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

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.”