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Molad


A Hebrew calendar application for a Java TM mobile device


Version  1.1
Iyar 5765 (May 2005)

Content



Introduction How the calendars operate Using the Application

Introduction

Molad and 'Molad'

Molad (birth) is a Hebrew word for new moon. While new moon causes superstitions and horror in the Christian world, for the Jewish culture Molad means new month, new year, new live.  Despite scientific declarations of the Universal mortality, for me Molad symbolises the eternity of the Universe, live,  ... and the calendar !

This application is designed to suit any Java TM compatible mobile device with 50K of RAM. Colour support and screen size 120x120 or more (e.g. Nokia Series 40 and 60,  Motorola T720, A830 etc) would be an advantage. With Siemens mobile devices (screen size 101x64 or 101x80 pixels), or Nokia Series 30 (96x65 pixels) the application feels less comfortable though is still fully operational.

The following features are supported:

Most of other Hebrew calendar programs don't accept a secular date before year 1752 Common Era (C.E.) - the day when Gregorian calendar was introduced in England (?|).  It might look naive, but I can't understand why a Hebrew calendar application should depend on such a minor event. This application supports Hebrew years in the range from 1 to 5000000 - hopefully enough for now :).  Given that different countries adopted Gregorian calendar at a different time, you can specify the changeover date, so that the appropriate secular calendar will be chosen automatically.

Because of limited resources the application cannot be as versatile as the ones designed for a PC, or for a specific mobile device. Here are the features that I would like to support, but either would make the application less efficient or too big, or simply impossible to implement:

Credits and Links

Daniel Sebbagh  < sebbagh@hotmail.com >  for his great Hebrew translation. He also suggested having native format of Hebrew dates.

HebCal  by Danny Sadinoff a UNIX (Linux and Solaris)  product ported to Windows.
http://www.sadinoff.com/hebcal
Congratulations Danny, well done.  The code has been thoroughly studied and used as an excellent source of information.

Chelm.org's explanation of the Jewish Calendar
http://www.chelm.org/jewish/calendar/explain.html
Copyright 1999 Steven Ross Weintraub
A clear and comprehensive explanation, even a code provided. Unfortunately the code doesn't work before year 1760 C.E., and apart from that, the logic for Rosh HaShanah calculation doesn't look 100%  accurate to me.
Judaism 101. Jewish Calendar

http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm
Copyright 1995-2001 Tracey R Rich
A very simple explanation of the calendar which doesn't pretend to be exhaustive, but might be sufficient for non-developers.

Orthodox Union
http://www.ou.org
A good source of information about Jewish history, culture, holidays. Contains Zmanim tables,  publications, and more.

Countries Calendar Reform
http://webexhibits.org/calendars/year-countries.html
You might wish to visit the page to find out the date when Gregorian calendar was adopted in your area,
 

Releases

This section contains comments to particular application releases.  Though some are obsolete,  I am rather nostalgic to take them completely off the manual.

New to version 1.1 (14 Iyar 5765 / 23 May 2005)

We've got a number of comments regarding Molad, but practically no bug reports, apart from "can't install", which is something we can hardly help with, for (as it was mentioned) it's impossible to test the application everywhere. Some of tiny bugs I identified and fixed, but they are so insignificant, that there is no need to upgrade, unless you are interested in the following new features:

From the original release

The following paragraph from the original manual has become obsolete, and only  nostalgic feelings prevent me for removing it :)

Current and the only version is 1.0. Today is 10th of Kislev 5764 ( 5 Dec 2004). Let it be a Chanukah present for the Jewish community all over the world ... and another chance to oppose Microsoft ® expansion (J2ME is one of very few platforms completely free of Microsoft interference).
 

Support

Molad has been developed and is maintained by Michael Glickman (Australia) and is distributed free of charge.

The application web site is  http://molad.palmcrust.com

For our other (commercial and free products) for Palm and mobile devices see http://www.palmcrust.com

Being interested in Jewish culture, I am not a religious person, have no religious friends, and don't visit a synagogue. This is why your comments are so important to me. Please, send me your suggestions, bug reports, etc to palmcrust@yahoo.com You are strongly advised not to use this address for anything not related to our software.  The mail box quite often runs out of quota, in which case we are unable to attend a really valuable message.

