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Many minyanim nowadays daven mincha very close to sunset and then daven maariv right after. To me it just feels like a way to get maariv out of the way, and also it makes the 2nd Shemoneh Esrei (of maariv) less meaningful considering you just said one. Does anyone talk about doing this and whether it’s permissible or not ideal etc?

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    In general it's better to daven maariv after tzeis.
    – shmosel
    Sep 13, 2023 at 23:18
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    As a Bachur, my rebbi once said he was in a bungalow colony and if I recall correctly it was R’ Yakov who was there as well. After mincha one day some people were eager to go back to the city and wanted to daven maariv right away. If they left there wasn’t going to be a minyan left for later. They told R’ Yakov that they wanted to do this and he said that for him it was too hard to daven two Shemona Esrei so close together. He needed a break. The point my rebbi was bringing out was the avoda he put into a davening.
    – Chatzkel
    Sep 14, 2023 at 0:38
  • @shmosel Do you have a source for that? See my answer for a 'dissenting' view...
    – fartgeek
    Sep 14, 2023 at 0:47
  • @fart you need a source? The only way not to have to decide between the options you presented below is to daven after tzeis. That's source enough.
    – Double AA
    Sep 14, 2023 at 0:54
  • @fartgeek dinonline.org/2011/10/25/maariv-after-shkiya
    – shmosel
    Sep 14, 2023 at 0:57

2 Answers 2

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Mishna Brura רלג:ט says that those who regularly says Mincha after plag hamincha, such as the minyanim you mention, should not to say Mariv until after tzeis hacochavim (the earliest time for that would be 13 1/2 minutes after sunset). Not for the reasons you suggest, which I think are more an area of personal preference, but because the time between sunset and tzeis hacochavim is questionably nightime, and Mariv should be said when it is certainly nightime.

However, I do remember seeing someplace which ruled more leniently (but I can't manage to find that source right now).

I did ask my Rabbi about this once, and he said that the custom is to be lenient and therefore he wouldn't tell anyone not to do it, but since I was asking (presumably, he said, because I was looking to do what's lechatchila), he would tell me it is better to say Mariv in a minyan that waits until after tzeis hacochavim.

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  • Nice answer, thanks! Sep 14, 2023 at 19:51
  • The concern of the OP, that two adjacent prayers is too much and they need to be separated to ensure proper focus, is actually very much halachic and not just personal preference, and is the subject of an entire chapter of shulchan aruch (OC 105)
    – Double AA
    Sep 14, 2023 at 21:15
  • @DoubleAA yeah but that is like 2 seconds. I am sure that the case OP mentioned was a break of longer than a couple of seconds... (2000/4 = 500. Therefore 18 min / 500 = 2 4/25 seconds...
    – fartgeek
    Sep 14, 2023 at 21:54
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EDIT: @DoubleAA Granted the minhag during the time of the Rishonim was to daven very close to Tzeis 1, as proven from the R"i, but the OP said davening maariv after Shkia. I merely meant to prove that even before shkia was not an issue. I did not say the sun was high in the sky at all.


Actually, during the times of the Rishonim they davened even earlier!

People davened Minchah and then immediately davened Maariv while it was still daytime!

EDIT: It seems I have been misinterpreted. By the words "still daytime" I mean under 10 minutes before the beginning of Bein Hashmashos."

Why did they do so? Because it was too bothersome to come back to shul and daven at night! (Rashba on Berachos 2a).

If you will then ask "How did they daven Maariv so early?" That is not a question because the Gemara explicitly says that you can daven Maariv after plag Haminchah (Berachos 27a).

If you will then ask "How did they fulfill Krias Shema so early?"

There are MANY Rishonim who discuss this. There are three main opinions:

  • Daven normally and say Shema over at a later time. (Rash"i, Berachos 2a D"H Ad Sof, R"i Ib'N Gaitz [quoted by Rashb"a ibid.] and Rav Amram Gaon [quoted by Rashb"a ibid.])

  • Daven only Shmoneh Esrei with a minyan, and say over Shma with Birkhos Krias Shema later. (Rav Hai Gaon quoted by Rabbeinu Yonah Brachos 2a. [Maybe also Rabbeinu Yonah himself. [I am unsure about Rabbeinu Yonah, I am away from my Gemara right now.])

  • Daven Normally and that is it, you already fulfilled Krias Shema then in shul because the zman of Krias Shema begins earlier than Tzais HaKochavim. Rabbeinu Tam, Ri (both in Tosafos Brachos 2a D"H Mai'aimasai).

The Shulchan Aruch paskens like Rashi with a slight modification (Orach Chaim 235:1).

So to answer your question, there is nothing wrong with davening Maariv right after Sh'kia, since people davened earlier for hundreds of years...

Regarding ethics, Rabbeinu Yonah says to say K'rias Shema immediately after Tzais HaKochavim and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 235:2) paskens like him! Also, the Gemara in Berachos 29b says it is a mitzvah to daven Minchah as close as possible to Sh'kia, because of the pasuk (Tehillim 72:5) Let them fear you with the sun, which Rashi says refers to Krias Shema.

THe only kasha you might have is regarding the fact that it seems that you are treating it as a load, rather than a privilege, which the Gemara Berachos ibid. does mention. That most likely refers to davening very quickly, hanging out near the door to be the first to leave etc. not specifically davening at these times, which the Gemara and Rishonim explicitly state are the best!

For further reading see the following:

Gemara Berachos 2a, BErachos 27a.
Rashi Berachos 2a D"H Ad Sof.
Tosafos Berachos 2a D"H ma'aimasai
Rabbeinu Yonah Berachos 2a.
Rashb"a BErachos 2a.
Tur Orach Chaim Siman 235.
Shulchan Aruch 235.
Shagas Aryeh Siman 3.

1 I don't know how to do footnotes, but by tzeis I mean 13.5 minutes after the start of Bein HaShmashos, not the chumra of calling the seventy-two minutes between shkia of the gra and tzeis of rabbeinu tam bein hashmashos...

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  • Why does people doing something worse make this totally ok? Nonsense
    – Double AA
    Sep 14, 2023 at 0:49
  • I reject the premise of your answer. In the days of the rishonim they davened maariv right around shkiya too. That's the practice these rishonim were defending (it's clear from their defenses that this is the case; see Ri or Meiri or Rabenu Yona). Only later did people start doing so when the sun was still high in the sky.
    – Double AA
    Sep 14, 2023 at 0:49
  • Hmmm... I think I misphrased my answer. Give me a few minutes to edit it.
    – fartgeek
    Sep 14, 2023 at 0:56
  • You missed one more thing. The Ri held like Rabenu Tam zmanim (and almost certainly Magen Avraham hours). Now we can debate forever if RT really held what people nowadays say he held, but the point here is you can't necessarily assume that what you think is shkiya is what they meant. Plausibly they were talking about davening after what we call shkiya but they may have called it before shkiya.
    – Double AA
    Sep 14, 2023 at 1:26
  • @DoubleAA not trying to fight here, but do you know where it is mashma from the R"i that he held like Rabbeinu Tam zmaninm? That would be actually very interesting for me to know for an unrelated reason...
    – fartgeek
    Sep 14, 2023 at 1:28

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