Difference between revisions of "When Does Shabbat End?"

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*The most standard of these positions is that a mil is 18 minutes.<ref>Based on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim Siman 459:2</ref> Therefore, communities should end Shabbat 72 minutes after natural sunset.<ref>18 min/mil x 4 mil = 72 mins
 
*The most standard of these positions is that a mil is 18 minutes.<ref>Based on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim Siman 459:2</ref> Therefore, communities should end Shabbat 72 minutes after natural sunset.<ref>18 min/mil x 4 mil = 72 mins
  
This was the position advocated by R' Moshe Feinstein for Bnei Torah (even though he said 50 minutes was sufficient) as well as the private, personal practice R' Yosef Dov HaLevi Soloveitchik (1903-1993) even though he paskened one only needed to wait 30 minutes after natural sunset in New York and Boston.</ref>
+
This was the position advocated by R' Moshe Feinstein for Bnei Torah (even though he said 50 minutes was sufficient).</ref>
 
*Others interpret Rabbeinu Tam slightly differently and state that Tzeit HaKochavim occurs not 72 natural minutes but 72 <u>halachic</u> minutes (1.2 halachic hours per Sha'ot Zemaniot)<ref>72 mins/(60 mins/hr) = 1.2 halachic hours.
 
*Others interpret Rabbeinu Tam slightly differently and state that Tzeit HaKochavim occurs not 72 natural minutes but 72 <u>halachic</u> minutes (1.2 halachic hours per Sha'ot Zemaniot)<ref>72 mins/(60 mins/hr) = 1.2 halachic hours.
  
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The other major position that sought to resolve the contradiction in Gemaras was that of the [[Geonim]] and the [[Vilna Gaon]] (Gr"a) who held that there is only one halachic sunset, which occurs at natural sunset. The 0.75 mil the Gemara was referring to is the time that it takes 3 medium sized stars to appear in the sky, which is nighttime on a Torah level. We are then required to wait longer until 3 small stars appear<ref>Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 293:3</ref> to appear to end Shabbat. When the Gemara was speaking about 4 mil, it is referring to when all the stars appear in the sky, which does not have halachic significance.<ref>Bei'ur HaGra and Bei'ur Halacha, Orach Chaim 261:2 and Mishna Berurah 293:3</ref> This position maintains that Tzeit HaKochavim occurs at a time before the 4 mil presented by Rabbeinu Tam. Many [[Rishonim]] and [[Geonim]] agree with the opinion of the Vilna Goan including the Ri<ref>Mayim Chaim of the Pri Chadash (5704 edition p. 116 s.v. ubemet) writes that Tosfot Pesachim 2a s.v. veha citing the Ri holds like the Geonim and Gra. Be'er Avraham (Pesachim 2a) agrees and asks why the earlier Poskim didn’t quote this Tosfot as a proof. Derech Yeshara Ben Hashemashot p. 124 and Ish Matzliach (MB v. 3 Kuntres Ben Hashemashot p. 91) also bring this proof. The First Lubevitcher Rebbe (the Alter Rebbe / Baal HaTanya) in Piskei HaSiddur (cited by Hazmanim Bhalacha 2:41:9) also says Tosfot Pesachim 2a holds like Geonim. The Hazmanim Bhalacha tries to avoid this reading but from Tosfot Rashba he isn’t sure.</ref> and [[Rambam]].<ref>The Maharam Alshaker 96 proves that the Rambam agrees with the Geonim that Ben Hashemashot is all of 0.75 mil and begins immediately after shekiya. One of his proofs is from Rav Avraham Ben Harambam's work "Alkafiya." Yabia Omer OC 2:21:4 disagrees and tries to show that the Rambam Pirush Mishnayot (Shabbat 2:6) holds like Rabbenu Tam. Ish Matzliach (Kuntres Ben Hashemashot MB v. 3) thoroughly tries to disprove Yabia Omer's contention and show that the Rambam thinks like the Geonim. Or Letzion 1 YD 10 also explains that the Rambam follows the Geonim.</ref>
 