The code has been developed using j2mewtk v 1.4 and 2.0  for Linux with Nokia Series 30 and 60 MIDP Concept SDKs, and occasionally tested on real devices as well as with Windows-only emulators like Nokia Series 40, Motorola and Siemens. The manual has been prepared with Netscape 7.02 composer and HTMLDOC for Linux.

For developers

I've build moladlib - a library, containing all the calculations used in the application (practically everithing apart from GUI).  The libaray is distributed under GNU Public License (GPL). The library is available from the application site.

Another package contains the text classes used by the application.  If you want to translate Molad to another language, just replace the text in the classes and send the updated files to me. Please, try to avoid the translation being longer than the original text.

How the calendars operate

This is a very brief explanation. Follow the links from Credits and Links. section for better instructions.

Hebrew calendar

-----------------------------------------
Have you noticed how the moon changes its shape throughout the month?  At times, it shines brightly like a cream-colored ball. Other times, we can compare it to a slice of honeydew. On some nights, it looks like a split banana!  Sometimes, you can't see it at all! While in bed watching the moon, take a peek through your window, shut your eyes for a moment and imagine a scene taking place many years ago in Eretz Yisrael

In the Great Beit-Din, the chief Rabbi sits in his honored place, greeting the Jew who just arrived in the court. "I saw the moon last night, Rabbi, and I believe it is the beginning of a new month," reports the Jew.  The Rabbi motions to a chart with many different moon shapes hanging on the wall. "Is this the shape you saw?" asks the Rabbi, pointing to a particular shape. The man who witnessed the moon would be questioned until the judges were satisfied. When the judges heard proper testimony from at least two witnesses, they would declare that a new month had arrived

Rambam - Sefer HaMitzvot
-----------------------------------------

That's how the calendar worked in good old days, until Hilel II established a fixed calendar in the year 359 C.E.

Current Hebrew Calendar (H.C.) is a synthesis of astronomy, mathematics, religion ... and creativity.

It is a lunisolar (moon + sun)  clarendar  based on the following facts:

  1. The lunar month (time between two consecutive new moons) is 29 days 12 hrs and 793 parts (chelekim) , each part being a 1/1080 of an hour.
  2. 235 lunar months are equal in duration to 19 solar years.
If we temporary disregard 793 parts in the lunar month we get  29.5 days in month, or 59 days in two months. For that reason Hebrew months alternate in duration between 30 and 29:
 
NoMonth Days NoMonthDays
1 Nissan30 7Tishri 30
2 Iyar29 8Cheshvan 29 or 30 (*)
3 Sivan30 9Kislev 30 or 29 (*)
4 Tammuz29 10Tevet 29
5 Av30 11Shevat 30
6 Elul29 12Adar / Adar Alef (**)29 / 30 

13 Adar Bet (**)29
(*) Normally Cheshvan has 29 days, Kislev has 30 days. A day can is added to Cheshvan, or taken away from Kislev in order to get a year a day longer, or shorter. See comments below.
(**) Adar Alef and Adar Bet replace Adar in a leap year - see comments below

A year cannot be purely lunar, otherwise holiday seasons would drift. Relation 2 yields the average number of  lunar months in a year as  235/19  or   12 7/19.  In the Hebrew calendar a "regular" year has 12 months, but whenever the accumulated fraction jumps over a whole number (i.e  f*(y-1) < N <= f*y,  where f=7/19 ,  y-year number, N-a whole number (***)) , an additional month is added to a year.  A year with an additional month is a leap year . In a leap year the last month Adar (29 days) is replaced by two months: Adar Alef (Adar 1) of 30 days,  and Adar Bet (Adar 2) of  29 days. Simple mathematics show that leap years are 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th in a 19-year cycle, so that each cycle has 12 non-leap and 7 leap years.  (Indeed, 7 and 12 are special for any occasion !)   Please note that the last month in the calendar is not the last month of a year: a new year (Rosh HaShanah) starts at 1 Tishri, just in the middle of a calendar year - after all, a tricky nation can afford a tricky calendar :).

(***) In fact we  don't need to keep the old fraction!  Since 19 is a prime number, a fraction like (7*y)/19 jumps over a whole number if an only if the remainder (7*y) % 19 gets less than 7.

