Mashiv Haruach and not Vtein Tal?

When we start saying mashiv haruach there is an important requirement of announcing the liturgical change. If one does not hear the announcement, one does not say mashiv until the community would have ...
5
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1answer
117 views

Why is Vayelech read twice in a year?

It is mechanically possible, like this year, that parshas Vayelech is actually read twice in one year - last year it was after Rosh haShanah on Shabbos Shuvah, and this year - together with Nitzavim, ...
1
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1answer
66 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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0answers
29 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.
2
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1answer
94 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 ...
4
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2answers
110 views

Why be happy Shushan Purim?

Rama (695:2) quotes from the Maharil (though I don't see it there): וחייב במשתה ושמחה קצת בב׳ ימים י״ד וט״ו and one must have a drinking party and joy, a little, on two days: the fourteenth and ...
5
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2answers
761 views

When exactly should an avel (mourner) not be davening before the amud?

An avel (mourner) if possible should also daven before the amud (be the chazan) on weekdays. But certain times of the year especially when tachanun is not said (but not every time) he should not be ...