If you're not with Chabad

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    Do you have a Jewish calendar at home? Do you buy one every year?

    Do you have a magnet on your fridge of candle lighting time? Does your shul make those too?

    Do you get text alerts for Shabbat and Yom tov candle lighting and start/end times? If yes, what app?

    What website do you use to convert a date from the Gregorian to Jewish calendar?

    Do you also use the Chabad website for looking up information? What other go-to sources do you use in English?

    Chabad has done so much for me with getting set up in my home and mind. I used to be very into Jewish.tv for videos. Though now I listen to shiurs almost exclusively on TorahAnytime.

    Just wondering what other people do and how they stay organized and up to date in the Jewish world when they use other tools and resources.

    Thanks 🙂


    Why do you think that chabad has an exclusive on shabbos and Judaism?

    I think every frum home has a Jewish calendar with shabbos lighting times and other halachic times that are important for davening, determining ends of fast days, sunset, etc. Many organizations send these out, especially if you donate to them, but you can also buy them in Jewish stores at the beginning of the year. Candle lighting times can be found in these calendars, or in Jewish magazines/ newspapers, or in shul bulletins.

    If I need to convert a date, I use whatever site comes up first on google.

    I can see how text alerts about candle lighting time can help you plan your erev shabbos earlier in the day, but I don’t see how they will help much close to shabbos or for determining when shabbos is out, when presumably people have turned off their phones. I personally would not remember (or trust my memory if I thought I did) the time shabbos was out if I had seen it the day before on an app. As it is I check the calendar about 3 times as shabbos ends until I remember it correctly!


    On Friday mornings at 6am, I get a text for Shabbat start (candle lighting) and end times.

    Right before Shabbat I look again at the text. Then I remember the last two numbers of the end time. I know it’s an hour after candle lighting. Sometimes I do forget. It is much harder to remember by heart on Yom Tovim that last longer than one night.

    WTP: You asked, “Why do you think that chabad has an exclusive on shabbos and Judaism?”

    I don’t that is why I am asking. I grew up going to Chabad and it’s still my go-to shul. I like how everything is synced. Yet it wasn’t always that way for Chabad either with technology.

    Just wondering what other people do. So yes thank you for saying that people get calendars from their shuls and stores too.

    You said: “Candle lighting times can be found in these calendars, or in Jewish magazines/ newspapers, or in shul bulletins”

    Aha! See I didn’t think of that either. Thank you. Good to know 🙂


    …you’re against Chabad.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    Ironically, I’m part of a Chabad community, but I don’t use Chabad for the mentioned things. I used to use Chabad for Zmanim, but after they updated their site a few times it got annoying. Also, you can’t see Magein Avraham Zmanim on Chabad obviously.

    To the nay sayers, Chabad is actually the most popular source for this information, so LB isn’t too far off in thinking most people would go to them for it. I think LB is referring to the extremists who deny the good Chabad has done. You can be non-Chabad and disagree 100% with their shita without being anti-Chabad.


    A couple of web sites that I find very useful are:

    myzmanim DOT com
    – A printable one-page PDF includes the zmanim for a full month, along with other useful info (festivals, weekly parashah, Daf Yomi).

    printablejewishcalendar DOT com

    (I hope that I’m not breaking the rules by referencing these sites here.)



    Check out MyZmanim. You can get all the zmanim online or by text, based on your zipcode.


    I’m surprised at the question. Why would you even think those who aren’t with Chabad have difficulties with the items you mention?

    Why don’t you simply ask how did people deal these issues before the internet came around?


    aish.com does a lot of those things

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    I buy a calendar at the local Sefarim store. I think it’s called “itim l’binah”. It’s very good – it has a lot in it, and I think it’s very reliable halachichally. It has a lot in it, and it looks like it was well-researched.

    I use it for candle lighting time. For the end of Shabbos, I just add on 72 minutes from shkiya.

    I also use it for shkiya during the week, so I know when I have until to daven Mincha. I use it for alos hashachar in the morning so I know what time I have to wash negelvasser and say brachos when I am up all night, and I use it for netz so I know what time I can daven when I am up all night. When I am not up all night, I use it for Chatzos so that I know what time I can daven until.

    It’s also useful for checking when Rosh Chodesh is and if there is Yom Kippur Katan that month before Rosh Chodesh and if so, what day it is.


    What’s the issue some shittas have with Chabad mikvas that they hold it isn’t kosher?


    I don’t need a calendar, a date converter, or anything. I just send a letter to my LOR’s grave any time I have a question. Or, sometimes, I think of a question and open a book of my LOR’s correspondence to a random page to get my answer. It works every time, even if I’m not on the level to understand what some lady’s old shaitel has to do with the time I should recite Havdalah.



    What’s the issue some shittas have with Chabad mikvas that they hold it isn’t kosher?

    No one holds that it’s not kosher.

    The only issue I know of is that the Mikvah is located below the Bor Tvilah so it’s impossible to verify that the water in the Mikvah hasn’t been displaced by dirt.

    What happened to my signature line?


    There is a very good Hebrew/Gregorian calendar that you can install on your computer called kaluach. Google them. I really like it. It has an option to minimize to an icon on the taskbar that shows just the day of the Hebrew month. If you select in your city from the city list, it will give you numerous times, including netz, shkiya, sof zman tefilla, etc., and you can pick which shita to follow and it will give you those times. This may not be helpful for Shabbos, but I very much like it for the rest of the week.

    Many of the local shuls put out a calendar with times for their area also, like Lilmod said. You can also buy them from a Judaica/book store. Most Jewish newspapers publish candlelighting times in their Friday/weekly editions, but for the end of Shabbos that might be posted there, you have to know which shita they’re using. You might need to do a little math to figure out Rabbeinu Tam if it’s not published there.


    “Why do you think that chabad has an exclusive on shabbos and Judaism?”

    Chabad has created an infrastructure and successfully marketed towards masses of people who were otherwise unengaged by any other Jewish groups.


    Back in the olden days (before we made aliyah), when I’d go over to my parents’ apartment around Elul time, my dad z”l would pull out all the Jewish calendars he’d received in the mail that month; then he’d proceed to try to unload as many as he could on me.

    We haven’t had a Jewish calendar in years. I get emails every Thursday (or before a chag) from 3 shules in the area, and all the times we need are in the emails. I make up an Excel schedule of all the davening times, candle time, and end of Shabbat time, and post it on our fridge. I can find whatever minyan I want at a particular time. I don’t need text message reminders.

    I daven mincha g’dola at a fixed time pretty much every weekday, so I don’t need a calendar for times. Arvit is a fixed time year round, so I don’t need times for that either.

    For date conversions I have hebcal.com bookmarked.

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