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If one belongs to a synagogue, and the synagogue tells its members that the community's Shabbos candle-lighting time is a certain time, is one obligated to light at that time (or by 18 minutes after perhaps?), or may one light up until the actual latest candle-lighting time?

I ask because in some areas in the summer, a shul may say that its candle-lighting time is say 7:30 (a few minutes after plag hamincha, the earliest time), but the actual latest time is nearly 9pm. While the earlier time may work for some people, others might want to delay candle lighting somewhat later than the community's official time. Is this permitted?

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Are there other shuls in the area? –  Double AA Jul 6 at 16:43
    
Yes, I'm talking about a shul which tells its members in a weekly email (who all live within walking distance) what the community's candle-lighting time is. In the case I'm thinking of, there are other shuls in the city, but not in the immediate neighborhood. –  Kordovero Jul 6 at 16:48
    
@DoubleAA I think that that's the kind of detail that can be handled by cases discussed in an answer. –  msh210 Jul 6 at 17:17
    
Do you have reason to believe that the community actually accepts Shabbos at "candle-lighting time...or by 18 minutes after perhaps"? Usually the community is presumed to accept Shabbos at a certain point during the prayers (e.g. Bar'chu, Mizmor Shir, or the end of L'cha Dodi; see Mishna B'rura 261:31). –  Fred Jul 6 at 17:47
    
I don't know...in any case, not everybody in the community attends the Friday-night minyan. –  Kordovero Jul 6 at 17:58

2 Answers 2

The Shulchan Aruch writes (263:12) that if one is a member of a community/congregation that accepts Shabbos early, he must accept Shabbos early along with them. This is true even if the person doesn't actually daven along with that congregation, and is determined by the time that the shul recite Mizmor Shir (M.B. 261:31). This applies even applies to a guest, who is part of this congregation for one Shabbos only (Shulchan Aruch 263:12).

Where there is more than one shul, the various shuls do not have to follow the majority, but a house minyan, even a well-established one, does have to follow the majority (or the group of people who daven in a shul) (Mishnah Berurah 263:51). According to Dayan Posen (of KAJ in Washington Heights, NY) in Kitzur Hilchos Shabbos p. 6 (siman 1:12), in a case where there are multiple shuls in one community, a person is drawn after the shul that he would normally daven in.

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I do not have a copy of Igros Moshe with me so this is from memory. However, I looked it every summer for several years. Rav Moshe Feinstein paskens that bringing in Shabbos early is an individual decision. In fact, a wife can delay lighting candles until the actual zman even if her husband has gone to the "early minyon". He deals with the cases of the bungalow colonies or communities with multiple shuls or a city with only one shul. There are those communities who require that there be a shul in that city though not necessarily in the same neighborhood that davens kabolas shabbos "late". However, that is not the psak of Rav Moshe.

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