Remember extra 793 parts in the lunar month ? Something has to be done about that. The solution provided by the calendar is pretty straightforward: calculate the exact time of a new moon (molad) for Tishri (the new year month), if it is noon or afternoon, the new year (Rosh HaShanah) is postponed one day.  Well, it looks really simple ...  and too simple to be the case. There is also a requirement that some holidays should not fall on a particular day of a week, like Yom Kippur must not be adjacent to Shabbat (i.e. cannot be Yom 6, or Yom 1),  and Hoshanah Rabah should not fall on Shabbat. These dehiot adjustments might also result in Rosh HaShanah being postponed. See the source code for the details.

In order to postpone Rosh HaShanah, a day is added to Cheshvan, extending it to 30 days. Since year extension is not always astronomically justified, the following year might need to be reduced by one day to keep in path with the solar year.  To do that a month is taken from Kislev leaving it with 29 days. Note that only one of the two months can be altered.

Any questions so far ?  I have one. How was it possible to calculate all that without a computer ?  :=)

---------------

Few more remarks not related to the calendar algorithm, but still might interest someone.

  1. Relation 2  (19 solar yrs = 235 lunar mnth)  is named Metonic cycle after Greek (Athenian) astronomer Meton (4th century C.E.), but  there is a striong evidence that this relation was known to  Babylonian and Chinese astronomers before Meton.
  2. Combining facts 1 and 2 we can ewvaluate solar year as 365 days and 5 1847/4107 hrs, or 365days 5 hrs 26 min 58.92 sec, where according to the current astonomic data  this is 365.242199 or 365 days 5 hours 48 min and 46 sec, which ieven less accurate than Julian calendar. I haven't heard about forthcoming reform of Hebrew calendar though :)
  3. The Bible refers to months by numbers, not by names, and (as far as I know) there is no eveidence to find out how the caledar was organised at that time. But there is a certain evidence that Babylonian calendar used 19 year cycles with 12 years of 12 months and 7 years of 13 months, and the Babylonian names of months (Nisanu, Ayaru, Simann, Du'uru, Abu, Ululu, Tashritu, Avakhsamna, Kislimu, Tebetu, Shabatu, Adaru) sound very similar to Hebrew months, BTW can you guess was was the name of 13th month ?   Adaru-2 ! Actully there is a strong belief that current Hebrew calendar is actually derived the Babylon and adoped probably during Exile in 6th century B.C.E..

Julian and Gregorian Calendars

The calendar used world wide is derived from Julian calendar attributed to Roman emperor Julius Caesar. The calendar assumes a solar year to be 365 days and 6 hours. This produces one extra day added to February once in every 4 years. The year with 366 instead of 365 days is a bisesytle or leap year.  In Julian calendar every multiple of  4 corresponds to a leap year.

By 7th century C.E. the Christian world started counting years from the birth of Christ (H.C. year 3761), what is referred as Common or Christian Era (C.E.) in Jewish terminology, while dates  'Before Christ' are referred as Before Common Era (B.C.E).  Please note that there is no year 0, so that year  1 B.C.E.  is followed by year 1 C.E.

The actual solar year is "only" about 365 days 5 hrs and 48 min and 46 sec. This gives extra 11 min 14 sec per a year, or extra 3 days in 4 centuries. This suggests that number of leap years is 4 centuries should be reduced by 3. In the 16th century C.E. the vernal (Spring) equinox felt on 11th of March, i.e, 10 days before the calendar equinox day, which could no longer be tolerated. The new calendar, developed under the leadership of Jesuit mathematician and astronomer Christoph Clavius only slightly differs from Julian calendar. Any multiple of 100 would correspond to a leap year in Julian calendar, whereas in the new calendar for a leap year it must also be a multiple of 400.  Thus years 1600 and 2000 are leap years, whereas years 1700, 1800 and 1900 aren't.

The new  Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII who ordered that 4th of October was to be followed by 15th of October. That dropped 10 days from October and re-established the consistency of solar and calendar years. The reform took place in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain, other catholic countries soon followed. In England and colonies (including Ireland, and Eastern part of USA)  Gregorian calendar was introduced in 1752 (2 Sept. followed by 14 Sept.), while Christian orthodox countries adopted Gregorian calendar not until 20th century (Russia: 31Jan1918- 14Feb1918,  Greece: 9Mar1924-23Mar1924).

