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

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26
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8answers
765 views

Birthdays in Judaism

Is there any significance in Judaism attached to the day someone was born (aside for the 13th year)? Is there anything wrong with celebrating one's birthday? And is it more correct to celebrate the ...
12
votes
1answer
357 views

When does a day start/end in the far North/South?

As I understand it, a day in the Jewish calendar is from sunset to sunset. How is this handled if you are living so far north or south that you have long periods of daylight or darkness?
46
votes
5answers
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 ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

How Do I Know If it's a Hebrew Leap Year?

How can I tell if a given year is a Hebrew Leap Year? The simpler, the better. [Assuming we are using a fixed calendar, not like the "olden days".]
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Nittle Nacht Meaning

What is Nittle Nacht? What does the name mean? What is its significance? Which Halachic authorities speak about it, and what do they say? What is the actual date for it? How is it effected this ...
16
votes
3answers
403 views

Is it heresy to follow secular dating on the destruction of the first Temple?

There is a discrepancy between rabbinic and secular sources regarding when the first Temple was destroyed -- a difference of some 165 years or so, which are called the "Missing Years." My question is ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

When did we start counting the Year since Creation?

This year is 5772 / תשעב (Taf-Shin-Ayin-Bet) on the Hebrew Calendar. What is the earliest reference to the Year counting from the Creation of the world?
14
votes
1answer
190 views

First-Temple-Era names of the Hebrew months?

The Chumash refers to the months simply as "the first", "the second", and so on. Today we know them by their Babylonian names (Nisan, Iyar ...) Occasionally the Prophets from the First-Temple Era use ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

6 chapters of Avos in 7 weeks

Some study pirke Avos weekly through the summer, from Pesach to Rosh Hashana. Others do so only for the six Shabasos between Pesach and Shavuos, one chapter a week. I've heard the latter custom ...
8
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
174 views

Late Yom Hatzmaut

What is the rule: when is Yom Hatzmaut moved from the fifth of Iyar to an earlier or later date?
13
votes
1answer
507 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
51k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
185 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?
6
votes
1answer
481 views

Who divided the Tehillim into days?

Who divided the Sefer Tehillim into daily sections (both day of week and day of month)?
4
votes
1answer
216 views

Tuesday and Friday nights

Bavli P'sachim 112:2 has a story of an angel of destruction who would work daily (see Rashash) until asked to quit. When she requested some time to work, the rabbi she was talking with allowed her ...
1
vote
4answers
707 views

Why do we count years from the date of Creation?

Why do we count years from the date of Creation? I intend two sub-questions here, of which the second is far more interesting, so please answer it: Whence did this tradition originate? Why do we ...
12
votes
3answers
230 views

Why not two days of Rosh Hodesh, as we have two days of yontif?

The reason for two days of yontif (outside Israel) is based on uncertainty about the date due to distance from Jerusalem and time needed to travel to convey the news of when the month started. The ...
9
votes
1answer
285 views

20 Sivan and the inappropriateness of new days of commemoration

The kina (elegy) "Mi yiten roshi mayim" recited on 9 Av was composed in commemoration of the events of the First Crusade as it passed through the Rhineland. It includes the following lines (freely ...
7
votes
3answers
312 views

Parashas Shavua calculation

I'm writing a site where the user would be able to see the calendar with jewish-civil translation of dates, and also which parasas shavua falls on which Shabbos. I'd like to know what is the formula ...
6
votes
3answers
504 views

Eclipse of the moon, bad sign for the Jews

Tonight, December 20, 2010, there will be a full lunar eclipse visible from North America and many other areas. I recall there is a Gemara that says that a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for the Jews as ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the rarest Haftarah?

Which Haftarah is read with the least frequency?
5
votes
1answer
113 views

Aharon's and Miriam's Yahrtzeit

The Book of Numbers spans almost the entire 40 year period in the desert, documenting numerous events that occurred to the Jews as they wandered. I count only 5 dates mentioned in the text (listed in ...
7
votes
2answers
211 views

“לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר” in the Megillah and Al Hanisim

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
165 views

New date at sunset: question on Sifse Chachamim

Avoda Zara 25 cites a difference of opinion as to how long the sun stood still for Y'hoshua: twelve hours, twenty-four, or thirty-six. According to those who say twelve or thirty-six, the sun finally ...
6
votes
2answers
378 views

Walled cities for Purim other than Jerusalem

The holiday of Purim is unique in that some locations celebrate it on different days. The rule is: if the city was walled at the time of Joshua's conquest of the Land of Israel then they celebrate on ...
6
votes
4answers
498 views

Cheshvan or MarCheshvan?

