Does the Torah discuss or allude to the fact that the Shabbat is to be kept according to Jerusalem time or should it be kept according to one's local time? Are we to honor Jerusalem by keeping Shabbat on her time?


Your question is a very interesting one. Many of the mitzvot are connected to a specific time. Shabbat begins at sundown on Friday and lasts until nightfall the next day. Prayers have a specific time to be said, holidays have their dates and times, and so on.

Is there one Shabbat for the whole world, or do its start and end times depend on where you are? How can it be Shabbat in one place and not in another? It would seem that either it is Shabbat now or it isn't!

Our rabbis explain that the holiness of Shabbat comes from G‑d, who is above the limitations of this world. G‑d is not bound by time as we are. This holiness is therefore inherently timeless. G‑d chooses to project this holiness down into our world, into each place according to its times. The holiness of Shabbat begins for each city and town at the proper time for that place. The same applies for other time-bound mitzvot.

For more on the relationship between time and the observance of mitzvot, see Time Times Seven.

Click here to find Shabbat start and end times for your location.

All the best,

Rochel Chein for