For the complete list of calendar reform dates see  http://webexhibits.org/calendars/year-countries.html
 

Representing Hebrew numerals in native format.

This manual is meant to be readable in a non-Hebrew environment, therefore Hebrew letters and numerals are spelled in English and left-to- right. What a shame ...

Hebrew traditional numeral system uses Hebrew letters to represent numbers. In particular, day of month and year in a Hebrew date are normally extressed in Hebrew notation. Unfortunately, some users might find Hebrew numerals almost completely unreadable, while for others those would be merely unreadable, because not all phones support Hebrew characters.

For that reason the application allows to select in which format, native(Hebrew) or numeric(common), day of month and year are represented in Hebrew dates.  This is accomplished by  Hebrew Days and Hebrew Years parameters in Settings screen .

The application was built in a (rather controversial) assumption that a non-Hebrew release works in a "Hebrew-intolerant" environment,  therefore any use of Hebrew characters should be avoided there. For that reason,  native format for years is supported only in the Hebrew release. As for days of month, a non-Hebrew release uses transliteration given by the following table:  
Aleph  - ABet - B Gimmel - GDaled - DHey - HVav - V
Zayin - ZChet - XTet - TYod - I Caf - CLamed - L
(Looks bizzaire, doesn't it?  I simply can't think of anything better.)

The following brief explanations might help you to understand Hebrew numerals... Actually it is me who really needs help, given that there is still something I am not quite sure about... In essense, this is the way how it is implememented, and if you feel its wrong, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Hebrew numeral system is decimal, though not quite positional, for separate character sets are used for units, tens and hundreds, as given by the following table :

Units
Tens
Hundreds
Hebrew
Common
Hebrew
Common
Hebrew
Common
Aleph Ð
1
Yod Ù
10
Kuf ç
100
Bet Ñ
2
Caf Û
20
Resh è
200
Gimmel Ò
3
Lamed Ü
30
Shin é
300
Daled Ó
4
Mem Þ
40
Tav ê
400
Hey Ô  
5
Nun à
50
TavKuf ê
500
Vav Õ
6
Samech á
60
TavResh êè
600
Zayin Ö
7
Ayin á
70
TavShin êé
700
Chet ×
8
Pei  ä
80
TavTav êê
800
Tet Ø
9
Tsadi æ 
90
TavTavKuf êêç 900

The number 15 and 16 are represented on the base of Tet(9), rather than on the base of Yod(10) in order to avoid inappropriate use of sacred letter combinations. Thus 15 is TetVav(9 and 6) and 16 is TetZayin(9 and 7). This also applies in case of added hundreds, e.g, 215 is  ReshTetVav.  

To avoid confusion between numbers and text, a gershayim ["] mark is inserted in a number before the last letter.  In case only one letter is used, a geresh ['] is appended to this letter.

I find it logical (and this is how the application works) that the last (non-single) letter is replaced with its "sofit" if applicable, e.g. 750 is  TavShin"Nunsofit,  rather than  TavShin"Nun .

What to do with numbers over 999 ?  The thousands are simply counted separately, in which case we end up with two separate numbers: one for thousands and the following one for low-order part. For example, number  5766 (current year) is  Hey' TavShinSamech"Vav  

Number 1000000 or over ? It seems logical to have three separate numbers for that case. However it isn't as simple as appears to be, therefore the current Molad implementation always uses a numeric format for a year over 999999.

More questions... What happens if there are only thousands (e.g. 6000)?   Hebrew numeral system doesn't appear to have a sign for zero, while we obviously  need a placeholder to fill the gap.  The application simply adds a geresh['] mark for the missing triad(3-digit part), so that year 6000 is represented as Vav'' (with two geresh marks), while year 6  has a single geresh: Vav'

As you might have noticed, Hebrew representation for a year (full Hebrew year format) might be too long to fit in the Date View screen . For that reason Molad also uses short Hebrew year format where thousands are simply omitted unless the low order part is below 100. For example, for years 6000 to 6099  always appear in long format, while year 5766 in short format is just TavShinSamech"Vav  (without Hey' for 5 thousands), which is quite common: since we've lived in the 6th millenium for over 7 centuries there is no need to specify need to specify thousands all the time.

