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According to halacha, what is the earliest time (zemanim) one can accept Shabbat? Basically one can accept Shabbat before it would naturally start, but what is the maximum amount of time before Shabbat would naturally start that a Jew can accept it? If there are divergent views, what are they?

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    You'll find many modern sources that say "plag" but be warned it's not at all clear those sources have any firm basis or that they mean what people think they mean
    – Double AA
    Feb 4 at 1:36

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See this Shulchan Aruch (and also this Mishna Brura) which imply that one can accept Shabbos no earlier than פלג המנחה on Friday afternoon (commonly interpreted as 1.25 שעות זמניות before sundown).

While it definitely seems that this is the prevalent opinion of poskim, historically there were communities in Europe that even accepted Shabbos at a much earlier time of day and that there were also some notable poskim who accepted this either on a בדיעבד or even a לכתחילה level.

I first remember hearing of such a community minhag to accept Shabbos very early from one of my grandfathers a"h (a Galitzianer who grew up not far from Lemberg/Lvov) and have since heard an additional actual case from another person.

If you search Google for קבלת שבת לפני פלג המנחה, you will get a number of relevant sources that discuss this topic including this very good shiur by Rav Asher Weiss (if you understand Hebrew and have an hour) who gives the topic a thorough treatment.

Among those mentioned who discuss the permissibility of an early candle lighting and kabbolas Shabbos are the תרומת הדשן, שבות יעקב, פני יהושע and this Aruch HaShulchan.

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  • You say "1.25 שעות זמניות before sundown" but some of the sources you cite may not have meant that even if that's when you think plag is.
    – Double AA
    Feb 4 at 12:19
  • Fair enough - just adjusted those words with an edit.
    – EraserX
    Feb 4 at 13:53
  • But the whole problem is people overlaying their own interpretation of when plag is on other people to wind up with mixed-up new shittot that no one ever held.
    – Double AA
    Feb 4 at 14:02
  • @doubleAA the MB there is pretty clear (as IIRC the Levush himself) that 1.25 zemanios before sunset (based on sunrise to sunset) is fine according to that shitta (vchen nohagin) - what are you referring to?
    – AKA
    Feb 4 at 14:37
  • Note as well the shulchan aruch you cite doesn't even say what you say it says. It says "from plag one can accept shabbat with arvit", not "one can accept Shabbos no earlier than plag"
    – Double AA
    Feb 4 at 16:46

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