The other major position that sought to resolve the contradiction in Gemaras was that of the [[Geonim]] and the [[Vilna Gaon]] (Gr"a) who held that there is only one halachic sunset, which occurs at natural sunset. The 0.75 mil the Gemara was referring to is the time that it takes 3 medium sized stars to appear in the sky, which is nighttime on a Torah level. We are then required to wait longer until 3 small stars appear<ref>Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 293:3</ref> to appear to end Shabbat. When the Gemara was speaking about 4 mil, it is referring to when all the stars appear in the sky, which does not have halachic significance.<ref>Bei'ur HaGra and Bei'ur Halacha, Orach Chaim 261:2 and Mishna Berurah 293:3</ref> This position maintains that Tzeit HaKochavim occurs at a time before the 4 mil presented by Rabbeinu Tam. Many [[Rishonim]] and [[Geonim]] agree with the opinion of the Vilna Goan including the Ri<ref>Mayim Chaim of the Pri Chadash (5704 edition p. 116 s.v. ubemet) writes that Tosfot Pesachim 2a s.v. veha citing the Ri holds like the Geonim and Gra. Be'er Avraham (Pesachim 2a) agrees and asks why the earlier Poskim didn’t quote this Tosfot as a proof. Derech Yeshara Ben Hashemashot p. 124 and Ish Matzliach (MB v. 3 Kuntres Ben Hashemashot p. 91) also bring this proof. The First Lubevitcher Rebbe (the Alter Rebbe / Baal HaTanya) in Piskei HaSiddur (cited by Hazmanim Bhalacha 2:41:9) also says Tosfot Pesachim 2a holds like Geonim. The Hazmanim Bhalacha tries to avoid this reading but from Tosfot Rashba he isn’t sure.</ref> and [[Rambam]].<ref>The Maharam Alshaker 96 proves that the Rambam agrees with the Geonim that Ben Hashemashot is all of 0.75 mil and begins immediately after shekiya. One of his proofs is from Rav Avraham Ben Harambam's work "Alkafiya." Yabia Omer OC 2:21:4 disagrees and tries to show that the Rambam Pirush Mishnayot (Shabbat 2:6) holds like Rabbenu Tam. Ish Matzliach (Kuntres Ben Hashemashot MB v. 3) thoroughly tries to disprove Yabia Omer's contention and show that the Rambam thinks like the Geonim. Or Letzion 1 YD 10 also explains that the Rambam follows the Geonim.</ref>
  
*Some shuls have the custom to wait 40-42 minutes after sunset to end Shabbat.<ref>This might be an American replication of the custom in Israel to wait 30 minutes, per the minhag of the Gr"a. A few minutes are added for Tosefet at the end of Shabbat.
+
*Many shuls have the custom to wait 40-42 minutes after sunset to end Shabbat.<ref>This might be an American replication of the custom in Israel to wait 30 minutes, per the minhag of the Gr"a. A few minutes are added for Tosefet at the end of Shabbat.
  
 
https://www.yutorah.org/sidebar/lecture.cfm/955957/rabbi-eli-belizon/zmanei-hayom-rabbeinu-tam-vs-the-geonim-scp-fairlawn-2-/</ref>
 
