I remember reading somewhere that you can't work 2 hours before Shabbos starts.

What exactly is the halacha? If you have a regular 9-5 job. When do you have to end working on Friday's--assuming your job is next door (0 time commute)?

Does the halacha only apply to starting a new task or even if you're in the middle of a task?

  • You also need to leave early enough to get ready as well. This includes all the cooking, and cleaning and setting up as well as showering, getting ready and getting to shul. Even a 0 time commute probably requires leaving an hour or two earlier. Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 17:27
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    @sabbahillel, that's what you should do practically; what does the halacha dictate?
    – Ani Yodea
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 18:25
  • thehalacha.com/wp-content/uploads/Vol4Issue4.pdf
    – Ani Yodea
    Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 18:33
  • "Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday". Even Hashem had last second things to do (well of Miriam, donkey of Bil'am, etc). All that can be done is stop early enough so that you can have tosfos shabbos and still get ready. Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 21:41
  • @AniYodea: The above link is broken. Luckily, the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine has saved a copy of the file: web.archive.org/web/thehalacha.com/wp-content/uploads/… Commented May 13, 2016 at 20:40

3 Answers 3


There are many works that should not be done from Mincha Ketana on, with similar dinim to Chol HaMoed (except for Teffilin, for example if one puts on Rabbeinu Tam's one can of course do so then). Mincha Ketana is 2.5 shaos zmanios (proportional hours calculated according to the length of day) before shkiah (sundown). Consult a zmanim chart for the time (some online zmanim have it).


There is an issue with working after Mincha Ketana. Plus, tosefes shabbos (2 minutes, preferably 5)

  • you are thinking about the mishna in Shabbat. may be that an enlarged explanation is needed.
    – kouty
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 5:39

You can technically do malacha up until shkia but the custom is to stop all melacha at candle lighting 10, 18 or 40 minutes prior to shkia ( sephardic, ashkinaz or Jerusalem customs) . Among sephardim it is not assumed that you accepted shabbat upon yourself at candle lighting, but most people stop melacha at that point anyways. Among ashkenazim it is assumed that you accepted shabbat upon yourself at candle lighting unless you consciously had in mind not to, in which case you could do malacha until shkia but it's not recommended and should probably be done only in case of great need.

To the best of my knowledge there is no further universal halacha in regards to a prohibition on "work-work", i.e. your official job whether it be at a place of work or at home, beyond the above.

The article you quote says there is an opinion in the Shulchan Aruch that one who works after the 6 1/2th hour of the day sees no bracha from this work, but then goes on to say quite explicitly:

There is no issur involved when one works later than he is supposed to on Erev Shabbos.

  • This question is about work-work, not melacha-work.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 17:41
  • What's the difference? Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 17:44
  • Melacha is forbidden labor; work is someone's job.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 17:52
  • I know that but what I mean is practically what's the difference. Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 18:19
  • The difference is that everyone agrees melacha can be done up until shkiah. The question asks if there is a time when someone has to close up shop and go get ready for Shabbat.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 18:21

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