Posted by & filed under Download - BlackBerry.

Follow these instructions to subscribe to a Hebcal Jewish Calendar 5-year feed for BlackBerry Desktop Manager on Mac OS X:

  1. First, subscribe to a Hebcal Jewish Holidays file in Apple iCal.
  2. Connect your BlackBerry device to your computer.
  3. On your computer, in the Applications folder, click the BlackBerry Desktop Manager icon.
  4. In the Information section in the left pane, click Calendar.
  5. In the Sync Calendar field, click Two Way.
  6. Perform one of the following actions:
    • To synchronize all your calendars, click All Calendars.
    • To synchronize specific calendars, click Selected Calendars. Select the check box beside one or more calendars.
  7. In the Add events created on BlackBerry device to list, click the calendar on your computer that you want to synchronize the calendar entries from your device to.
  8. To select the type of calendar entries that you want to synchronize, in the Advanced Settings section beside the Sync field, click an option
  9. Click Sync.

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.).

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

To display today’s Hebrew date in Hebrew or in English transliteration, on your site, use one of these two tags:


<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"


English transliteration

<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8"


Posted by & filed under Download - Google Calendar.

If you’re having difficulty using the default importing Hebcal to Google Calendar instructions, here is an alternative technique to try that replaces the “subscribe” step with downloading and uploading.

  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
  4. Select the Google Calendar option from the Download dialog box
  5. Click on the “Alternate option: download” to download the Jewish Calendar YYYY.ics file to your desktop
  6. If presented with a dialog box, be sure to chose the “Save File”, not “Open With …”
    hebcal download save file vs open with dialog box
  7. After the .ics file has downloaded, do not open it on your desktop.
    • Leave it sitting in your Downloads folder for now.
    • You will use it in step 13 below.
  8. Go to Google Calendar
  9. Click the Create link at the bottom of the “My calendars” list on the left-hand side of the page
    Google Calendar import step 1
  10. For the Calendar Name box, type the name “Hebcal” or “Jewish holidays” or whatever you’d like to call it
    Google Calendar import step 2
  11. Click the Create Calendar button to make a new, empty calendar
  12. Click the Add down-arrow button at the bottom of the calendar list on the left side of the page, and select Import Calendar
    Google Calendar import step 3
  13. Click Browse and choose the Jewish Calendar YYYY.ics file that contains your events, then click Open
    Google Calendar import step 4
  14. Select the Google Calendar where you’d like to import events, then click Import
    Google Calendar import step 5

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.).


Posted by & filed under Download - Google Calendar, Download - removal.

To permanently delete a calendar from your calendar list, just follow these steps:

1. Click Settings at the bottom of the calendar list on the left side of the page. (Alternatively, click the Settings link at the top-right of any Calendar page, and click Calendars.)

2. Click the Unsubscribe or Delete link next to the calendar you want to delete.

Delete will permanently erase the calendar. (No one, including those who are sharing or subscribing to the calendar, will be able to access it anymore.)

Unsubscribe will only remove your access to the calendar. (Others will still be able to use it normally.)

3. Click OK.

Posted by & filed under Observance.

Calendrical Calculations Hebcal uses the algorithm defined in Calendrical Calculations by Edward M. Reingold and Nachum Dershowitz.


Reingold and Dershowitz write:

The birthday of someone born in Adar of an ordinary year or Adar II of a leap year is also always in the last month of the year, be that Adar or Adar II. The birthday in an ordinary year of someone born during the first 29 days of Adar I in a leap year is on the corresponding day of Adar; in a leap year, the birthday occurs in Adar I, as expected. Someone born on the thirtieth day of Marcheshvan, Kislev, or Adar I has his birthday postponed until the first of the following month in years where that day does not occur. [Calendrical Calculations p. 111]


The rule for a Yahrzeit is a little different:

The customary anniversary date of a death is more complicated and depends also on the character of the year in which the first anniversary occurs. There are several cases:

  • If the date of death is Marcheshvan 30, the anniversary in general depends on the first anniversary; if that first anniversary was not Marcheshvan 30, use the day before Kislev 1.
  • If the date of death is Kislev 30, the anniverary in general again depends on the first anniverary — if that was not Kislev 30, use the day before Tevet 1.
  • If the date of death is Adar II, the anniversary is the same day in the last month of the Hebrew year (Adar or Adar II).
  • If the date of death is Adar I 30, the anniversary in a Hebrew year that is not a leap year (in which Adar only has 29 days) is the last day in Shevat.
  • In all other cases, use the normal (that is, same month number) anniverary of the date of death.

[Calendrical Calculations p. 113]

Yahrzeit Example

For example, suppose Ploni ben Ploni passed away on 14 March 2001. That date corresponds to the 19th of Adar, 5761. Since 5761 was not a leap year, there was only one Adar that year (i.e. the date of death occurred in 12th month of the Hebrew year).

Suppose one wishes to observe the yahrzeit in Hebrew year 5765. Since 5765 is a leap year and none of the other rules applies, we use the same month number as the date of death. In a leap year the 12th month is Adar I, so the yahrzeit is observed on 19th of Adar I, 5765 (28 February 2005).


On page 114, Reingold and Dershowitz write:

There are minor variations in custom regarding the anniversary date in some of these cases. For example, Spanish and Portuguese Jews never observe the anniversary of a common-year date in Adar I.

There are undoubtedly many differing opinions regarding when to observe an Adar yahrzeit.

Here are two articles which offer differing opinions from our implementation:

For all matters of halacha, consult your local rabbi.

9 Feb 2005: added errata at Nachum Dershowitz’s request.
9 Mar 2005: Added Ploni ben Ploni example.
9 Mar 2014: Added links to opinions by Rabbis Golinkin and Schachter

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.