Posted by & filed under News, Observance.

Ta’anit Bechorot (Fast of the Firstborn) falls on Friday, April 6, 2012. An earlier version of the calendar we publish incorrectly had this minor fast on Thursday.

When this fast day falls on Friday, we do in fact observe the fast on Friday, even though Shabbat follows immediately.

It is only in years when the date of the fast falls on Shabbat that the fast is moved. In this case, Ta’anit Bechorot is moved back to Thursday, because it is preferable not to fast immediately before Shabbat.

Source: Mishnah Berurah: the classic commentary to Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim, comprising the laws of daily Jewish conduct, Volume V (B), Pesach. §470: “That the first-born fast on Erev Pesach.”

Posted by & filed under News.

Hebcal.com got hit with a script injection virus this week but everything is fine now.

We had a stale copy of the WordPress content management system for our Help and News pages, so some malicious person/machine exploited a loophole. We have upgraded to the latest copy and have removed all traces of the virus from our website.

Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience we may have caused.

Posted by & filed under Developers, APIs, RSS Feeds, Source Code.

We offer a simple API for converting between Gregorian and Hebrew dates. Two output formats are supported: JSON and XML.

To convert from Gregorian to Hebrew date use this URL format:

http://www.hebcal.com/converter/?cfg=json&gy=2011&gm=6&gd=2&g2h=1

  • gy=2011 – Gregorian year
  • gm=6 – Gregorian month (1=January, 12=December)
  • gd=2 – Gregorian day of month
  • g2h=1 – Convert from Gregorian to Hebrew date
  • gs=on – After sunset on Gregorian date
  • cfg=json – output format is JSON (cfg=json) or XML (cfg=xml)

To convert from Hebrew to Gregorian use this URL format:

http://www.hebcal.com/converter/?cfg=json&hy=5749&hm=Kislev&hd=25&h2g=1

  • hy=5749 – Hebrew year
  • hm=Kislev – Hebrew month (Nisan, Iyyar, Sivan, Tamuz, Av, Elul, Tishrei, Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shvat, Adar1, Adar2)
  • hd=25 – Hebrew day of month
  • h2g=1 – Convert from Hebrew to Gregorian date
  • cfg=json – output format is JSON (cfg=json) or XML (cfg=xml)

Note also an optional callback parameter:

  • callback=function – wraps the JSON output text in parentheses and a function name of your choosing. Callback function names may only use upper and lowercase alphabetic characters (A-Z, a-z), numbers (0-9), the period (.), the underscore (_).

Sample output in JSON and XML:

Posted by & filed under Download - General.

Many calendar desktop, mobile or web apps support the iCalendar (.ICS file extension) format. Hebcal has specific instructions for the major calendar apps in that consume iCalendar files (see below).

iCalendar is an open standard for exchanging calendar information. It is also known as RFC 2445.

For minor calendar apps, Hebcal recommends the following:

  1. Go to http://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/ if you’re downloading a holiday calendar, or http://www.hebcal.com/yahrzeit/ if you’re downloading a Yahrzeit + Anniversary calendar.
  2. Fill out the form with your preferences and click the Create Calendar button
  3. Click the Download… button
    Jewish_Calendar_2017_Providence___Hebcal_Jewish_Calendar 478px
  4. Select the iCalendar option from the Download dialog box
    iCalendar Download dialog
  5. Copy the entire http://download.hebcal.com iCal URL to your clipboard
  6. When your iCalendar-enabled application asks for a URL to subscribe to, paste the http://download.hebcal.com iCal URL that you previously copied to the clipboard

Specific instructions for the major calendar apps which use iCalendar format: