Questions tagged [calendar]

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

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56
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
10
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4answers
2k 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 ...
12
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1answer
568 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?
7
votes
1answer
428 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 ...
31
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10answers
1k 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 "...
21
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5answers
3k 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 ...
19
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4answers
594 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 ...
7
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1answer
314 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 ...
5
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1answer
4k 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?
12
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6answers
7k 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".]
14
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1answer
417 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 ...
14
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1answer
965 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 ...
5
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1answer
181 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 ...
15
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1answer
309 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
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1answer
301 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 ...
3
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3answers
599 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?
2
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3answers
6k 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 (2016) Passover ...
7
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3answers
736 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
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1answer
271 views

Late Yom Hatzmaut

What is the rule: when is Yom Hatzmaut moved from the fifth of Iyar to an earlier or later date?
8
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1answer
317 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?
6
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4answers
604 views

Cheshvan or MarCheshvan?

The month of Cheshvan is called by many MarCheshvan. Are both correct or which one is more correct?
6
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1answer
649 views

Who divided the Tehillim into days?

Who divided the Sefer Tehillim into daily sections (both day of week and day of month)?
5
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2answers
263 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 ...
37
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
14
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3answers
327 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 ...
8
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5answers
2k views

What is the rarest Haftarah?

Which Haftarah is read with the least frequency?
8
votes
3answers
420 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 ...
20
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3answers
3k 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?
12
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2answers
61k 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
186 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 ...
3
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5answers
993 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
993 views

Why still keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel?

Why do we continue to keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel? The reason for two days was revelant during the temple era as we needed two witnesses to see the new moon. But today, with no Temple ...
5
votes
1answer
266 views

What will happen when our set calendar ends?

In a recent conversation I was told that the current Jewish calendar was only set till the year 6,000. There was conjecture as to what will happen after that time (assuming Moshiach has not yet ...
3
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3answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
449 views

How to calculate 60 days from tekufat tishri for any given year?

I'm trying to pin down an algorithm for calculating when to start saying ותן טל ומטר in diaspora. (In Israel it begins 7 Cheshvan.) I've gotten that we need to know how many centuries passed since ...
4
votes
3answers
195 views

Secular Names for Days of the Week

Is there a problem using the secular names for the days of the week? If there is a problem, is it because: 1) The names originally come from Polytheistic gods OR 2) The people forbidding them are ...
3
votes
1answer
265 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 ...
18
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4answers
472 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
883 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
583 views

Rosh Hashana can't currently land on a Friday, but the first one did

The current fixed calendar works in such a way so that the first day of Rosh Hashana can never fall out on a Friday, but this is the very day on which the first Rosh Hashana fell! What gives?
6
votes
1answer
138 views

Why did people date divorce documents according to the Greeks?

According to this article on Jewish Encyclopedia, the conventional Jewish system of dating documents in the Middle Ages (a system called "מנין שטרות") was related to the accession of Seleucus I, the ...
6
votes
3answers
471 views

Mashiach in year 6000?

I have heard in various discussions that we have an idea that mashiach will come at the latest by year 6000. Is this a normative belief? Furthermore, is this a belief that is understood literally by ...
6
votes
4answers
373 views

Why do we use Adar, specifically, for the Jewish leap year?

Why when we add an additional month to the year do we only add it in Adar? Why not have a second Cheshvon or a second Shevat, etc.?
4
votes
1answer
485 views

Changing the day of Shabbos?

There are many arguments for calendar reform, one of which argues that we should set up the calendar so that every date always falls on the same day (Invariable Calendar) . If this Invariable ...
3
votes
2answers
230 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
237 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
283 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
316 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 ...