When Hebrew year representation is available,  Set Date screen for Hebrew Date always shows years in two formats: numeric and full Hebrew, while Date View screen uses either numeric, or short Hebrew format depending on Hebrew Years parameter (see Settings ). If, while in Date View,  you want to get the full Hebrew year, just select Set Hebrew Date from the main menu.

Using the Application

Terms Explained

Phone Keys

This refers to keys [1] -[9], [*], [0], [#].

T9 layout

[1]  [2]  [3]
[4]  [5]  [6]
[7]  [8]  [9]
[*]  [0]  [#]
would be the best fit, however a non-T9 keypad (e.g. Nokia 3650 or Siemens SX1) will also do.

Some expensive models (Sony Ericsson P800, Nokia Series 90, Motorola 388) a designed to be used with a stylus, something the application currently does not support.  However in some cases there is a way around. For example P800 has buttons labeled  [A] [B] [C] [D] translated to corresponding game keys
 

Other Keys

 
Screen ButtonsKey located below the screen. All devices have at least two screen buttons: Left and Right,
some models also have a middle screen button. Screen buttons are used for entering Commands
LEFT
RIGHT
UP
DOWN 
Press corresponding arrow key,  or move joystick in appropriate direction
FIREThe location of  FIRE key is device specific. If unsure try the following:
  • Press joystick, or the middle of arrow pad
  • SEND key (often with a green handset picture) 
  • Right screen button 
[A] [B]
[C] [D]
Additional keys referred as "Game Keys".  This is optional 

Commands

To enter a command, press Left or Right screen button (depending on the model). This often brings you a list of available commands. Highlight a command using UP and DOWN keys, then enter FIRE to execute it. For your convenience some models assign a command like Quit, Close, Back, Cancel to a separate screen button - just press a button to select it.

Date View ("calendar") Screen

The application starts with a Date View screen for today.  You can change date using navigation keys, discussed in Controlling Date View Screen   .
 
 

Date View Data

Date View screen consists of several parts.

Dates

Hebrew date (right) and corresponding Common (Gregorian or Julian) date (left)  year,  day of week,  day and month. A Secular (common) year Before Common Era (B.C.E) is shown with suffix B (e.g. 300B stands for year 300 B.C.E.)

The arrow in the middle of Date panel shows current navigation calendar:

->  Hebrew calendar is current
<-  Common calendar is current
Navigation calendar is explained in Controlling Date View Screen section.

Information Bar

A bar below the date shows an additional informations, like indicators, moon phase, day count.

Indicator is one of  the following  letters:

J - Julian calendar (if omitted , then Gregorian calendar is used)
L - Leap year. Left L refers to a Common leap year, while right L denotes Hebrew leap year.
Moon phase is shown as a shape and percentage of  lunar month elapsed:
 

Percentage Phase  PercentagePhase
0 -  11   New moon50 - 61Full moon
12 -  24 Waxing crescent62 - 74Waning gibbous
25 - 37 First quarter75 - 87Third quarter
38 - 49  Waxing gibbous88 - 99Waning crescent

Day count is either an Omer day (Sefirat HaOmer starts after Passover/Pesach and ends before Shavuot), or a day in 3-week period between two fasts (17 Tammuz and 9 Av), or a day from Rosh HaShanah if neither Omer nor 3W apply.  Omer and 3W days are shown if 'show Omer/3W' is enabled in Settings, in which case a special colour is used for Omer/3W pages.

The information bar for a Shabbat day might be extended with Shabbat names (like Shabbat HaGadol being the last Shabbat before Pesach), or  weekly Torah readings (sedrot).  For that you need to enable respectively  'show Shabbat' and/or  'show Sedrot' in Settings.

Events

The list of events (holidays and custom events) corresponding to current day. The events shown here are specified with DISPLAYED event option.
 

