The Israeli government changed the dates of Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut a couple of years ago. They added a new rule to prevent Yom HaZikaron from beginning on motzei Shabbat. In 2007, these holidays begin at sundown on 22 and 23 April, respectively (the 5th and 6th of Iyyar).
See Memorial Day and Independence Day Bill (amendment) 2004 for an English translation of the law that the Knesset passed.
The Wikipedia article on Yom Ha’atzmaut explains the recent change, and their dates agree with ours. Here the relevant excerpt:
Yom Ha’atzmaut falls on the 5th day of Iyar on the Hebrew calendar, the anniversary of the day in which Israel independence was proclaimed, when David ben Gurion publicly read the Proclamation of the establishment of the State of Israel. The corresponding Gregorian date was May 14, 1948.
The festival is celebrated on the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday closest to that date. This is to avoid having the festival either on Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath, or immediately before or after it. If Iyar 5 falls on Saturday, the festival is advanced to Thursday, Iyar 3, and if on Friday, then it is advanced to Thursday, Iyar 4. In 2004, the law was changed to provide that if Iyar 5 falls on Monday, the festival is postponed to Tuesday Iyar 6, so that Yom Hazikaron will not be immediately after the sabbath. (The rules of the Hebrew calendar are such that Iyar 5 does not fall on Sunday.)
If you’re using hebcal for UNIX, be sure to upgrade to version 3.7 to see the updated rules for these two holidays.
Hebcal.com is now using the new DST rules for Indiana that take effect in April, 2006.
Hebcal.com is now running hebcal 3.5, which uses the new rules for Daylight Saving Time starting in the Spring of 2007. In particular:
Clocks will be set ahead one hour on the second Sunday of March instead of the current first Sunday of April. Clocks will be set back one hour on the first Sunday in November, rather than the last Sunday of October.
Hebcal.com and hebcal for UNIX do not yet take into consideration the change to Daylight Saving Time that is part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. We expect to implement this change in the next few months.
[Update 13 Feb 2006: hebcal.com is now running hebcal 3.5, which uses the new dates for DST starting in 2007]
The Hebcal Torah Reading pages now include an indication of special Maftir and Haftarah when they occur.
For example, since Parashat Toldot coincides with Shabbat Machar Chodesh on November 13, we read a special Haftarah.
I’d like to wish a sweet New Year to all Hebcal.com users. Rosh Hashana 5765 begins at sundown on September 15, 2004.
If you’re looking to update your PDA or PIM program, Hebcal.com offers a personalized Jewish calendar for any year 0000-9999. You can export a Jewish holidays, candle lighting times, and Torah readings to Palm, Outlook, and iCal — all for free.
If you’re looking for a printed 2004-2005 calendar, I’d recommend the Jewish Year 5765 Wall Calendar.
We have added Baghdad to the list of hebcal cities.
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 08:48:38 +0400
Subject: candle lighting time for Baghdad
We are Jewish soldiers stationed in Baghdad, Iraq and were wondering if you
would consider adding Baghdad to your list of cities for candle lighting
times. It is a wondrous event to be Jews in Baghdad observing our faith and
to be recognized on your website would be an honor.
Thank you on behalf of the Victory Base Jewish Community.
We’ve added two cities in Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) and Ottawa, Canada to the list of hebcal cities. We also added support for the AUNZ daylight saving time scheme which is the inverse of the European Union (their summer time begins the last Sunday in October and ends the last Sunday in March).
Israel ruled Feb. 1 to move the Day of Remembrance (Yom Hazikaron) and Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut) to Monday, April 26 and Tuesday, April 27 to avoid possible Shabbat violations in the country.
Following the Feb. 1 ruling, Rabbi Gedaliah Dov Schwartz of the Rabbinical Council of America issued a ruling saying American Jews should observe the holidays without adjusting to Israel’s schedule. [IJN]
Hebcal.com is using the Israeli rules this year.
We have added links to OU Torah Insights, URJ Torat Hayim, and Torah.org commentaries on the parashah pages. For example:
This fixes feature request #629967.