If I were to travel to Barrow, Alaska in the summer, when there is no sunset, when should I light the Shabbat candles?

(This is not a hypothetical question; I work remotely for an Alaskan corporation so it is possible that I end up having to go there some day)

What are the customs of other extreme-latitude communities?

  • 3
    If it's not hypothetical, then CYLOR rather than relying practically on answers you receive here.
    – msh210
    Jun 15, 2011 at 15:38
  • 1
    Seems to me that this is a duplicate of judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7182. Any reason not to close it as such?
    – msh210
    Jun 15, 2011 at 15:41
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    @msh210: I'm not orthodox, so I'd rather learn about what other communities do and decide accordingly. I don't think this is an exact duplicate of that question either, although Andrew's comments on Monica's answer are helpful. I'd still like to see reasons for doing one thing or the other. Jun 15, 2011 at 15:59
  • 4
    The star-K has an excellent summary of halachic issues and opinions on what to do in this situation, and includes the p'sak of R' Moshe Heinemann, although traditionally, a personal rav should be consulted for all practical halachic questions.
    – jake
    Jun 15, 2011 at 16:08
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    @MordechaiBenDaniel, Such reasons should be posted as answers to the other question, though, keeping all the information on this topic in one place. It really does seem to be a duplicate. Why is it that you "don't think this is an exact duplicate"?
    – msh210
    Jun 15, 2011 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


See the fuller question for far more. But for a quick answer on Barrow specifically, here's the Star-K:


For example, in Barrow located at the northern tip of Alaska, on December 1 the sun does not rise. However, at 1:15 p.m. there is the most sunlight of the day 30 (theoretical chatzos hayom [=noon]). Therefore, one may daven Shachris and perform daytime mitzvos between 10:40 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.31 (during these pre-dawn light conditions) and daven Mincha at 1:45 p.m. (1/2 hour after chatzos during the post sunset conditions). Shabbos ends at 4:23 p.m. when the stars come out.

I don't see them addressing when Shabbos starts, specifically. Possibly best to avoid working as early as 1:16PM on Friday, I'd assume. In which case it would be best not to light shabbos candles; by the time it's sufficiently "Friday afternoon" to light shabbos candles, it may already be sunset and prohibited to do so.) So probably light candles, without saying a bracha, before 1:16PM. I don't think their article addressed this one ... anyone?


This one's a bit easier. When there's no good sunset, we treat sunset as 6PM standard time. Hence, on standard time, the ideal time for lighting candles is 5:42PM, before 6:00PM standard time (likely 6:42PM--7:00PM with daylight saving), but if you wanted you could light candles as early as 4:45PM standard time.

But ...

bring along an almanac from home; if you came from somewhere where sunset in the winter is before 6PM (would have to be South of the equator if this happens in the summer, I think), then start shabbos at that earlier sunset time of your hometown.

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