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What do the sources say about this situation: A male on his own wants to go to shul on Friday night. There are two parts to the question.

1) What is the earliest time at which he can light his Shabbat candles?

2) What should he do if he cannot light in the permitted time interval and also daven mincha with a minyan? (presumably either daven mincha alone or not light candles.. )

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Please take a moment to look over our tour, since this site might be different from others you’re used to. To answer your question: what you should do is ask your Rabbi what to do; we don’t take practical halachic questions here. – DonielF Mar 12 at 22:36
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    How is candle lighting after Shabbat starts? – Alex Mar 13 at 0:47
  • Pete. Welcome. The site doesn't accept personal shaalehs, so I have reworded it so that it should be acceptable. The basis for the answer is to be found here and this site [adjust for your location] will tell you when is plag haminchah. – Avrohom Yitzchok Mar 13 at 11:42
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Shabbat Candles can be lit from a time called Plag Hamincha, about 1 1/4 seasonal hours before sunset. Check myzmanim.com or a similar site to find the correct time in your area.

At its shortest, Plag Hamincha is still half an hour or so before candlelighting time in most of the world. That leaves enough time to light candles before a standard synagogue service. If one would attend a very early Mincha service, there should be enough time to light afterwards.

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  • At least in extenuating circumstances there's likely room to be lenient to light even before "Plag Hamincha" (because the Rishonim who say the earliest time is Plag Hamincha all thought Plag Hamincha was at sunset, not 1.25 hours before it like you said. You've presented an essentially self-contradictory opinion-mix, albeit an unfortunately popular one.) – Double AA Mar 13 at 19:57

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