Controlling Date View Screen

The following keys are used to control Date View screen

Key (-s)Action
LEFT or [4] Previous day
RIGHT or [6]Next day
UP or [2]Previous month
Goes one Hebrew or Secular month back depending on navigation calendar
DOWN or [8]Next month
Goes one Hebrew or Secular month forward depending on navigation calendar
[*] or [A]Previous Year
Goes one Hebrew or Secular year back depending on navigation calendar.
[#] or [B]Next Year
Goes one Hebrew or Secular year forward depending on navigation calendar.
[3]  or  [D]Navigate By
Change navigation calendar. Current navigation calendar is indicated by an arrow in the middle of date pane (see Date View Data ).
[1]Settings
Show Seatings screen
FIRE or [5]Today
Go to current date
[7]Coming events
Same as Coming Events command (see Date View Commands)
[9]Past events
Same as Past Events command (see Date View Commands)
[0] or [C]Turn Page
If the information requires several pages, pressing a key will select next display page. See Multiple Pages and Auto-Turn Page .

Date View Commands

The following  commands are available from Date View screen.
 
 
Command Name Description
Coming EventsShow list of events preceding the viewed date. The events are shown in ascending date order. Each line contains event name and either event date, or number of days left, depending on the List item is Settings . The events shown in the list are specified with LISTED event option.
Past EventsShow list of events following  the viewed date. The events are shown in descending date order.
Each line contains event name and either event date, or number of days past, depending on the List item is Settings .  The events shown in the list are specified with LISTED event option
TodayGo to current date
Set Hebrew DateShow Date Set screen for entering a Hebrew date
Set Common DateShow Date Set screen for entering a Common date
SettingsShow Settings screen
HelpShow Help for Date View page
About MoladShow release information, application details and credits
QuitQuit application

Multiple Pages and Auto-Turn Page

In some cases (especially with a small size screen) screen size might be insufficient to fit all data. In this case the information is shown in several pages. Use [0] or [C] to turn page. While turning pages you get back to starting page after all pages are displayed.

You can specify Auto-Turn Page option, in which case page will is turned automatically every 4 seconds.
 

Date Set Screen

Date set screen provides another way for to specify a date for Date View. It might be more efficient than using a navigation keys, especially with a slow device, or the target date is far away from the viewed date. In particular you can jump directly to a specified date.

You can call Date Set to select either Hebrew or Common date. Since only one date is shown, navigation calendar is not applicable to Date Set screen.

Date Set screen is also used to specify the last Julian date for Settings .

Controlling Date Set Screen

The following keys are used:
 

Key (-s) Action
LEFT or [4] Previous day
RIGHT or [6] Next day
UP or [2] Previous month
DOWN or [8] Next month
[7]Previous week
[9]Next week
[*] or [A] Previous year
[#] or [B] Next year
[1] or [C] Enter Year
Same as Enter Year command
[3] or [D] Enter Year Before Common Era. (Common date only)
Same as Enter Year B.C command
[5]Today
Go to current date
[0]Default date
Go to a date effective before calling Date Set screen
FIREOK
Show Date View screen for selected date

Date Set Commands

The following commands can be activated from Date Set screen
 
CommandDescription
OKShow Date View screen for selected date,
(accept selected date as the last Julian if called from Settings)
Enter YearBrings a separate screen for entering year.
Only digits are accepted, therefore a year can't be entered as a Hebrew numeral, even if native format is set for Hebrew Years (see Settings ).
For a common date, Common Era (C.E) is assumed
Enter Year B.C.
(Common date only)
Enter A Year Before Common Era  (B.C.E), 
Only digits can be entered.
TodayGo to current date
Default Date
Go to a date effective before calling Date Set screen
HelpShow help for Date View page
CancelReturn to previous screen without changing date

The  application accepts dates in a range from 1 Tishri 1 to  29 Elul 5000000, which corresponds to  7 October 3761 B.C.E. Julian  to 1 November 4996299 C.E. Gregorian. Please note that year 0 is never accepted  since (as mentioned before) year 1 B.C.E. is followed by year 1 C.E. 

Using a pointer device (stylus)

Touchscreen devices usually come with a pointer device(stylus) and often don't have a T9 style keypad, which might complicate the control Date View ,   Date Set and Event Date Setup screens. In fact, you can control these screens through menu, but it is not as convenient as  with keypad.

