hebcal - a Jewish calendar generator
hebcal [ -8acdDehHiorsStTwy ]
[ -I input_file ]
[ -Y yahrtzeit_file ]
[ -C city ]
[ -l latitude -L longitude]
[ -z timezone ]
[ -Z daylight_savings_scheme ]
[[ month [ day ]] year ]
With no arguments, hebcal will print to stdout the dates of the Jewish
holidays in the current secular year. Each line is prefixed with a
gregorian date of the form mm/dd/yyyy.
By specifying month, day, or year, output can be limited to a
particular month or date in a particular year. Note that year is
usually a four-digit integer, So 92 is during the Roman period, not
the late twentieth century. In if the hebrew dates option is turned
on, this number represents th Jewish calendar year. month is a number
from 1..12, or the name of a Jewish calendar month.
day is a number from 1..31.
For example, the command
hebcal 10 1992
will print out the holidays occurring in October of 1992 C.E., while
hebcal Tish 5752
will print dates of interest in the month of Tishrei in Jewish calendar
NOTE: hebcal 92 is not the same as hebcal 1992. The year is assumed
to be complete, so the former calendar preceeds the latter by nineteen
A few other bells and whistles include the weekly sedra as well as the
day of the week, the count of the omer, and the Hebrew date.
Output from hebcal can be used to drive calendar(1). Day-to-day use
for hebcal is provided for in the -T and -t switches, which print out
Jewish calendar entries for the current date.
To get a quick-reference on-line help, type
at the command prompt.
-8 Use 8-bit Hebrew (ISO-8859-8-Logical).
-a Use Ashkenazis hebrew.
-c Add approximate candle-lighting times. See below.
-d Print the Hebrew date for the entire date range.
-D Print the hebrew date for dates with some event.
-e Change the output format to European-style dates: dd.mm.yyyy
-h Suppress holidays in output. User defined calendar events are
unaffected by this switch.
-H When the -H switch is used, all dates specified on the command
line are assumed to be hebrew dates. So for instance,
example% hebcal -H 5754
will print data for 5754, Starting in Tishrei, and ending in
Elul. Hebcal is smart enough to detect a Hebrew month and infer
that you want a Hebrew date range, so you could type
example% hebcal tish 5754
The -H switch would be superfluous in this case. Invoking
hebcal with just the -H switch by itself will print data for the
current Hebrew year, starting in Tishrei.
-i Use the Israeli sedra scheme when used in conjunction with -S or
-s. This has no effect if the -S or -s switches are unused.
Read extra events from file. These events are printed
regardless of the -h suppress holidays switch.
There is one holiday per line in file, each with the format
month day description
where month is a string identifying the Jewish month in question
day is a number from 1 to 30, and description is a newline-
terminated string describing the holiday. An example might be
Adar 1 Start cleaning kitchen for Passover.
Adar 1 Start cleaning kitchen for Passover.
Set the latitude for solar calculations to deg degrees and min
Set the longitude for solar calculations to deg degrees and min
minutes. NOTE: Negative values are EAST longitude.
-o Add the count of the omer to the output.
-r Use a tab-delineated format, and somewhat terser strings.
Instead of saying ’ 13th day of the omer ’ hebcal will say ’
Omer: 13 ’
-s Add the weekly sedra to the output on Saturdays. See -i.
-S Add the weekly sedra to the output every day. When this option
is invoked, every time a day is printed, the torah reading for
the Saturday on or immediately following that date is printed.
If there is no reading for the next Saturday, then nothing is
printed. See -i.
-t Print calendar information for today’s date only. -d and -o are
asserted with this option.
-T Same as -t, only without the gregorian date. This option is
useful in login scripts, just to see what’s happening today in
the Jewish calendar.
-w Add the day of the week to the output.
-y Print only the last two digits of the year.
Read a table of yahrtzeit dates from file. These events are
printed regardless of the -h suppress holidays switch.
There is one death-date per line in file, each with the format
month day year description
where month, day and year form the gregorian date of death.
description is a newline-terminated string to be printed on the
yahrtzeit. An example might be
12 29 1957 Menachem Mendel’s yahrtzeit.
5 15 1930 Benjamin’s yahrtzeit.
Hebcal’s candlelighting times are only approximations. If you ever
have any doubts about it’s times, consult your local halachic
authority. If you enter geographic coordinates above the artic circle
or antarctic circle, the times are guaranteed to be wrong.