https://www.yutorah.org/sidebar/lecture.cfm/955957/rabbi-eli-belizon/zmanei-hayom-rabbeinu-tam-vs-the-geonim-scp-fairlawn-2-/</ref>
*Rav Moshe Feinstein held that Shabbat ends at a maximum of 50 minutes after sunset as by then, the stars that will usually appear in the night sky will be out by then.<ref>Shu"t Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:62. Rav Moshe held that Binei Torah should be follow the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam. With that said, even Rabbeinu Tam would agree that in America, 50 minutes would suffice since all the stars are out by then. People should strive for 72 minutes as that was Rabbeinu Tam's opinion back in Europe, but 50 minutes is sufficient.  [https://www.torahmusings.com/2018/09/when-is-shabbat-over/ Rabbi Yaakov Hoffman] mustered evidence that in fact the minhag was always to keep Shabbat until 3 stars appeared and in practice were following the Geonim and even Rabbenu Tam never intended to institute a novel interpretation of Tzet Hakochavim.</ref>
+
*Rav Moshe Feinstein held that Shabbat ends at a maximum of 50 minutes after sunset as by then, the stars that will usually appear in the night sky are out by then.<ref>Shu"t Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:62. Rav Moshe held that Binei Torah should be follow the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam. With that said, even Rabbeinu Tam would agree that in America, 50 minutes would suffice since all the stars are out by then. People should strive for 72 minutes as that was Rabbeinu Tam's opinion back in Europe, but 50 minutes is sufficient.  [https://www.torahmusings.com/2018/09/when-is-shabbat-over/ Rabbi Yaakov Hoffman] mustered evidence that in fact the minhag was always to keep Shabbat until 3 stars appeared and in practice were following the Geonim and even Rabbenu Tam never intended to institute a novel interpretation of Tzet Hakochavim.</ref>
 
*There are poskim that made pesakim for the land of Israel specifically. The more lenient positions held that Shabbat ends 24 minutes after sunset in the winter and 30 in the summer in Israel.<ref>Ketzot HaChoshen 93:2</ref> Those who were more stringent held that Shabbat should end 45-50 minutes after sunset in Israel.<ref>Dinim V'Hanhagot 8:7 in the name of the Chazon Ish.
 
*There are poskim that made pesakim for the land of Israel specifically. The more lenient positions held that Shabbat ends 24 minutes after sunset in the winter and 30 in the summer in Israel.<ref>Ketzot HaChoshen 93:2</ref> Those who were more stringent held that Shabbat should end 45-50 minutes after sunset in Israel.<ref>Dinim V'Hanhagot 8:7 in the name of the Chazon Ish.
 
Rav Aharon M'Belz instructed that one should wait 50 minutes after sunset in Israel.</ref>
 
Rav Aharon M'Belz instructed that one should wait 50 minutes after sunset in Israel.</ref>

Revision as of 21:40, 26 July 2020

Twilight.jpg

There are a number of different positions regarding how much time after sunset on Shabbat day does Shabbat end.

Introduction

The Shulchan Aruch is of the opinion that Shabbat ends when one is able to see three small stars in the sky that are close in proximity to one another (otherwise known as Tzeit HaKochavim) [1]. This is the widely accepted definition of when Shabbat ends, though there are a variety of opinions as to when this phenomenon actually occurs in a halachically significant enough way to end Shabbat. Most of these opinions can be subcategorized in one of two major methods of calculation: an astronomical based method or a time based method.

The Astronomical Method (Rav Tukachinsky)

According to this position, anything that is stipulated in the Gemara (see below) about the amount of time between sunset and Tzeit HaKochavim is only applicable to Bavel (Babylonia) and Israel during the Tishrei and Nissan equinoxes, not for the rest of the world nor during any other time of the year. The astronomical method uses the time that it takes to see the three small stars in Israel and the position of the sun at this time to extrapolate a calculation for when Shabbat should end for the rest of the world. In Jerusalem, during the Tishrei and Nissan equinoxes, it takes approximately 32 minutes in the winter and 38 minutes in the summer (in the United States and Europe, 50-60 minutes[2]) after sunset to see these three stars in the sky. At this time, the sun has set 8.5 degrees below the horizon. Therefore, Shabbat ends when the sun has set 8.5 degrees below the horizon in every other location in the world at any other time during the year [3][4]

The amount of time it will take for the sun to set 8.5 degrees varies by locale, and, therefore, the time between sunset and Tzeit HaKochavim is not uniform across different regions.

The Time Based Method

Besides for the astronomical method mentioned above, there are many of the opinion that Shabbat ends at a uniform increment of time after sunset in every region of the world.

