Is there an earliest time one may begin Shabbat during the summer months?

We were traveling south and stopped at a Jewish community for Shabbat. The Shul there davened Mincha friday at 6:10, then added an extra prayer between Mincha and Kaaballat Shabbat to add 3 or 4 minutes. The Rabbi's explanations was they needed to add the extra time so as too not daven Maariv before the "earliest allowed time". I never heard of that before and was confused since it was still daylight out while walking back after davening was over.


The earliest time that Shabbat may be accepted is called "Plag ha-Mincha", which occurs one and one quarter 'hours' before sunset. An 'hour' for this purpose, is defined as 1/12 of the day (from sunrise to sunset).

  • 1
    (FWIW this is commonly assumed but highly debatable.)
    – Double AA
    Feb 11 '21 at 15:05

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