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The Gemara in Brachot 27a discusses how late one can daven minchah. The conclusion is that one can follow either opinion.

The minhag haolam however seems to be to daven minchah and maariv erev shabbos before shkiya, which seems to rely on two mutually exclusive opinions at the same time. Is there a source that this minhag is relying on?

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    If you want a source the very first tosafot in shas already notes this. Indeed before clocks, timing a joint mincha/maariv service around a specific second was virtually impossible.
    – Double AA
    Jun 3 at 0:56
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    Are you asking about the Shuls that daven mincha and maariv on Friday both of them after plag and before shkia? Like the ones who daven at 630 all summer regardless of when plag is?
    – Chatzkel
    Jun 3 at 1:04
  • Yes, that's correct @Chatzkel
    – ak0000
    Jun 3 at 1:05
  • I don't think it is minhag haolam, I think certain synagogues in certain countries practice it during Summer.
    – mbloch
    Jun 3 at 3:28
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2 Answers 2

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This is a very old practice with many suggested answers. Here are some:

  1. Lechem Mishne (Tefilla 3:2) understands Rambam as holding that since Arvit is a somewhat lower level obligation prayer there's no need to be precise with its timing and we can therefore accept this contradiction.

  2. Tosafot Rosh (Berakhot 2a) understands that while contradictions are generally not a good thing, for matters of prayer we are lenient. His son (Tur 235) expands on that arguing that for a community to have to gather again later is too much effort and hence we are lenient.

  3. Peri Yitzchak (2:9) argues that once one accepts Shabbat the time for Mincha has effectively ended, and hence the time for Arvit perforce starts according to both opinions in the Talmud.

  4. Aruch Hashulchan (235:3) argues that the dispute in the Talmud was about the final time for Mincha but both sides agree Arvit can be recited from 10.75 hours since that's when the limbs of the day's offerings were burned. Accordingly praying Arvit at a time one also would pray Mincha is not a contradiction.

  5. Penei Yehoshua (Berakhot 2a) suggests that there is no earliest time for Arvit and that as soon as one finishes Mincha he can pray Arvit, even shortly after noon. It's the order of the two of them that is important.

  6. Raavyah (83) writes that while avoiding a contradiction is good, if there's a need you don't need to worry about it. He goes on to note (and this was certainly true before the invention of clocks) that such a need is virtually guaranteed at any service that included both Mincha and Arvit back-to-back.

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  • Wow, great answer! Thanks so much for the information.
    – ak0000
    Jun 3 at 19:10
  • @ak0000 Remember you asked for sources for leniency, but I could probably make you a longer list of authorities who have disagreed with the practice for whatever reason. Also remember none of this directly addresses shema, but just the evening prayer.
    – Double AA
    Jun 3 at 19:18
  • Got it, thanks! If you happened to know of any of the machmirim off the top of your head I & others might be interested to hear an agav reference in this answer, but I agree it isn't technically relevant to the original question.
    – ak0000
    Jun 3 at 19:46
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As I understood in the comments, the question is about those daven Mincha, Kabolas Shabbos, and Maariv at the same time throughout the summer without regard to whether Mincha and Maariv are on separate sides of Plag. Many times it comes out that all 3 Tefillos can be between plag and Shkia, so why is there no issue of Tarti Dsasri.

The Mishna Berura in 233:11 brings down a shita that says this is permissible if it will be hard to gather a minyan again.

The Aruch Hashulchan 233:10 explains why this shita holds it is not a problem, he says, since Maariv is representing the Hekter Chalavim and Eivarim which were able to be done by day as well, therefore it is permissible to daven Maariv by day if needed.

מיהו יש נוהגים גם בזה, מפני שקשה לאסוף הציבור עוד פעם (מג"א סק"ז), ויתבאר בסימן רל"ה. ואפשר לומר הטעם כיון דתפלת ערבית נתקן נגד הקטרת איברים, והם כשרים ביום ובלילה, ושם יתבאר בסייעתא דשמיא.

The Shraga Hameir 5:21 strongly defends the minhag on Erev Shabbos to not be makpid on Plag, and offers an explanation that by being Mekabel Shabbos it effectively changes the day and allows for Maariv to be considered being davened on the next day. Obviously this would only work for Erev Shabbos but not on a regular weekday.

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  • Great answer, and the Shraga Hameir is definitely not something I would have run into myself! – I'm a bit stuck with you and AA giving such good answers, so I think I'm going to have to break the tie based on # of sources, but this definitely would be thorough enough to be a complete answer. Thanks you again for all the time you spent researching it!
    – ak0000
    Jun 3 at 19:12
  • I think the Shraga Hameir is saying something subtly different. On a weekday R Yehuda and Chachamim argue which is the proper line of the two available to use, but on Friday there is a third potential line to use (kabbalat shabbat) and the allowance to choose which line one uses applies to this phantom third shitta as well. (This is not the same as Peri Yitzchak in my answer.)
    – Double AA
    Jun 3 at 21:35

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