On one hand, the Shulchan Aruch rules in Hilchos Shabbos like Rabbeinu Tam (that one should add to Shabbos from shkiya [not that it's shabbos yet halachically, and one can do melacha at that point]), on the other hand, he rules in Hilchos Mila that Bein Hashmashos (when one is already in doubt which day is it) starts at sunset.

Practically, what is the Sefardim custom?

  • No stirah. In Milah, he means second shkiya, ie 58 minutes after sunset.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 20:14
  • 5
    @DoubleAA: not necessarily. The Baal Hatanya writes (in Seder Hachnosas Shabbos) that indeed the Mechaber changed his mind and accepted the position of the Geonim.
    – Alex
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 20:17
  • 3
    @Alex You want to say that R Karo changed his mind on such an important and relevant everyday psak in the middle of writing his ultimate guidebook to practical halacha, and didn't bother to go back and clarify what time Shabbat (an issur skila) starts??
    – Double AA
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 20:27
  • 3
    @DoubleAA: point well taken. See Dayan Raskin's footnote 55 to Seder Hachnosas Shabbos for a similar objection, and a related reference to another of the Baal Hatanya's writings where he suggests that the Mechaber - and Rema, in that particular case - changed their opinion between Orach Chaim and Yoreh De'ah. Why indeed they wouldn't have gone back and changed it, though, I don't know.
    – Alex
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 20:46
  • @Alex, The strongest question on this suggestion (which Dayan Raskin brings as well) is that the SA is using the generic language of the talmud- shkiah and bein hashemashos. The interpretation of these terms are the subject of dispute between the G and RT. This question is strengthen by the fact that the SA is merely quoting the Itur (although I didn't see the Itur's laguage inside). Your point, however, is that there is an approach that it is a stirah which can only be answerd by saying chazara.
    – YDK
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


Bottom line is that Sepharadim's minhag is like the Geonim's psak.

In Yalkut Yossef (of R Yitzchak Yossef, son of R Ovadia), Hilchot Shabbat, Siman 293, halacha 2-3, the psak is:

ב. זמן צאת השבת בכל ערי הארץ הוא בערך כעשרים דקות אחר השקיעה. והמחמירים מוסיפים מחול על הקודש עד כחצי שעה אחר השקיעה. [...] [end of halacha dropped by me]

ג. אולם ראוי ונכון שכל ירא שמים וחרד לדבר ה', יחמיר על עצמו שלא לעשות מלאכה עד שיעבור שיעור שבעים ושתים דקות [בשעות זמניות], אחר השקיעה שלנו, כדעת רבינו תם ודעימיה. ומצוה רבה לפרסם דבר זה ללומדים ויודעי ספר המחזיקים בתורת ה'. ואף על פי שכבר פשט המנהג בכל המקומות להקל בזה כדעת הגאונים, הסוברים שאחר י''ג דקות וחצי [בשעות זמניות], מהשקיעה הנראית הוא כבר לילה, מכל מקום טוב ונכון להחמיר בזה, מאחר שכן דעת רבים מאד מהפוסקים הסוברים כדעת רבינו תם, ועל צבאם מרן השלחן ערוך שקבלנו הוראותיו. והוא ספק איסור סקילה. וכל המחמירים בזה במוצאי שבת ויום טוב ישאו ברכה מאת ה'. וכן יש ליזהר בכל זה גם בתענית במוצאי יום הכפורים דהוי מדאורייתא. [ילקוט יוסף שבת א' סי' רצג, ומהדורת תשס''ד עמוד תרטו. שארית יוסף ח''ג עמ' שצח].

Quick low-quality translation:

b. The time in which the Shabbat ends is about 20 minutes after sunset throughout Israel. The ones that want to be more stern (~Lehachmir), don't do Melacha until about 30 minutes after sunset. [...] [end of halach dropped by me]

c. However, it's appropriate and correct for every Gd-fearing person to be more stern (machmir) and not do melacha until reaching 72 minutes (zmaniot) after our sunset, according to Rabbenu Tam's psak and its faction. And it's a great mitzva to publish it among torah-learners. And even though the broad minhag everywhere is to be less stern (~lehakel) according to Geonim's psak, saying that 13 minutes (zmaniot) after the sun isn't seen it is night, anyway it's good and correct to be more stern (machmir) about it, since many achronim has ruled as Rabbenu Tam's psak, among which is the Shulchan Aruch, of which halchot we have accepted. Additionally, it is an isur punished with stoning. And all machmirim in the end of Shabbat and Yom Tov will be blessed by Gd. And it's also appropriate to beware samely with taanit in the end of Yom Kipur, which is also forbidden by the Torah (De'oraita).

So Yalkut Yossef rules that the Sephardim's minhag when Shabbat ends is like the Geonim's psak - against the Shulchan Aruch. R Yitzchak Yossef comments on that halacha that this is R Ovadia Yossef's psak as well.

In Yalkut Yossef, Hilchot Mila (Sova Semchot B, p. 32, halach 9), he rules:

ט. תינוק הנולד לשמונה, ואירע אונס שלא הספיקו למולו ביום השמיני עד ששקעה השמש, יש למולו מיד, בזמן בין בשמשות, ולא לדחות המילה למחרת, ולבטל מצות עשה של "וביום השמיני ימול בשר ערלתו". ורשאים גם כן לברך כל ברכות המילה. ואם עבר זמן "בין השמשות" והגיע "צאת הכוכבים", אין למולו, כי מילה פסולה, אלא יש לדחות המילה למחרת ביום. [ואין למולו גם בזמן בין השמשות של רבינו תם].

Quick traslation again:

9. A baby that should be circumsized in the 8th day, and forcibly (~ones?) wasn't circumsized in the 8th day until sunset, should be circumsized immediately, during bein haShmashot, and it shouldn't be postpone to the morrow, and thus reject the mitzvat asseh of "וביום השמיני ימול בשר ערלתו". And it's also allowed to bless all of the circumcision related blessings. And if bein haaShamshot has passed and stars have risen (tzet haCochavim), it's forbidden to circumsize him at that time, since night-circumcision is invalid, so it then should be postponed to the morrow. [and it's also forbidden to circumsize during Rabenu Tam's bein haShmashot].

The last sentence, although in parentheses, is cited from Yalkut Yossef. It clearly rules that also regarding curcumcision - the Sepharadim's minhag is like the Geonim.

The Yalkut Yossef, in the abovementioned comment on Hilchot Shabbat, explains that the reason he (and his father) rules against the Shulchan Aruch is mainly because the Sepharadim's minhag was broadly accepted before R Karo has published his book.

As a side-note, the Yalkut Yossef, in that same comment, mentions the halacha of the Shulchan Aruch about circumcision, but doesn't say anything about stirah. Also, he mentions R Shalom Mashash that rules as well like the Geonim. R Mashash has guided the Morocco Jews.

  • Does he give a makor for the ruling of R' Shalom Mashash?
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 6:39
  • @Yehoshua yes: ShuT Shemesh UMagen (שמש ומגן), part 1, Siman 5.
    – yair
    Commented Dec 5, 2012 at 20:32
  • Just to note that using Zmaniot minutes here is a mathematical mistake since solar depression velocity isn't linear. (Though to be fair Rs Yosef aren't the first scholars to be fooled.) In reality it actually takes longer in the winter than the spring to achieve darkness.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 6, 2019 at 21:32

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