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About Lighting Times

About Lighting Times


In most locales, Shabbat candle-lighting time is eighteen minutes before sunset.

Shabbat begins at sunset and it is forbidden to light candles on Shabbat. In order to provide a margin for error, the accepted custom is to light the candles and usher in Shabbat eighteen minutes earlier.

If one missed candle-lighting time, it is still permissible to light the Shabbat candles until sunset. After sunset it is forbidden.

It is permitted to light candles and usher in the Shabbat earlier, if one so wishes. This is common practice in places where nightfall in the summer months is quite late. The earliest one may do so is plag hamincha, 1¼ halachic hours before sunset. Click here for the time of plag haminchah in your location.

Click here for holiday candle lighting time information.

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Rochel Chein for November 21, 2014

Re: late Fridays Lighting Shabbat candles is an important way to honor Shabbat. However, once Shabbat has started at sunset, lighting a flame is not permitted. Rather than being an enhancement of the Shabbat, it would be a dishonor to the sanctity of the day.

Is there any way that you could leave work a little earlier on Fridays in the winter? Perhaps you could make up the hours by coming in earlier on Friday morning, or working a little later on another day of the week.

Is there anyone in your household who will be home on time to light candles? A man can light as well.

If these options don't work, honor Shabbat in other ways: prepare special foods in advance, set a beautiful table, sing and pray, and welcome the Shabbat atmosphere into your home. Reply

Anonymous California November 20, 2014

Working Late on Fridays Now that it's Daylight Saving Time, the sun goes down at about 4:30 here in California, and I unfortunately do not get home from work until well after sunset on Fridays. I am not allowed to light candles at work, and am the only woman in the household. What are my options for lighting without breaking Shabbat? Reply

Leslie J0seph jerusalem, israel via January 15, 2010

end of Shabbat. There are two times for ending the Shabbat, night time and Rabinu Tam, which is 72 minutes after the first time. In NonJewish circles it is refered to as dark and pitchdark. Where you to ask an astromoner the time of pitchdark, he would provide you with a time that more or less corresponds to Rabainu Tam, with a difference of a minutes either way. Reply

Anonymous Chicago December 20, 2009

End of Shabbat My custom is to end Shabbat on Saturday night 72 minutes after the time at which it began on Sunday.
Now, I ask the following question only because I was in Yerushalyim last Shabbat and was confused by the altered times:
Should I begin counting the additional 72 minutes from candle lIghting time or from shkiah? Reply

Yehudit December 11, 2009

End of Shabbat Anonymous in Loma Linda:
Give G-d His whole due: Shabbat is 25 hours, and not 24---it does not end at sunset. See Chani's explanation. Reply

Anonymous Loma Linda, CA/USA November 11, 2009

End of Sabbath Sabbath ends at sunset on Saturday evening just as it begins at sunset on Friday. Don't try to short change God. He wants one whole day - a full 24 hour period - 1 day in 7, and nothing less. Reply

Chani Benjaminson, August 10, 2009

Number of Candles An unmarried woman lights one candle, a married woman lights two, and according to her tradition, either one new candle per child born or one for all of her children. Reply

Chani Benjaminson, August 9, 2009

End of Shabbat According to the majority of Rabbinic opinions, Shabbat ends at nightfall on Saturday evening. Nightfall is the point at which it grows dark enough for three medium-sized stars to become visible.
For more information on the Halachic times, please see: About Zmanim.
To find exact times in your location, please see our Shabbat and Holiday calculator. Reply

Anonymous 2030, AUSTRALIA August 8, 2009

what is the maximum number of candles one can light? would one be OK? Reply

Robin Springfield, NJ August 7, 2009

When does Shabbat end? I understand how the beginning of shabbos is determined, but not how the end time is determined. I understand that it is roughly 25 hours after it begins, but not the exact time. If someone could explain this I'd greatly appreciate it, thanks! Reply

Chani Benjaminson, August 3, 2009

Evening services No need to apologize, Robert! If you don't ask you don't learn...Different communities have different customs. Some start praying pretty much at the same time as candle lighting (or a few minutes afterwards), while others start about 45 minutes to an hour after. Your best bet is to contact the community you're visiting directly. To find a Chabad center near you, click here. Reply

Robert Cherry Hill, NJ/USA July 31, 2009

Sorry if this sounds ignorant, but if I belong to a Orthodox synagogue, how would I know, based on the candle lighting times, when the evening services start? Reply

Torah Follower NY, USA August 1, 2008

It brings light into the world. Every little bit of light helps conquer the forces of darkness that where brought into the world when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge on good and evil. Reply

Efexgee Kedah, Malaysia September 28, 2007

Candle lighting I'm a Malaysian, born again bible believer and very interested in the meaning represented by candle lighting. Reply

Welcome to our candle-lighting section, where you will find the details and practicalities of lighting Shabbat candles, along with the meaning, spirituality and power of doing so . . .
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