Thursday, March 15, 2007

Kaluach3 Funny Help

Kaluach3 is a program that besides helping you with the Jewish calendar also gives you complete customizable zmanim, daf yomi(bavli and Yesrushalmi), Mishna Yomi, Halakha Yomi, and Tanakh Yomi.

I was going to try to figure out how to use it with Google calendar, which I am now starting to use to keep track of where I will be when during ben hazmanim (intersession for Yeshiva). In the end I found the easiest way to get a Hebrew calendar, Hebrew dates, שבת times was by using hebcal which lets you export a calendar according to your specifications in either iCal or a CSV, which are both recognized by Google calendar.

But while searching the Help file of Kaluach3 I found some funny things, among the serious questions pertaining to how kaluach figures out the zmanim and the different halakhic shitot (opinions)

" - quote marks, used in rashei teivot (phrase contractions)

In Hebrew, phrase contractions are called rashei teivot, or "the first letters" (of the words in a phrase). Years ago they were commonly used to cut down the size of a book since printing was quite expensive and time consuming. Today, when printing is much cheaper, rashei teivot still appear in places where the context is clear, or in books that were printed using the original plates (or photocopies).

Rashei teivot are also commonly used by the Israeli army in order to obfuscate even the most trivial matters. It is common to receive an order to report to army reserves with a line, stating the objective, similar to this:
מטרה: שחיו"מ טב"י א:כ שטויות

It might look like this in English
Objective: tcx"e pi"w z"a nonsens"e

Upon calling the army to clarify, the usual answer is something like: "I'm not sure what it means, but I think you'll be doing guard duty or driving a jeep."

gehinnom - loosely translated as "hell"

This is a sort of holding tank where those whose fates have yet to be decided wait. Gehinnom physically resembles a dentist's office with Barry Manilow songs piped in 24 hours a day. Israelis wait in a separate room that resembles an Interior Ministry office with Tzvika Pik songs piped in. This is a place to be avoided at all costs.

tzaddikim - "the righteous ones"

Tzaddikim are those individuals that devote their lives to the service of the Almighty and to helping their fellow man. They also eat foods rich in fiber and don't put sugar on their grapefruit.

And after a long complicated explanation of shitot for tzeit hashabbat

David Kramer has suggested the inclusion of the "Egged tzeit Shabbat" (Egged is the major bus line in Israel). To the best of my knowledge, this is based solely on observation... If no one's looking, start the bus.

Its true that buses in Israel depending on which city they are in, do drive or don't, but Egged is no El-Al. Egged only runs buses 30 minutes after Shabbat goes out they say, but according to which shita?

And I'll end off with one funny mistake

In order to prevent desecration of Shabbat, the Chief Rabbinate decreed that the 27th of Nissan falls on Sunday, Yom Hashoah will be observed on Monday.
No, the Chief Rabbinate does not have the authority to fiddle with the calendar and decide that the 27th of Nissan will always fall on a Sunday.

1 comment:

Joel Nothman said...

Thanks for letting me know that v3 existed. Kaluach has always had funny help pages. Then again, it also has funny interface design... I can't decide whether Kaluach 2 or 3 is uglier...