Making an Early Shabbos: Halachic Considerations


shabbos-tableWith longer Fridays now upon us, many people choose to make what has become known as “an early Shabbos.” There are, however, some important halachic considerations that should be taken into account when making an early Shabbos. They are:

 1. It is most preferable to daven Minchah before Plag Haminchah and Maariv after the Plag. (1)

2. Men must repeat Krias Shema after it is night. (2)

3. One should try to ‘stretch’ the meal so that one eats at least a kezayis of bread after dark. (3)

4. It is permitted for a Jew who has (individually – as opposed to a whole community) accepted an early Shabbos to directly ask a Jew who has not yet accepted Shabbos (and certainly a non-Jew) to perform a melacha on his behalf, except for one’s own wife. (4)

5. Members of a household are independent of each other. Therefore, if the husband accepted Shabbos early for convenience sake (and not for the mitzvah of tosafos Shabbos), the wife may light candles until shkiah. Likewise, when the wife lights candles early, this does not require her husband, sons or even daughters to accept Shabbos early. (5)


(1) Shulchan Aruch with Mishnah Berurah 233:5; Mishnah Berurah 11,;Shulchan Aruch 267:3; see Biur Halacha

(2) Shulchan Aruch with Mishnah Berurah 235:1; Mishnah Berurah  5, 6, 7; Shulchan Aruch with Mishnah Berurah 267:6

(3) Shulchan Aruch with Mishnah Berurah 267:5

(4) Shulchan Aruch with Mishnah Berurah 263:17

(5) Igros Moshe 3:38, Shulchan Aruch 263:10

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  1. and don’t forget to put in the Halacha that if you do make early Shabbos you must make sure NOT to bench licht before Plag. Licht benching needs to be AFTER Plag Hamincha.

  2. What about the halachic consideration that since most Rishonim and Achoronim calculate Plag from Tzeis HaCochavim (commonly know as the Magen Avrohom’s Plag), what right do we have to daven Maariv and make Kiddush before this later Plag?

    Since “Early Shabbos” is a relatively new phenomena, no one can claim that there is a minhag or mesora to rely on the earlier Plag.

    While this is not an issue yet, it will be in several weeks.

    We all get caught up in “Tarti D’Sasri”, without even thinking if the Plag we are using is correct.

  3. #2 – the RBS”O makes early Shabbos that’s why there is a Mitzva of Toisfos Shabbos. Until we get upstairs and see for ourself – Achar Maya Vesrim – we have no idea if it means at Plag or a few minutes before Shkiya. All we do know is that there is a Mitzva to start Shabbos earlier then the Zman.

    The Chofetz Chaim and many other Gedolai Yisroel were known to tell people who came to them with Tzoros that being Mekabel Shabbos early will be a Zchus for them and to nullify Gezayros Raos. The Chofetz Chaim used to tell people to be ready for Shabbos by Chatzos Hayom. Not to be Mekabel Shabbos then but to be ready and to start to fill your home with the Kedusas Hashabbos.

    Nothing wrong with early Shabbos if done halachicly correct.

  4. What about in a small town where there are 1 or 2 late minyonim in shuls you never attend

    What is proper order re: Benching, Sefirah. Omer

    What abour the isuue of Making Kiddish relativly close before Zman Krias Shema

  5. Re a “relatively new phenomen[on]”: I thought this was a traditional option, just not feasible during the seasons when sunset’s earlier. Sorry I can’t quote ch. and verse.

  6. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that the Medakdikim are noheg not to eat before counting Sefiras HaOmer. Moreover he says, you may not eat and rely on a Shomer to remind you, like you may do by Maariv (Halichos Shlomo Sefiras HaOmer 11:1). The Orchos Halacha (Halichos Shlomo footnote 1) brings from the Yosef Ometz on Minhagei Frankfurt that even though technically you may continue eating if you started before the zman, nevertheless experience shows that this is a cause for many mishaps, and since so much is at stake since the bracha each night is part of one complete mitzva, it is better to stop the meal and count Sefira.

    Furthermore, says the Orchos Halacha, one time Rav Shlomo Zalman told a Yeshiva bochur, who davened with a late minyan for maariv in Yeshiva, that he should count without a bracha as soon as it becomes night and have in mind that if he only wants to be yotzei with this counting if forgets to count later on during Maariv with a bracha.

  7. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that the Medakdikim are noheg not to eat before counting Sefiras HaOmer.
    All yidden living in chutz laaretz, on the second seder night they first conduct a seder, and upon completion of the seder they count Sefiras HaOmer.
    Please elaborate and explain.

  8. All yidden living in chutz laaretz, that on the second seder night they first conduct a seder, and upon completion of the seder they count Sefiras HaOmer.
    Please elaborate and explain.

    Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that the Medakdikim are noheg not to eat before counting Sefiras HaOmer.

  9. AK,

    Please cite these “most rishonim and acharonim.”

    Bpoel most of the world accepts the psak of the Baal Tanya and Vilna Gaon and only use the MA’s shita lchumra.

  10. To Koppel
    #1- You go Bassar the Kehilla which would be “late Shabbos”. It seems from your query that they are davening relatively at the same time, so you can’t be Mekabel Shabbos early. If you meant that they daven Mincha past Shkiya, you should daven Mincha before Shkiya B’Yechidus.
    #2-The Shaagas Aryeh writes that one Benches first since the Seudah started before the Zmanim of Shema and Sefira. It was Maschil B’Heter so you could be Mamshich. Afterwards you say Shema since it is more Tadir and then Sefira.
    #3- If the Seuda was started before the Zman, you could start, if you waited until the Zman, you should probably say Shema first since it is more Tadir. (By the way, if you are having guests and they are taking their time and the Zman is coming and you don’t feel comfortable making a whole production you could always excuse yourself to go to your bedroom to say Shema. They will assume that you had to go freshen up or relieve yourself and won’t be the least bit insulted.)

  11. to #9

    Story of Rav Shlomo Zalman and the Yeshiva Bochur seems odd. Why would there be concern that one who davens maaariv with a “late” minyan would “forget” to count during maariv?? I note with interest that the solution proposed by Rav Shlomo Zalmen is mentioned in the Shulchon Oruch HoRav in the case of one who davens maariv with an “early” minyan where the tzibbur is counting with a brocho.

  12. Why does the article state “most preferable to daven mincha before plag…”
    Which poskim allow mincha after plag and maariv before shkiya?

  13. To #3 “AK”

    Do you know that in the winter the later Plag of the Magen Avraham is 3 minutes before shkiah???
    in other words, everyone (hopefully including you) relies then on the GRA’s plag!

  14. to 15-Derech HaChaim the siddur from the Nesivos allows to daven mincha past plag and maariv before Shkiya. AK, early Shabbos is not a relatively new phenomena. It is spoken about by the Levush, the Taz, and many other rishonim and acharonim.

  15. On Luach Eretz Yisroel they write that on Erev Shabbos Chanukah, minhag Yerushalayim is to light Chanukah candles 25 minutes before sunset, instead of 40 minutes followed by Shabbos candles. The Cheshbon is to get in Plag of Magen Avraham, assuming tzeis is 50 minutes after sunset, not 72. This is how Rabbi Reisman and Rabbi Forst in Far Rockaway set up their early Shabbos minyanim during the summer months. The Plag for candleligting may be different than Plag for Chanukah candles and Maariv, since by the latter the official zman is tzeis. By Erev Shabbos, Plag tells you it is nikkar for Shabbos. Since everyone is poresh from melacha at shkiah, it is already nikar 1 1/4 hours before sunset.