Starting with v 1.1 the application allows controlling the above mentioned screen also with a stylus, however this does not exclude the use of keypad. For example, some stylus devices have Game Keys that can be used along with a stylus. The application automatically recognises a touchscreen device and shows Pointer Navigation help  before common help information, if relevant.

The use of stylus to be rather intuitive. In order to advance to next day/month/year, you just tap the  right side of day/month/year respectively on the screen. Similarly, in order to get to previous day/month/year you tap the left side of day/month/year resp. In Date View screen you can navigate by Hebrew or secular date, depending on which day, month, or year is tapped.

Tapping day of week(DOW) or other "hot spots" is processed specifically to the screen displayed, as the following:

Screen-specific pointer commands
Screen
Tapped field
Command
Date View (calendar)
DOW secular, left
Past holidays/events

DOW secular, right
Set secular date

DOW Hebrew, left
Set Hebrew date

DOW Hebrew, right
Coming holidays/events

DOW, middle of screen   Today

YEAR, middle of screen
Settings
Date Set
DOW, left
Set year (B.C.E. for secular date)

DOW, right
Set year (C.E. for secular date)

DOW, middle of screen Today

MONTH, middle of screen
Default date

YEAR, middle of screen
Set year (C.E. for secular date)
Event Setup
NUMBER OF DAYS, left
Increment number of days

NUMBER OF DAYS, right
Decrement number of days

Taping other spots shows Help screen.

Settings Screen

Settings Screen is a actually front end to various other panels,  that provide custom features.
Top bring up Settings screen press [1] or select Settings command from Date View screen.

To change an item press FIRE key or enter Select command. Some item (Location, Navigate, List) change value "on fly" others will bring up a separate screen.

Settings Screen contains the following items:


NameDescription
Location Israel or Diaspora. 
Choice of  location affects duration of holidays and sedra scheme.
In Israel some holidays are shorter than in Diaspora (that makes sense: major holidays are official non-working days in Israel, but not in Diaspora :) )
End Julian The last day of Julian Calendar. By default it is 4Oct 1582 - the last day of Julian Calendar in the first  countries adopted Gregorian calendar. For an English-speaking country you might prefer  2 Sept 1752. 
Pressing FIRE for this line brings up Set Date screen same as used with Date View.
NavigateHebrew or Common. Specifies default calendar used for Date View navigation
Hebrew DaysSpecifies the way Hebrew days of month are displayed:
   Numeric - use common ("Arabic") numerals: 1, 2 ... 30. 
   Native  - use Hebrew traditional numerals where letters are used to represent numbers. A non-Hebrew release uses transliteration ,  for the details refer to Representing Hebrew  numerals in native format.
By default, Native is accepted by the Hebrew release,  the others will take Numeric.   
Hebrew Years
(Hebrew release only)
Specifies the way Hebrew years are displayed
   Numeric - use common numeric representation (like 5765)
   Native - use Hebrew numerals for years
Numeric is the only available choice for a non-Hebrew release.
Hebrew release users might refer to Representing Hebrew numerals in native format   for more information.   
ListSpecifies which information is shown in the list of Coming or Past events:
    Date - event common date.
    Interval - number of days  between  the event date and view date 
                  separated with > for coming events. or < for past events
OptionsGeneral options:
 
OShow Omer/3XHighlight Omer or 3week days in Date View screen , show Omer and 3W day numbers  in  Date View information bar
SShow Sedrot Show Torah readings for each Shabbat
HShow Shabbatshow special Shabbat names 
MMonth Numbersshow month numbers (e.g. Kislev [9]) in Date Set screen
A Auto-Pageturn page automatically in Date View screen, as explained in Multiple pages and Auto-Turn Page
Pressing FIRE for Options brings a list of options where you need to tick options you wish to enable. Enter Close command for getting back to Settings
HolidaysShow Holidays Setup screen to assign display options for Holidays
Custom EventsShow Custom Events Screen to maintain the list of custom events
CloseAccept new settings and get back to Date View screen.

Holidays and Custom Events

I use term events as a common name for holidays and custom events.

