Torah Blog

Z’manim: The Times Are Now!

May 25, 2018

We’ve been meaning to do this for a long time.

Two of the most common questions we receive at OU Torah are, “What time does the fast start?” and “What time does the fast end?” There are several problems with this. The first is that people who write asking such things very often don’t include their location and the answer largely depends on whether one is writing from Utica, Halifax of Sao Paulo.

The second problem, like the secret of comedy, is timing. Lots of people don’t think to ask when a fast starts or ends until the fast’s beginning or conclusion is fairly imminent. If someone emails at 11:30 PM asking what time a fast starts, we’re not likely to wake up, see the inquiry and respond before the fast has already begun.

Now here’s the thing. The OU has a pretty useful online calendar that could help people answer such questions for themselves, although one piece of information would still be required: at which daily event would a fast start? Alos hashachar? Misheyakir? Haneitz hachama? And when would it end? Plag hamincha? Shkiyah? Tzeis hakochavim? Knowing what time these things are in your area isn’t much help if one doesn’t know what they are and what happens at each daily event.

To help familiarize people with what our daily z’manim are, OU Torah presents a set of colorful, downloadable charts that explain it all. And, to make things extra user-friendly, these charts are available in your choice of Ashkenaz or Sephardi pronunciation! (If, for some reason, you don’t care to download a brightly-colored PDF, you can also just read the text straight off the web page.)

Use these handy charts to learn about the daily z’manim and our online calendar to find the daily z’manim in your area. Between these useful tools, you’ll never be left hanging!