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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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Discussion (14)
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.
Rochel Chein for
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?
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.
Leslie J0seph
jerusalem, israel
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?
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.
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.
Loma Linda, CA/USA
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.
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.
Chani Benjaminson,
August 8, 2009
what is the maximum number of candles one can light? would one be OK?
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!
Springfield, NJ
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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