Rabbeinu Tam's Position

There are multiple Gemaras that comment on the time span between sunset and Tzeit HaKochavim. One of them states that it is the amount of time between sunset and Tzeit HaKochavim is the amount of time it takes to walk 4 milin[5], while the other states that it is the amount of time to walk 0.75 mil.[6] Not only are the Gemarot contradictory, but it is also unclear how long a mil is in time.

There are a number of Rishonim that try to reconcile the different statements, the most notable of the opinions being that of Rabbeinu Tam[7] who concludes that there is not one but two sunsets that halacha recognizes. The first of them is the natural sunset, which marks the beginning of the sun's setting. Then, 3.25 mil later, a second, halachic, sunset occurs, lasting for 0.75 mil, after which is Tzeit HaKochavim. The first 3.25 mil, for halachic purposes, is completely considered halachic day as there is still some daylight in the sky[8], while the final 0.75 mil is ambiguous as to whether is considered halachic day or night (Bein HaShemashot) since the light is diminished. The Gemara in Pesachim is referring to the time between the first sunset and Tzeit HaKochavim and the Gemara in Shabbat is referring to the time between the second sunset and Tzeit HaKochavim.

For those who follow Rabbeinu Tam's position, Tzeit HaKochavim and the end of Shabbat occur at a uniform 4 mil after natural sunset for all locales.[9] The only difference among the different interpretations of Rabbeinu Tam's position is how long to define a mil, which has ramifications for how long 4 mil would be and when Shabbat would end.

Those who accept Rabbenu Tam's position include at least 20 rishonim: Tosfot (Pesachim 94a s.v. Rabbi Yehuda, Shabbat 35a s.v. Trei, and Zevachim 56a s.v. minayin), Ramban (Torat Haadam Avelut Yeshana n. 105 s.v. vrayiti), Maggid Mishna (Shabbat 5:4), Ran (on Rif Shabbat 15a), Sefer Hatrumah (Hilchot Tefillin) and Shulchan Aruch O.C. 261:2. Yabia Omer OC 2:21:1-3 also cites that this is the position of the Ran Yoma 81b, Ritva Shabbat 35a, Meiri Shabbat 35a, Smag Asin 32, Roke'ach 51, Mordechai Shabbat 35a, Rashba Brachot 2b, Orchot Chaim Yom Kippurim n. 3 citing Rav Hai Goan, Baal Hameor Brachot beginning and Arvei Pesachim s.v. Rav Chinana, Raah on Brachot 27a, Ohel Moed Shabbat 2:7, Rabbenu Peretz on Smak 96, Rosh Tanit 1:12, Rosh Yoma 8:8, and Tosfot Harosh Brachot 2b. In Chazon Ovadia Shabbat v. 1 p. 269 he adds the Raavad, Raavan respona 2, and Rabbenu Yerucham.

Interpretations and Derivatives of Rabbeinu Tam's Position

  • The most standard of these positions is that a mil is 18 minutes.[10] Therefore, communities should end Shabbat 72 minutes after natural sunset.[11]
  • Others interpret Rabbeinu Tam slightly differently and state that Tzeit HaKochavim occurs not 72 natural minutes but 72 halachic minutes (1.2 halachic hours per Sha'ot Zemaniot)[12] after natural sunset. [13]
  • There are those fundamentally agree with Rabbeinu Tam's 4 mil opinion, but define a mil as more than 18 minutes. Some define a mil as 22.5 minutes, making Tzeit HaKochavim 90 minutes after sunset. Others define a mil as 24 minutes, making Shabbat end 96 minutes after sunset.[14] Finally, some of those of who hold of a 24 minute mil maintain Tzeit HaKochavim occurs two hours after sunset. [15]

Other Opinions

The other major position that sought to resolve the contradiction in Gemaras was that of the Geonim and the Vilna Gaon (Gr"a) who held that there is only one halachic sunset, which occurs at natural sunset. The 0.75 mil the Gemara was referring to is the time that it takes 3 medium sized stars to appear in the sky, which is nighttime on a Torah level. We are then required to wait longer until 3 small stars appear[16] to appear to end Shabbat. When the Gemara was speaking about 4 mil, it is referring to when all the stars appear in the sky, which does not have halachic significance.[17] This position maintains that Tzeit HaKochavim occurs at a time before the 4 mil presented by Rabbeinu Tam. Many Rishonim and Geonim agree with the opinion of the Vilna Goan including the Ri[18] and Rambam.[19]