Event Display Options

Event display options control the presence and appearance of an event. The following options are supported
 
 
AcronymName If enabled... 
LList ... the event appears in a list of coming and past event
DDisplay ... the event is show at Date View page for appropriate date
HHighlight ... the date view page for the event is show in a different colour
EErev (Eve) ... the event is appears for the preceding date as Erev
(e.g. 'Erev Rosh HaShanah' at 29 of Adar/AdarB page) 
KKatan .. the event is celebrated twice in a leap year, as Katan (Small) in AdarA and "Full-Size" in AdarB (appears only for AdarB events). See Adar Bet Events    for explanations.

Comments:

  1. Highlight and Erev imply Display
  2. An event never appears as 'Erev' in a list of Coming/Past events.
  3. An event listed as Erev does not cause page highlighting, but its name is typed highlighted, if Highlight is enabled.
  4. A Katan Event is not highlighted, but other settings apply. In  particular List enables listing Katan Event  in Coming/Past, while enabling Erev will produce a line like 'Erev MyEvent Katan'  for  the date preceding Katan event.

Customising Holidays

Display options is the only customised feature for holidays. You can select holidays to be listed for Coming/Past events, holidays to appear on Date View screens, Date View highlighting and other. See   Event Display Options for the details.

To specify display options for a holiday:

  1. From Date View screen enter Settings command  (or press [1] key)
  2. In the list of settings select Holidays and press FIRE key. This brings up the list of holidays, where each  holiday is shown with  initial letters of enabled display options
  3. Select a holiday you wish to set up and press FIRE key get the list of options.
  4. Press  FIRE key to enable/disable highlighted option in the list, enter Close when done - the new options are now effective. Please note, that Display will be actually disabled only in case both Highlight and Erev are also disabled.
Options for holiday name Rosh Chod. (short for Rosh Chodesh - start of month) apply to start of each month. If enabled, you get events like 'Rosh Chodesh <month name>' listed / displayed for 1st of each Hebrew month.  

Custom Events

For a custom event you need to specify: To maintain custom events:
  1. From Date View screen enter Settings command  (or press [1] key)
  2. In the list of settings select Custom events and press FIRE key. This brings up the list of custom events
The list of custom events contains custom event short names with  initial letters of enabled display options. The last (or the only) line named New Event ...  You can have up to 128 custom events.

To add or edit an event, select an event (New Event ...  for adding) and press FIRE to get Event Setup screen.  You can go straight to event options by entering Set Options comman. To delete an event enter Delete command.

Event Setup screen shows event names, event date and options.  Use UP and DOWN key to navigate between event names and options (some devices might have it in a different way).

Default display options of a custom event are Listed, Displayed. To edit display options enter Set Options command. This brings up Display Options setup screen similar to the one used for customising holidays .

Event date is initially set to the day and month of the active (last viewed) date - the date shown on Date View Screen before  Settings command was entered. To change the event date enter Set Date command - this brings up Event Date Setup screen.

The following keys are used with Event Date Setup screen:
 


Key (-s) Action
LEFT or [4] Previous day of month
RIGHT or [6] Next day of month
UP or [2] Previous month
DOWN or [8] Next month
[*] or [A] Reduce number of days
[#] or [B] Increase number of days
[1] or [C] Get day and month from the active (last viewed) date
[3] or [D] Get day and month from today
[7]Go 7 days back
[9]Go 7 days forward

Comments:

  1. Adar events are celebrated in AdarA during leap years. For AdarB events see Adar Bet Events
  2. It is assumed that Cheshvan, Kislev and Adar have 30 days. In years where a month has  29 days, the event assigned to 30th of the month takes place at 29th of the month
  3. Number of days is normally shown only of more that one. However, with a touchscreen device number of days always appears, so that you can set it with a stylus, see Using a  pointer device (stylus) .

Adar Bet Events

Everybody knows that Purim is a lucky holiday.  But someone might not realise that it also has a lucky date: 14 of Adar Bet.  Since non-leap years don't have AdarB, the holiday is celebrated at 14 of Adar. But in a leap year Purim is celebrated twice: as Purim Katan ("Small Purim") at 14 of AdarA, and "main" Purim at 14 of AdarB !

If you are lucky enough to be born or married in AdarB, you can follow Purim tradition and celebrate your remarkable date twice in a leap year.  To do that you set up a custom event for AdarB, and enable Katan as display option (see Event Display Options )