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Are your candle-lighting times for Palm Springs, CA, correct?

Are your candle-lighting times for Palm Springs, CA, correct?



Are you sure your candle-lighting times for Palm Springs, CA are correct? The times provided on the candle-lighting times page seem to be a half hour off other California cities. Please advise.


Yes, Palm Springs has special rules with regard to when Shabbat begins. This is due to the large mountain which is directly west of the city. I've been there for Shabbat myself and I can tell you that it does get darker there earlier than cities nearby.

Although "sunset" may be a while later, Shabbat begins based on "visual sunset" not "actual sunset."

All the best,

Moshe Berghoff Development Team

Rabbi Moshe Berghoff is the Systems Administrator for He also serves as a senior member on's development team.
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Discussion (8)
September 1, 2015
re: confusing
If you calculate the difference between altitudes. unless there is a big difference between altitudes, there isn't that much of a difference between times.
July 26, 2015
Does not compute. If it's 'virtual' who cares about the mountain. And if this is the case, there would wide divergence everywhere. Don't get it.
January 1, 2015
@ Shmuel baron
Probably not, as displayed in the times for palm springs.
As night fall is determined by tzais hakochavim. When the stars are visual. I'm not a professor, but I imagine that though a mountain may darken the cities in its shadow, it won't allow the stars to be seen earlier.
December 13, 2013
Frisco Kid
Makes me think of the scene in Frisco Kid when the rabbi is watching the sun dip behind the mountain as the train robber is urging him to get on the horse and "hurry up the end of Sabbath before the bad guys come!" Great film about being a Jew in the old west.
Chandler, AZ
November 19, 2013
Out of curiosity, (I do not live in such a city) does Shabbos end earlier in those cities as well?
Shmuel Baron
Baltimore, MD
April 18, 2007
Mt. S. Jacinto
You bet! This is definitely the locally accepted halacha and affects all matters which pertain to biblical law. This was the directive of Rabbi Zalman Shimon Dworkin OBM many years ago, based on the ruling of the preeminent halachic authority, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi.

As you have pointed out, this only applies to mountains close to the city. In this case, the visual sunset for Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and all the other little towns that fall under the shadow of Mt. S. Jacinto is set at 25 minutes before nautical sunset. Candle lighting is an additional 18 minutes before that.

We were selective in the zip codes that we associated with these rules. So search by zip code to see if this rule applies to a particular city or neighborhood.
Moshe Berghoff (Author)
Brooklyn, NY
April 11, 2007
Are you sure? Is that the custom in Palm Springs? I rember seeing an in depth discussion on this issue in Halachin literature, and if I remember correctly there is a difference between mountains close to the city, and mountains far in the horizon.
April 11, 2007
What attention to detail...
How nice to know that someone is actually making sure these details are accounted for in the online site. Also a good fact to know for places where the mountains block the sun earlier. I hadn't been aware that the time was different then.
Camarillo, CA