Monday, April 11, 2016

Tutorial how to create your own Torah calendar

Here is a short and very easy tutorial to create Torah calendar. It is as easy as it was intended by the Torah, so even a small child could figure it out.

You will need Moon CalendarMoon Data for One Day,Equinox/Solstice table and empty calendar (I recommend Google Calendar). Open new (Google) calendar and begin filling out dates as explained below. I will use current, 2016, year as an example. 

Please remember that Hebrew days start in the evening. This means that if certain event happens before sunset, it is counted as current day. If certain event happens after sunset, we use the next day for the event.

Here are the steps:
  1. We need to determine the beginning of the New Year. According to Equinox table, spring Equinox falls on 03/20/2016. Put it in your calendar.
  2. Open Moon Calendar and find closest New Moon RIGHT AFTER Equinox. For this year, it is 04/07/2016. This means that 4th Gregorian Month is when 1st day happens.
  3. Find Full Moon of this Lunar Month. It is 04/21/2016 @ 10:23pm PDT. Like I warned above, this event happens after sunset, so Full Moon day is 22nd and not 21st. So write down Full Moon Shabbat on 04/22/2016
  4. Fill in other Phases of the Moon of this month. Thus, New Moon would fall on 04/08/2016, 1st Quarter would fall on 04/15/2016, 3rd Quarter would fall on 04/29/2016. Write all of these into the calendar. Basically, your Shabbat day is determined by the day on which all phases of the Moon line up.
  5. Last, 5th Shabbat of the month is trickier. You have to do Steps #3-4 for the next month again. You will see that New Moon of the 2nd Hebrew month would fall on 05/07/2016. We can have two Shabbats in a row, so there is no need to separate 5th Shabbat and the New Moon. This would put 5th Shabbat on 05/06/2016. This is Last Old Moon Shabbat or 5th Shabbat of the month. Write it down. If New Moon of the next month does not fall next to the 5th Shabbat, then we have months with 4 complete weeks and 1 incomplete. In this case, we have 4 complete weeks even, so no need to add incomplete weeks. 
  6. Repeat Steps 3 - 5 for other months. When connecting to the next or previous years, always use Equinox text described in Step #2
I hope this simple guide would help you in calculating and creating your own calendar for your own time zone and circumstances. 

I will add how to do other parts of the calendar, once I finish working on it. Stay tuned.

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