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On Friday evening, does the start of shabbos, i.e., no longer the ability to perform melacha, begin at candle lighting (let's say 18 minutes pre-sunset as that's that standard minhag in America) or does it start at sunset, because many men still daven mincha at shekia, after candles have already been lit, and also may be driving to shul etc.

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    Doesn't the prohibition for everyone of any gender start whenever they accept Shabbat (or at sunset, whichever is earlier)? – Double AA Dec 27 '20 at 23:48
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    @DoubleAA that's just what he's asking. If you have an answer, I recommend you post it down there ↓ – msh210 Dec 28 '20 at 8:06
  • @msh210 I just don't understand all the suggestions and factors the OP has mentioned. – Double AA Dec 28 '20 at 20:23
  • @DoubleAA it seems that, on the contrary, no. based on the answers given, women seem to start at CL, while men do not start then. i am precisely asking about that matter. – Dov Dec 29 '20 at 0:13
  • @Dov on the contrary, nothing about most women choosing to accept when they light candles is contrary to what I had assumed above. – Double AA Dec 29 '20 at 1:06
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Women are מקבל שבת when they light candles

הגה והמנהג שאותה אשה המדלקת מקבלת שבת בהדלקה (רמ''א סימן רס''ג סעיף י)

Men, however, are not. Even if a man were to light the candles he would have no אסור מלאכה after that point. It is interesting to note that unlike women, when men light candles they make the ברכה before lighting due to this custom.

Men are מקבל שבת in שול when they say מזמור שיר ליום השבת.

המנהג כהיום מיד שאומרים מזמור שיר מקבלין הצבור שבת עלייהו ואסור בכל המלאכות ( משנה ברורה סימן רס''א אות ל''א )

Or when they say בואי כלה בואי כלה at the end of לכה דודי.

במקומות שנוהגין לומר לכה דודי ומסיימין בואי כלה הוי קבלת שבת ממש (ibid.)

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  • What about sunset? – Tesvov Dec 28 '20 at 14:20
  • Despite you presentation, these are really all just generalizations not rules. – Double AA Dec 28 '20 at 14:26
  • @DoubleAA I didn't look for (but I am sure there is) a source which states that the prohibition of melacha starts at shkiah. However, the questioner seemed more interested in the fact that candle-lighting is known as the time at which issur melacha starts (due to the fact that for hundreds of years women have been noheg not to do melacha after this point, מנהג בישראל דין הוא) yet there are men who do melacha after this point. So essentially this difference is due to a difference in minhag of when people accept shabbos upon themselves. – nosh Dec 31 '20 at 21:19
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According to Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe O.C. 1 siman 96), it should be well known that women accept shabbos with candle lighting, and men usually only accept shabbos two or three minutes before sunset, unless they happen to accept is upon themselves earlier. He one time got in a car to go to shul after candle lighting time, and would have been happy to make it be known that one may still do melacha until three minutes before sunset, but when it was pointed out to him that some people might think that this is a laxity with shabbos observance, he chose to be stringent and not drive starting at candle lighting time.

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