Hebcal contains a small database of cities with their associated
geographic information and time-zone information. The geographic and
time information necessary to calculate sundown times can come to
hebcal any of three ways:
1) The default: the system manager sets a default city when the program
2) Hebcal looks in the environment variable HEBCAL_CITY for the name of
a city in hebcal’s database, and if it finds one, hebcal will make that
the new default city.
3) 1 and 2 may be overridden by command line arguments, including those
specified in the HEBCAL_OPTS environment variable. The most natural
way to do this is to use the -c city command. This will localize
hebcal to city. A list of the cities hebcal knows about can be
obtained by typing
at the command prompt. If the city you want isn’t on that list, you
can directly control hebcal’s geographic information with the -l, -L -z
and -Z DST switches. Note that changing the geographic coordinates
causes the timezone to default to Zulu and the daylight savings time
processor to default to ’none.’ To get a list of possible values for
at the command prompt.
For a status report on customizations, type type
at the command prompt.
To find the days of the omer in 1997, printing the days of the week:
example% hebcal -how 1997
4/23/97 Wed, 1st day of the Omer
4/24/97 Thu, 2nd day of the Omer
4/25/97 Fri, 3rd day of the Omer
6/9/97 Mon, 48th day of the Omer
6/10/97 Tue, 49th day of the Omer
To print only the weekly sedrot of Nisan 5770
example% hebcal -hs Nisan 5770
3/20/2010 Parashat Vayikra
3/27/2010 Parashat Tzav
4/10/2010 Parashat Shmini
To find out what’s happening in the Jewish calendar today , use
example% hebcal -TS
19 of Nisan, 5752
Parshat Achrei Mot
Pesach V (CH"M)
4th day of the Omer
Hebcal uses two environment variables:
Hebcal uses this value as the default city for sunset
calculations. A list of available cities is available with from
hebcal with the command:
The value of this variable is automatically processed as if it
were typed at the command line before any other actual
calendar(1), emacs(1), hcal(1), hdate(1), omer(1), remind(1), rise(1)
The latest version of the code will be available from
The original motivation for the algorithms in this program was the Tur
For version 3, much of the program was rewritten using Emacs 19’s
calendar routines by Edward M. Reingold and Nachum Dershowitz. Their
program is extremely clear and provides many instructive examples of
fine calendar code in emacs-LISP.
A well written treatment of the Jewish calendar for the layman can be
found in Understanding the Jewish Calendar by Rabbi Nathan Bushwick. A
more complete bibliography on the topic can be found there, as well as
in the Encyclopedia Judaica entry on the calendar.
Prints a shorter version of this manpage, with comments on each
Prints the version number and default values of the program.
Prints a list of available daylight savings time schemes,
suitable as arguments to the -Z DST option.
Prints a list of cities which hebcal knows about, suitable as
arguments to the -C city option. If your city does not appear
on this list, put the necessary defaults in the DST_OPTS
Prints the GNU license, with information about copying the
program. See below.
Tells you how there’s NO WARRANTY for hebcal.
This is just a program I wrote during summer school and while avoiding
my senior project. It should not be invested with any sort of halachic
Hebrew dates are only valid before sundown on that secular date. An
option to control this will be added in a later release.
Negative longitudes are EAST of Greenwich.
Some combinations of options produce weird results, e.g.
hebcal -dH nisan 5744
hebcal -dH 5744
This comes into play when you use the ENV_OPT environment variable.
The sunup/sundown routines aren’t accurate enough. If you enter
geographic coordinates above the artic circle or antarctic circle, the
times are guaranteed to be wrong.
Hebcal only translates between the Gregorian calendar and the Jewish
calendar. This means that the results will be at least partly useless
where and when the gregorian calendar was not used, i.e. before the
1752 in Britain and before circa 1918 in Russia. See the wikipedia
entry for a splendid chart of the changeover from the Julian to the
Gregorian calendars in various places.
Hebcal cannot handle date computations before 2 C.E. sorry.
Daylight-Savings time rules are as up-to-date as a nonpaying job
allows. US DST rules are correct only back to 1966.
Hebcal assumes that the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which changes the
DST rules in the US will go into effect, even though congress may still
BUG REPORTS TO
Copyright (c) 1994-2004 Danny Sadinoff
Portions Copyright (c) 2002 Michael J. Radwin. All Rights Reserved.
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
preserved on all copies.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this
manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the
entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a
permission notice identical to this one.
Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this
manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified
versions, except that this permission notice may be included in
translations approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in the
For a full text of the copyright and lack of warranty information, type
at the command line.