Posted by & filed under News.

We’re pleased to share that we’ve made some changes to the hebcal website to better accommodate world cities. If you visit our Shabbat Times page, you’ll see hundreds of new cities available for candle-lighting times.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 10.20.55 PM

 

You may notice that candle-lighting times have changed by 1-3 minutes as well. This is due to a change in the sunset calculation algorithm we’ve introduced as well. Sunset times are estimated from latitude and longitude, and generally have an accuracy of +/- 2 minutes except at extreme north or south latitudes. This new algorithm is more accurate than the previous one.

If you’ve been using Hebcal.com to calculate candle-lighting times via latitude and longitude, you might find your city listed in our database. If it’s not there, feel free to drop us a line. If you’d like to continue to specify your location by latitude and longitude, please note that we are now using standard timezone names (such as “America/Chicago” or “Asia/Jerusalem”) instead of GMT offsets + daylight-saving-time rules.

 

Posted by & filed under News.

We’re pleased to announce that hebcal for Unix is now hosted on Github. You can find the new repository at https://github.com/hebcal/hebcal

Hebcal for Unix has been around for 20+ years. Danny Sadinoff wrote 98% of the code, and Michael has been fixing bugs and adding features here and there.

SourceForge had been providing hosting for the GPL code for 14+ years. We even converted from CVS to Mercurial about 3 years ago. However, with the recent changes to SourceForge code hosting, Hebcal got stuck in some sort of limbo-land. Lots of 500 Internal Server Errors.

So… we’ve decided to join the cool kids and make the transition from hg to git. And while making that transition we’ve also moved to GitHub, which is where all of the open source developers are hanging out these days.

Over the coming month we’ll be cleaning up the code and the hebcal.com website, removing references to the old sourceforge.net URL.

And then we’ll get back to fixing bugs and adding new features.

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We’re pleased to share that ORT’s Navigating the Bible website has been upgraded to MP3. For many years, Hebcal.com has linked to ORT’s excellent site for Torah readings with Hebrew, translation, transliteration and chanting.

When released 13+ years ago, ORT’s trope/chanting audio was based on a format called RealAudio. Unfortunately, RealAudio doesn’t work very well on modern devices like tablets.

As of May 2013, ORT has upgraded to MP3 – a more modern audio format. Users can listen to individual verses or download whole readings to listen to on their phones, tablets or other mp3 players.

Our sincere thanks to Vladimir Dribinskiy, ORT’s Chief Program Officer, and to the entire World ORT team!

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We’ve fixed an error with the observance of Yom HaShoah occurring adjacent to Shabbat. This year Yom HaShoah begins on Sunday, 7 April 2013 at sundown.

Previously Hebcal always used the date of the 27th of Nisan.

When the actual date of Yom Hashoah falls on a Friday, the state of Israel observes Yom Hashoah on the preceding Thursday. When it falls on a Sunday, Yom Hashoah is observed on the following Monday.

Posted by & filed under Download - General.

Follow these instructions to add a Hebcal Jewish holiday calendar 5-year feed to Joomla CMS via the JEvents extension. These instructions are courtesy of Yaniv Feldman from Fancy Design LLC. Thanks!

CONFIGURING

  • Under Components choose JEvents
  • From the JEvents control panel choose “Manage Categories”
  • Click the “New” (+plus icon) from the top toolbar to create a new category
  • Name your category, something like “Shabbat Times” (without quotes)
  • Set your own parameters (optional) – recommended: set “Check for overlapping events?” to “No” because Shabbat times shouldn’t be effected by other events.
  • Click “Save and Close” from the top toolbar.
  • From the JEvents control panel choose “Manage Calendars”
  • Click the “New” (+plus icon) from the top toolbar to create a new calendar
  • Choose a category under which you need this calendar created – ideally the one you’ve just create.
  • From the “From file” tab (bottom) choose the file you created on the preparation section of this document.
  • Wait patiently for the entire calendar to upload – this stage ends when you’re back in the JEvents control panel with a message under the JEvents logo which reads: “1457 iCal events processed ICS_FILE_IMPORTED” (The number may vary, depending on the amount of records added)

PREPARATIONS

  • To create a Shabbat Times calendar, which is based on your preferences, visit this URL:http://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/
  • After tweaking the settings to your need, click on “Create Calendar”.
  • From the top, click on “Download…”
  • From the popup window choose “Google Calendar” and then “Download”
  • Save the file where you can find it – you may rename it, but keep the file extension “.ics”

PRESENTING

  • To create a module for presentation, choose “Extensions > Module Manager” from the top menu
  • Click the “New” (+plus icon) from the top toolbar to create a new module
  • Choose “Latest JEvents” from the list of Module Types.
  • Name your module – I named it “Shabbat Times” (without quotes)
  • Select a position, if you need it anywhere on your website (AcyMailing doesn’t need any position so for that purpose, leave it blank)
  • From the “Basic Options”, under “Select Categories” choose “Shabbat Times” or whatever you named the JEvents category..
  • Leave all other settings “as is”. Recommended – Control the number of events shown under “Display Mode” – I choose option #0 (current/following week events) for the sake of the weekly newsletter.
  • Click Save & Close.

 

Posted by & filed under General.

We enjoyed reading Jonathan Mizrahi’s Hanukkah and Thanksgiving: A once in eternity overlap:

Next year features an anomaly for American Jews – The first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving, on 11/28/2013 (meaning the first night of Hanukkah is actually the night before Thanksgiving). I was curious how often this happens. It turns out that it has never happened before…and it will never happen again.
(Correction: it happened once before, in 1888: see Addendum.)
Tip of the hat to Adam Trachtenberg for passing along the article.

Posted by & filed under Download - General.

Follow these instructions to subscribe to a Hebcal Jewish holiday calendar 5-year feed in Mozilla Thunderbird Lightning:

  1. Open Thunderbird with Lightning installed.
  2. Now, switch to calendar view by clicking the Calendar icon next to the tab bar. Next, go to the File menu, select New and select the Calendar… item.
  3. In the Add a calendar wizard, select On the network and click Next.
  4. From the Format list, select iCalendar (ICS) and enter the calendar location (with the “http://” prefix) that you just copied into the Address textbox. Click Next.
  5. Give the holiday calendar a name or leave the default value. If you want, you can select a color in which all of the holidays are highlighted. Click Next
  6. Click Finish to exit the wizard.

Here are some screenshots:

Thunderbird Lightning - Step 1

Thunderbird Lightning - Step 2

Thunderbird Lightning - Step 3

Thunderbird Lightning - Step 4