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I see that in many synagogues that have a minyan for neitz (sunrise) they have exact times (to the second) that they attempt to begin Shemonah Esrei at. In the olden days before these precise clocks were invented and even before clocks were invented did they have a way of starting Shemonah Esrei at the exact time of neitz? Did they even care to be so exact?

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    and even before clocks were invented Water clocks are older than Judaism. – mevaqesh Jan 4 '17 at 3:20
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    They probably had an easier time watching the horizon – Double AA Jan 4 '17 at 3:51
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    they looked at the heaven – kouty Jan 4 '17 at 4:57
  • question is a dup of judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/57437/… but there is no answer there. – Avrohom Yitzchok Jan 4 '17 at 15:30
  • Because of the rule לא ניתנה התורה למלאכי השרת, we can conclude that prior to the advent of the wall-mounted atomic clock, there was no real chiyuv to daven. – Yosef Weiner Jan 4 '17 at 17:22

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