When does Shabbat start?

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When must one refrain from Melacha?

  1. It is strictly forbidden to do any Melacha (activities forbidden on Shabbat) after sunset. (See footnote for background)[1]

The mitzvah of adding from the week onto Shabbat

  1. It is a mitzvah to accept Shabbat early and add from the weekdays onto Shabbat. [2]
  2. Some say that it's sufficient to add any amount of time before sunset, while others hold that one should add 20 or 30 minutes to Shabbat. (See footnote for background) [3]
  3. The minhag of yerushalim is to add 45 minutes to Shabbat. However, women don't need to abide by this minhag. [4]

How to accept Shabbat early

  1. Some hold that in order to fulfill the mitzvah of adding from the weekday to Shabbat one doesn't need to make any verbal declaration, while others hold that one should verbally accept Shabbat. [5]

What are the laws after one accepts Shabbat?

  1. It is forbidden to do any Melacha after one accepted Shabbat. [6]
  2. If one accepted Shabbat early and most of the community didn't accept Shabbat it is permitted to ask a Jew who didn't accept to do a Melacha for him. [7]
  3. If it's necessary to do a Melacha and it's still early in the day before sunset, some say that may perform a Heiter Nederim, nullification of one's vow to accept Shabbat before 3 people, while others hold that the annulment isn't effective. [8]
  4. One is permitted to do Kiddish and the Friday night meal before nightfall, however it's preferable to have at least a Kezayit of food after nightfall. [9]

If one accepted Shabbat before praying Mincha

  1. Once one accepts Shabbat one may not pray mincha of Friday but rather one must pray Mariv twice (for Tashlumin). [10]
  2. If one arrived in Shul which was up to Barchu of Mariv on Friday night and one still didn't pray mincha, one should say mincha in a different shul or outside that Shul but not answer Brachu before saying Mincha. [11]
  3. If the Tzibur did not yet reach Barchu one may pray mincha in the shul even if they will reach Barchu while one is still saying Mincha, nonetheless it's preferable to say it outside the Shul (if the Tzibbur will reach Barchu while one is still saying Mincha). [12]
  4. If one accepted Shabbat early and majority of the community has not yet accepted Shabbat one may ask another Jew to perform a melacha on one's behalf. [13]

Mistaken acceptance of Shabbat early

  1. If someone made a mistake on Friday afternoon and prayed Arvit thinking that it was nighttime one has not fulfilled one’s obligation and would have to pray again. One would be permissible to do Melacha (activity forbidden on Shabbat) until one prays again, while others forbid. However, if a community made such a mistake they would not have to repeat Shemona Esreh. According to many one is permissible to do Melacha until one prays again while other to some it’s forbidden to do Melacha. [14]


  1. https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.yutorah.org/_materials/Tosefet%2520Shabbat%2520Part%2520I.pdf
  2. http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5762/lechlecha.html


