Posted by & filed under Torah Readings and Sedra Schemes.

Jews living in the Diaspora (outside of modern Israel) typically observe two days of chag on holidays that are Yom Tov (holidays where work is forbidden, called yontiff in Yiddish). In Israel, only one day of chag is observed.

Sometimes, depending on the calendar, the Diaspora observes the second day of chag on Shabbat, and the holiday Torah reading pushes the regular weekly Torah reading back a week. Since Israel has only one day of chag, they read the regular weekly Torah reading. Thus, the Parashat ha-Shavuah ends up being different.

When using the “Weekly sedrot on Saturdays” option on the custom calendar, select the appropriate option depending on where you live (Israeli sedra scheme for those living inside Israel, Diaspora for everyone else).

Posted by & filed under Torah Readings and Sedra Schemes.

“Many congregations pattern their weekly Torah reading cycle after a system similar to the one used in ancient Israel during the rabbinic period. In this system, the traditional parashiot are each divided into three shorter segments, and the whole Torah is completed once every three years. The system has both advantages and disadvantages, but its ability to shorten the length of Torah reading without sacrificing the complete reading of the Torah on a regular basis has made it the choice of some synagogues in the Conservative Movement.”

A Complete Triennial System for Reading the Torah, Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly

Posted by & filed under Torah Readings and Sedra Schemes.

Leyning coordinators can download these Comma Separated Value (CSV) files and import into Microsoft Excel or some other spreadsheet program. These spreadsheets contain the Torah readings for the current year and 5+ years into the future.

Download Full Kriyah and Triennial spreadsheets

Note that in September 2013, we replaced the large multi-year fullkriyah.csv file with separate files for each Hebrew year.

Posted by & filed under Observance.

All Jewish Holidays begin the evening before the date specified. This is because the Jewish day actually begins at sundown on the previous night. Sometimes, for clarity, the Erev Holiday is also included.

Posted by & filed under Observance.

CH”M is an abbreviation for Chol Ha-Mo’ed. Chol Ha-Mo’ed are the intermediate days of Passover and Sukkot, when work is permitted.

Posted by & filed under Observance.

For example, Tzom Tammuz is always on the 17th of Tammuz, but in the year 5772 (2012 C.E.) it is on the 18th of Tammuz. The answer has to do with Shabbat:

“The Hebrew year contains several fast days that, though specified by particular Hebrew calendar dates, are shifted when those days occur on Saturday. The fast days are Tzom Gedaliah (Tishri 3), Tzom Tevet (Tevet 10), and Tishah be-Av (Av 9). When Purim is on Sunday, Ta’anit Esther occurs on the preceding Thursday… Each of the other fast days, as well as Shushan Purim (the day after Purim, celebrated in Jerusalem), is postponed to the following day (Sunday) when it occurs on Saturday.”

Reference: Calendrical Calculations, Edward M. Reingold, Nachum Dershowitz, Cambridge University Press, 2001, page 109.

Posted by & filed under Developers, APIs, RSS Feeds, Source Code.’s Add Shabbat Times to your Website tool lets you create custom HTML tags to which display weekly candle-lighting times directly on your web page. The result looks something like this:

Shabbat times for Chicago, IL

Candle lighting: 4:08pm on Friday, 02 January 2004
This week’s Torah portion is Parashat Vayigash
Havdalah (72 min): 5:39pm on Saturday, 03 January 2004

1-Click Shabbat Copyright © 2004 Michael J. Radwin. All rights reserved.

Posted by & filed under General.

I’d like to make a printed calendar, another website, email newsletter, refrigerator magnets, etc. Do I need’s permission?

You may reproduce some (not all) content. Each individual page has a Copyright notice at the bottom which says one of the following:

  • Copyright © 2008 Michael J. Radwin. All rights reserved.
    You are forbidden from copying, distributing, redisplaying, or making derivative works of the web page it contains this Copyright notice.
  • Copyright © 2008 Michael J. Radwin. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
    You are permitted to use the work under the terms of the aforementioned license. web pages that are available under a Creative Commons license also have this image on the bottom right-hand corner:

Creative Commons License

Please read the individual license for details about what conditions are required for reuse of the content.

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

You may use these HTML tags to insert a small form directly on your web page, with a reverse link back to your site:

Make sure you replace both the ref_url and ref_text value fields with with your own synagogue’s.

<form action="">
<input type="hidden" name="ref_url" value="">
<input type="hidden" name="ref_text" value="Temple Beth Am">

<select name="t1" class="input-small">
<option selected value="Yahrzeit">Yahrzeit</option>
<option value="Birthday">Birthday</option>
<option value="Anniversary">Anniversary</option>

<label>Month: <select name="m1" class="input-medium">
<option selected value="1">January</option>
<option value="2">February</option>
<option value="3">March</option>
<option value="4">April</option>
<option value="5">May</option>
<option value="6">June</option>
<option value="7">July</option>
<option value="8">August</option>
<option value="9">September</option>
<option value="10">October</option>
<option value="11">November</option>
<option value="12">December</option>

<label>Day: <input type="text" name="d1" size="2" maxlength="2" style="width:auto"></label>
<label>Year: <input type="text" name="y1" size="4" maxlength="4" style="width:auto"></label>
<label>Name: <input type="text" name="n1" class="input-medium"></label>

<label class="checkbox"><input type="checkbox" name="s1">After sunset</label>
<label class="checkbox"><input type="checkbox" name="hebdate" checked>Include Hebrew dates</label>
<label class="checkbox"><input type="checkbox" name="yizkor">Include Yizkor dates</label>
<label>Number of years: <input type="text" name="years" value="20" size="2" maxlength="2" style="width:auto"></label>

<input type="submit" value="Compute Calendar">

Posted by & filed under Download - Microsoft Outlook.

Follow these instructions to add a Hebcal Jewish holiday calendar 5-year feed to newer versions of Microsoft Outlook.

This technique uses Outlook’s “Internet Calendar Subscription” feature which keeps a separate calendar from your primary calendar. The calendar appears as an “overlay” and can be managed separately from your main calendar.

This method is preferred for newer versions, e.g. Outlook 2010, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013, Office 365. If you plan to sync Outlook with a BlackBerry, consider using the old-style Outlook CSV instructions instead.

  1. Go to if you’re downloading a holiday calendar, or 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
    Hebcal custom calendar download highlighted
  4. Select the Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 option from the Download dialog box
  5. Click on the Jewish Calendar YYYY.ics download button
  6. You might be prompted to acknowledge that you are opening a hyperlink. You should click Yes.
  7. Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, 2010, or 2013 will start up
  8. At the prompt, Add this Internet Calendar to Outlook and subscribe to updates, click Yes.
  9. The Internet Calendar opens in side-by-side view in the Outlook Calendar and is added to the Navigation Pane in Calendar view under Other Calendars. The calendar will check periodically for any updates made by the calendar publisher.

For more details, see Add an Internet Calendar Subscription to Outlook from Microsoft’s support site.

Included in the Hebcal Jewish holiday downloads are options to select major holidays (Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Pesach, etc.), minor holidays (Purim, Chanukah, etc.), special Shabbatot, public fasts (Tish’a B’Av, etc.), Rosh Chodesh, and modern holidays (Yom HaAtzma’ut, etc.).