The month of Cheshvan is called by many MarCheshvan. Are both correct or which one is more correct?
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How long does one say Kaddish for a parent?

For example, if one's parent died on 1 Nissan, and was buried on 2 Nissan, what is the last day on which kaddish would be said for them?
4
votes
1answer
188 views

An improved Jewish calendar after this one expires?

Conventional wisdom has it that about 1600 years ago, the latter Hillel utilized his Sanhedrin to sanctify the Hebrew calendar as we know it today until the year 6000. (Presumably by that point we'll ...
3
votes
3answers
822 views

Why “hayom yom rishon”, not “echad”?

Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt (St. Louis, Missouri) mentioned at s'uda sh'lishis (Shabas parashas "Ki Setze" 5772) that the correct name for Sunday is echad b(a?)shabas, as is written in k'suvos and ...
32
votes
4answers
4k views

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 ...
24
votes
3answers
617 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?
1
vote
2answers
420 views

Does Passover occur on the first full moon after the equinox?

Christians claim that Jesus was put to death on Passover eve Nisan 14 they make the date for easter based on the first full moon after the spring equinox(paschal full moon) This year Passover is not ...
9
votes
3answers
369 views

Is one allowed to make Kneidlach when the last day of Pesach is Shabbos?

According to those who eat Gebrotz only on the last day of Pesach, is one allowed to make Mazta balls when the last day of Pesach is Shabbos? On a normal year, one can cook and eat Gebrotz on the ...
7
votes
2answers
180 views

Why celebrate Lag Ba'Omer on the 33rd according to the MaHaRIL?

There are several different opinions about when the students of Rabbi Akiva died, and which days we mourn for them. Sefer HaToda'ah quotes the Maharil, who says that the students of Rabbi Akiva died ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

Tachanun on Monday and Thursday

Why do we say a longer Tachanun on Mondays and Thursdays compared to the other days of the week?
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Why do we do anything for Pesach Sheini?

According to my handy Luach, on Pesach Sheini, some people omit tachanun (I haven't looked into any source texts to see who does) and according to the Wikipedia page, some eat matzah but I'm wondering ...
3
votes
6answers
415 views

When Adar Begins we increase our Joy-משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה

משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה- When Adar Begins we increase our Joy (I know it is not in Shulchan Aruch or the Rambam) What is the practical application of it?
3
votes
3answers
383 views

Moshe Rabeinu's Yarzheit

It is common knowledge that Moshe Rabeinu was Niftar on 7 Adar. Was it a plain year with 1 Adar or a leap year with 2 Adars? If it was a leap year on what Adar was he Niftar?
3
votes
1answer
120 views

Selichos start: Ashkinazim vs. Sefardim

Why do Sefardim start saying Sleichos earlier than Ashkinazim?
2
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Eating new grains on the 17th vs the 18th of Nisan

The Shulhan 'Aruch (OC 489:10) states: אסור לאכול חדש אף בזמן הזה בין לחם בין קלי בין כרמל עד תחלת ליל יח בניסן ובארץ ישראל עד תחלת ליל יז בניסן "It is forbidden to eat new (grains) even ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Holocaust Rembrance Day(s)?

What is with the different Holocaust Remembrance Days? When I was a kid, my entire community observed Yom HaShoah. This came about approximately one week after Pesaḥ. Although I'm not totally sure, I ...
2
votes
3answers
762 views

The 70 weeks in Daniel 9

How does one understand the 70 week prophecy in Daniel 9? When does the decree to rebuild Jerusalem take place, and how do you interpret the "seven weeks; and for threescore and two weeks" from that ...
10
votes
1answer
306 views

When does one stay up all night?

Can we get a complete list of occasions (dates or other occasions) on which someone (everyone, or just those with a particular circumstance) stays up all night (on purpose)?
4
votes
1answer
58 views

Why begin selichot on a Sunday rather than on a date?

We ashkenaz start selichot on a Sunday. Sunday is a day of the week. Usually we start events on a given day of a given month (e.g., rosh hodesh, rosh hashanna), or after a given number of days ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

Where is the source for assigning a pasuk to each year since creation?

I remember having been told that there are those who assign each of the 5845 pesukim in the Torah to each year since creation. This is from memory as I have not found the reference yet. Would anyone ...
14
votes
1answer
775 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
902 views

Why is Rosh Chodesh sometimes TWO days?

Why for certain months of the year do we celebrate the festival of Rosh Chodesh for two days while on other Roshei Chadashim we have one day of Rosh Chodesh?
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Why does the Jewish calendar HAVE to end?

It seems to be common knowledge that on or around the year 6,000 of the Jewish calendar "everything" (left intentionally vague) will come to an end and there will be a 1,000 year 'Shabbos'. I'm ...