  • Many shuls have the custom to wait 40-42 minutes after sunset to end Shabbat.[20]
  • Rav Moshe Feinstein held that Shabbat ends at a maximum of 50 minutes after sunset as by then, the stars that will usually appear in the night sky are out by then.[21]
  • There are poskim that made pesakim for the land of Israel specifically. The more lenient positions held that Shabbat ends 24 minutes after sunset in the winter and 30 in the summer in Israel.[22] Those who were more stringent held that Shabbat should end 45-50 minutes after sunset in Israel.[23]
  • Rav Yosef Dov HaLevi Soloveitchik (1903-1993) held that Shabbat ends 30 minutes after sunset for New York and Boston, though he privately would wait longer. [24]

Sources

  1. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 293:2 The Bei'ur Halacha (ibid.) is of the opinion that even Rabbeinu Tam (see below), who holds that Shabbat should end 72 minutes after sunset (the time it takes to walk 4 mil), would concede that if three small stars in close proximity to each other are visible, Shabbat is over even if 72 minutes have not yet elapsed. This is in contrast to Rav Ovadia Yosef (Shu"t Yabia Omer 2:21) and the Orot HaChaim's opinion that Rabbeinu Tam and Shulchan Aruch are really stating the same position. The Orot HaChaim explains that the stars being mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch are ones that are closer to the western horizon where the sun sets, which apparently take longer to become visible.
  2. Shu"t Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:62
  3. Rabbi Yechiel Michel Tukachinsky, Sefer Bein HaShemashot. Berur Halacha (Zilber) Tinyana Siman.
    • Zmanim KHalacha p. 43 quotes Hacham Ovadia as holding that the minutes for Alot HaShachar do not depend on location but rather shaot zmaniyot. Rabbi Yehuda Levi, author of Zmanim KHalacha, argues with Hacham Ovadia on the same page. He writes that the 72 minutes are not calculated based on the shaot zmaniot and do depend on current location. Rabbi Levi's difficulties stem from the Rambam's language and astronomic calculation. In the Peirush HaMishnah to Berachot (1:1), Rambam uses a unique Arabic term when referring to Alot HaShachar, one that is not used in reference to zman Kriyat Shema (Berachot 1:5) or a the time of a mil (Pesachim 3:2). Furthermore, in the winter, it starts to become light earlier than it starts to become light in the spring and the fall, despite having shorter shaot zmaniot in the winter; given this reality, it is difficult to justify calculating Alot HaShachar strictly according to shaot zmaniot. Therefore, Rabbi Levi maintains that Alot HaShachar's calculation is determined by degrees below the horizon.
  4. In the New York area, this usually takes approximately 40 minutes after sunset at the equinox, and as much as 51 minutes during the summer.
  5. Pesachim 94a
  6. Shabbat 34b
  7. Tosafot on Shabbat 35a, Sefer HaYashar 221)
  8. Under the 18 minute definition of a mil, this would consider halachic day to last until 58.5 minutes after natural sunset. Because of this, Chassidic communities that held like Rabbeinu Tam in Europe continued to do melacha even after natural sunset on Friday evening in America, because, for them, Shabbat had not started yet. Such a practice was contrary to the practice of the rest of the Orthodox community in America, as everyone else stopped doing melacha at natural sunset. Upon the controversy that ensued, Rav Aharon Kotler forged an agreement with these communities that they would begin Shabbat with everyone else at natural sunset.
  9. Teshuvot V'Hanhagot 1:268
  10. Based on Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim Siman 459:2