    • S"A 261:2 writes that one should accept shabbat early during the time between Shekiyah (sunset) and Ben HaShemashot (twilight) to fulfill the mitzvah of Tofeset Shabbat. S"A explains that this time period is the length of time it takes to walk 3.25 mil. Then Ben HaShemashot (twilight) lasts for a period of 3/4 of a mil which is followed by Tzet HaCochavim (emergence of the stars). For this discussion, we're assuming that a mil is considered 18 minutes like the ruling of S"A 459:2 and Mishna Brurah 459:15. If so, S"A holds that one must accept Shabbat 13.5 minutes before Tzet HaCochavim which is 58.5 minutes after Shekiyah.
    • However, Mishna Brurah 271:23 quotes many Rishonim and the Gra who hold that between Sheiyah and Tzet HaCochavim there is a short Ben HaShemashot of 3/4 of a mil (13.5 minutes) and afterwards it's considered nighttime Deoritta. According this opinion the Mishna Brurah writes that one may absolutely stop doing Melacha (activities forbidden on Shabbat) before Shekiyah.
    • The 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 1, pg 145) writes that the accepted practice is in accordance with the Gra and so it's strictly forbidden from doing Melacha from the time of Shekiyah. Yalkut Yosef (Shabbat, vol 1, pg 128) agrees.
  1. Gemara Rosh Hashana 9a learns from Vayikra 23:32 that there is an obligation to add from the weekday onto Yom Kippur called Tosefet Shabbat. The gemara then continues to include all other holidays and Shabbat in this halacha. (This also appears in Yoma 81b). S"A 263:2 brings this as halacha.
    • How long is Tosefet Shabbat? Rosh Brachot 4:6 and Tosfot Brachot 27a D”H DeRav agree that one doesn’t have to accept Shabbat from Plag Mincha (from ten and three quarter hours). Nonetheless, the Rosh 4:6 writes that certainly there is a minimum time limit but leaves it unclear as to what the limit is. Rabbenu Yonah (Brachot 18b D”H Rav) quotes Rabbi Yacov who says that there’s no minimum time and any amount suffices.
    • S"A 271:2 and 608:1 rules that there's no minimum requirement of time one needs to add to Shabbat to fulfill Tosefet Shabbat. 39 Melachos (vol 1, pg 150) rules like S"A that there's no specific minimum time for Tofeset Shabbat.
    • However, the Mishna Brurah 271:22 quotes the Rosh who argues that a certain amount of time is needed. Biur Halacha D"H Ayzo Zman posits that this period of time should be no longer than 3/4 of a mil (which is 13.5 minutes). However, Mishna Brurah 271:22 explains that according to the S"A who holds that it's not nighttime until Tzet HaCochavim Tosefet Shabbat and Ben HaShemashot is 30 minutes.
    • The Mishna Brurah 271:23 concludes that in order to fulfill the mitzvah of Tofeset Shabbat (adding onto Shabbat) one should refrain from work from the time that the sun is seen at the top of the trees, or to be strict 30 or 20 minutes before Shekiyah. [Mishna Brurah (Shaar HaTzion 261:21) explains that by refraining from melacha 20 minutes before sunset one will have satisfied the opinion of the Yerayim to consider the mil to be 24 minutes and 3/4 of a mil is 18 minutes.] 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 1, pg 145) writes that it's not practical to rely upon the method of determining the beginning of Shabbat by looking at when the sun hits the tree tops but rather one should rely upon times printed on calendars made by halachic experts. 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, Hakdama LeMelachat Shabbat, note 667) quotes that in order not to violate Shabbat and in order to fulfill Tosefet Shabbat one must add a few minutes before Shekiyah refraining from Melacha and agrees with this opinion.
  2. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata chap 46 note 20.
    • Mishna Brurah 261:21 based on Rama 608:3 holds that a verbal declaration is needed and a acceptance in one's heart isn't sufficient.
    • 39 Melachos (Rabbi Ribiat, vol 1, pg 150) writes that no verbal declaration is needed rather once one resolves to accept Shabbat early Shabbat takes effect. This dispute may be reflected in a dispute in Mishna Brurah 553:2.
  3. S"A 263:10, Mishna Brurah 261:28
  4. S"A 263:17, Mishna Brurah 263:64
  5. Taz 263:3 and Levush hold that one may do Hatarat Nedarim to annul one's early acceptance of Shabbat, while the Magan Avraham 263:31, Aruch HaShulchan 263:25, Mishna Brurah 263:5 hold that this annulment will not be effective to permit one to do Melacha. See Igrot Moshe 2:38
  6. Bach 473 writes that one can't have the Shabbat meal before nightfall. However, Taz argues and permits having a meal before nightfall. Chaye Adam (Shabbat 6:2) and Mishna Berurah 267:5 rule that one can have one's meal early but one should preferably have a Kezayit of food after nightfall to satisfy the opinion of the Bach.
  7. S"A 263:15
  8. S"A 263:15, Mishna Brurah 263:58
  9. S"A 263:16, Mishna Brurah 263:63
  10. S"A 263:17, Mishna Brurah 263:64
  11. Gemara Brachot 27b writes that on Friday afternoon someone who made a mistake and said Arvit early thinking it was nighttime according to Abaye he would have to pray again and it would be permissible to do Melacha. However, if it’s a community who made such a mistake Rebbe said that they do not have to repeat Shemona Esreh because of Tirech DeTzibbur. The Rosh 4:6, Tur, and S”A 263:14 rule that it’s permissible to do Melacha until they pray again, while the Magan Avraham 263:26 quotes many Rishonim (Or Zaruha, Rokeach, Raavan) who are strict and forbid Melacha since they don’t have to pray again.