  11. 18 min/mil x 4 mil = 72 mins This was the position advocated by R' Moshe Feinstein for Bnei Torah (even though he said 50 minutes was sufficient).
  12. 72 mins/(60 mins/hr) = 1.2 halachic hours. To determine how much time this is in natural time, divide the total number of minutes of sunlight that occurred that day (dawn to sunset) by 12, yielding the amount of minutes in an halachic hour on that particular day. Multiply the solution by 1.2 to determine how many minutes after natural sunset Shabbat should end.
  13. This was the custom of Brisk, based on a letter from the Chofetz Chaim brought in the Sefer Brirur Halacha Tinyana, as well as the position of Rav Ovadia Yosef (Yalkut Yosef 293:3, Zmanim K'Halacha, page 43)
  14. 96 minutes- Satmar Rebbe (Zemirot Divrei Yoel) and Shu"t Beit Avi (3:117)
  15. Uvdot V'Hanhagot L'Beit Brisk (Vol. 4, page 54) in the name of the Brisker Rav. This position is based on the Rambam's position that a mil is 24 minutes and on those who maintain there are not four but five mil for Tzeit HaKochavim. 24 mins/mil * 5 mil= 120 mins
  16. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 293:3
  17. Bei'ur HaGra and Bei'ur Halacha, Orach Chaim 261:2 and Mishna Berurah 293:3
  18. Mayim Chaim of the Pri Chadash (5704 edition p. 116 s.v. ubemet) writes that Tosfot Pesachim 2a s.v. veha citing the Ri holds like the Geonim and Gra. Be'er Avraham (Pesachim 2a) agrees and asks why the earlier Poskim didn’t quote this Tosfot as a proof. Derech Yeshara Ben Hashemashot p. 124 and Ish Matzliach (MB v. 3 Kuntres Ben Hashemashot p. 91) also bring this proof. The First Lubevitcher Rebbe (the Alter Rebbe / Baal HaTanya) in Piskei HaSiddur (cited by Hazmanim Bhalacha 2:41:9) also says Tosfot Pesachim 2a holds like Geonim. The Hazmanim Bhalacha tries to avoid this reading but from Tosfot Rashba he isn’t sure.
  19. The Maharam Alshaker 96 proves that the Rambam agrees with the Geonim that Ben Hashemashot is all of 0.75 mil and begins immediately after shekiya. One of his proofs is from Rav Avraham Ben Harambam's work "Alkafiya." Yabia Omer OC 2:21:4 disagrees and tries to show that the Rambam Pirush Mishnayot (Shabbat 2:6) holds like Rabbenu Tam. Ish Matzliach (Kuntres Ben Hashemashot MB v. 3) thoroughly tries to disprove Yabia Omer's contention and show that the Rambam thinks like the Geonim. Or Letzion 1 YD 10 also explains that the Rambam follows the Geonim.
  20. This might be an American replication of the custom in Israel to wait 30 minutes, per the minhag of the Gr"a. A few minutes are added for Tosefet at the end of Shabbat. https://www.yutorah.org/sidebar/lecture.cfm/955957/rabbi-eli-belizon/zmanei-hayom-rabbeinu-tam-vs-the-geonim-scp-fairlawn-2-/
  21. Shu"t Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim 4:62. Rav Moshe held that Binei Torah should be follow the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam. With that said, even Rabbeinu Tam would agree that in America, 50 minutes would suffice since all the stars are out by then. People should strive for 72 minutes as that was Rabbeinu Tam's opinion back in Europe, but 50 minutes is sufficient. Rabbi Yaakov Hoffman mustered evidence that in fact the minhag was always to keep Shabbat until 3 stars appeared and in practice were following the Geonim and even Rabbenu Tam never intended to institute a novel interpretation of Tzet Hakochavim.
  22. Ketzot HaChoshen 93:2
  23. Dinim V'Hanhagot 8:7 in the name of the Chazon Ish. Rav Aharon M'Belz instructed that one should wait 50 minutes after sunset in Israel.
  24. https://www.etzion.org.il/en/conclusion-shabbat-and-havdala As stated by his son in-law, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein. Privately, Rav Soloveitchik followed the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam.