B"H, I live in a neighborhood that has numerous shuls. Many of these shuls have different times to start and end Shabbat.

During the summer, in particular, most of the shuls begin Shabbat sometimes an hour before the published candle lighting time (what they commonly call bizman.) There are later minyanim that begin mincha about 10 minutes after the bizman lighting.

Lets say someone is a regualrly attends the early minyan. Many of the neighborhood people know him well. One week, he has to work late, so he decides to go to the later minyan. If he starts Shabbat at the later time, does he need to worry about Marit Ayin from his other Jewish neighbors who started Shabbat early? Let's say they see him driving his car after they have begun their Shabbat?

If there is no concern about Marit Ayin, why is that? Do we have to be concerned about Marit Ayin (or whatever it may be called for Gentiles) from Gentiles who may not understand that Shabbat can start at different times? (I.e., they know that Jews are not supposed to work on Shabbat, but then they wonder when they see some Jews walking to shul while another observant Jew is driving, and will think someone is not observing Shabbat and report badly about Jews.)

  • 1
    +1 its good not to assume what everyone does is a Heter for you
    – user15464
    Oct 17, 2017 at 14:29

3 Answers 3


Shabbos is exactly 24 hours according to the Torah (See maseches Moed koton daf 3b-4a where the Gemora tries to compare Shmitta to shabbos Which is Me-eis Le-eis Min Hatorah)and tosefes shabbos is a very short amount of time a matter of seconds (tos moed koton 4a), but we don't know exactly when it starts and ends so we keep from shekia (sunset) which is the start of bein hashmoshos (the unknown zone) and motzei shabbos ends at tzeis (either night fall or 72 minutes after sunset) that period we keep shabbos as a must. . and tosefos 4a "ma". The Ran in 84a yumo says that one can not possibly add to shabbos while the sun is out from the previous day. Indeed the Beier Halacha quoting Pri Megadim orach Chaim 261,2 says (following the vast majority of Poskim) before shekia (sunset) Tosefes Shabbos is miderabanan addition.

עיין בפמ"ג שכתב דמי שמקבל שבת בתוך הד' מילין הוא דאורייתא ובעשה דתוספת שבת ומן הזמן הזה עד פלג המנחה הוא רק מדרבנן:.

The Shulchan Aruch Yore Dea 87,3, Rema, Taz, Pri Chodosh and Creisi upleisi hold that Marit haayin does not apply to derabbanan cases.

Pri Chodosh:

הבו דלא להוסיף עלה
its enough so don't decree Maarit Haayin to rabbinic enactments except for the cases mentioned by Chazal

Shulchan Aruch:

ובשר חיה ועוף -- אפילו בחלב טהורה -- מותר בבישול ובהנאה, ואף באכילה אינו אסור אלא מדרבנן -
Chicken and kosher milk are permitted to be cooked together and derive benefit from even though the mixture is prohibited to eat, since it is only forbidden to eat Miderabbonon.


הגה: ונהגו לעשות חלב משקדים ומניחים בה בשר עוף הואיל ואינו רק מדרבנן אבל בשר בהמה יש להניח אצל החלב שקדים משום מראית העין -
therefore we have the practice of cooking chicken with almond milk for us to eat since the prohibition of real milk cooked with chicken to eat is only derabanan. But animal (Beef lamb or Goat) meat one must put almonds next to the almond milk when cooked together because of Marit Haayin (i.e in case someone sees thinking that the meat was cooked with animal milk and permit himself). (See shachs* explanation of the Rema slightly differently)

But the Maharshal (quoted by Shach Yore Dea 87,3 who agrees and Noda Bihuda Tinyana O.C 30) says that Marit Haayin does apply to a Gezeiro Derabanan like eating(see Shach i quote below from 87,7) Chicken cooked with almond milk because people will think you are transgressing a Rabbinic Prohibition of chicken and milk. See Pri Chodosh in Yore Deah who defends Rema and Mechaber.

Despite the Maharshals objection the Ben Ish Chai says that everyone agrees in certain cases that there is no Maris Haayin. Keeping Tosefet Shabbat is not Shabbos for everyone then we have a rule that we don't make a Gezeira of Marit haayin. In Sheilos Uteshuvos Rav Poalim from the Ben ish Chai http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1401&st=&pgnum=10 he talks about a push bicycle (In those days bicycles were without peddles and one pushed with his legs like a scooter) and says there is no Gezeira of Maris Haayin when riding a pushbike (on shabbos within an eiruv) that one might come to drive a car (Havara-combustion) or go on a carriage pulled by animals (Mechamer- making animal do a melacha), since there is a clear difference between what is ossur (car) and Mutar (push bike) and not get confused. So too here In Tosefes Shabbos in a large community where there are a lot of people that don't keep extra tosefes shabbos and it is known that it is optional and that those people are not breaking Tosefes Shabbos, so one will not get confused between what is Ossur (breaking Tosefes shabbos) and Muttar (accepting Shabbos later) when you Daven late and there is no Marit Haayin They know you are not doing a Melacha after accepting Shabbos rather you are davening later like so many others.

The Shach in Yore Dea also says clearly there is no marit Haayin when there is a evident possibility that you are doing something Muttar This is based on the Shach in Yore Dea 87,7 when describing cooking non kosher milk with meat-

בבישול לחודיה ליכא משום מראית העין דהא יכול להיות שמבשל לצורך רפואה או שאר דברים
The cooking of it (non kosher milk with meat or chicken with almond milk) is not prohibited because of Marit haayin (that you might eat it), since one can assume you are cookng(as opposed to eating where the Shach is quoted above that there is Marit haayin to eat chicken with almond milk) the mixture for an unwell person (in danger) or for another purpose e.g selling to a gentile (but when a healthy person eats chicken with almond milk there is no alternative but to think he is sinning).

Conclusion it is not marit haayin to work early one week and late the next as long as you don't do Melacha beyond 14 minutes before Shekia (CYLOR if you need more time).

*{ש"ך: ולא דמי לדם דגים סוף סימן ס"ו שמותר לגמרי ואפ"ה אם כנסו בכלי אסור מפני מראית עין אא"כ יש בו קשקשים שניכר שהוא דם דגים דהתם דם גופיה אסור מדאורייתא הלכך הרואה יאמר דאכיל דם בהמה שהוא אסור מן התורה אבל בשר עוף בחלב ממש הוא מדרבנן ליכא למיחש משום מראית עין Shach: Chicken cooked with milk Is not the same as Fish blood - which is permitted to consume together with the fish but once separated in a cup is forbidden because of Marit Haayin (i.e people will think your drinking animal blood which is forbidden Min haTorah) So add scales to the cup so people know its fish blood - Since there is no Marit haayin on a prohibition Derabanan.}

  • I believe many authorities hold tosefes Shabbos is a doraisa, and the MB has a discussion how long it should be and he feels it should be more than a few seconds. Needless to say there's no Torah obligation to do early shabbos 1 hour before, so I suppose your comment about maris ayin on a derabbanan has value.
    – robev
    Oct 17, 2017 at 14:35
  • Shabbos is mees lees but the Beur halacha you're citing says there's a chiyuv midoraisa according to most rishonim to add to shabbos. Anyways the MB there SK 22 says not to do a few seconds for tosefes shabbos, quoting the Rosh in Beitzah
    – robev
    Oct 17, 2017 at 15:31
  • One aspect of your argument that I'm not sure I understand, here, is your comparison of the cooking aspects to how Tosefet Shabbat works. I'll leave it to the ongoing debate as to whether it is D'Oraita, or not, as I think this would largely alter your answer. But w/o that aspect, is there any issue of M.A. based on what people already know about the person's habits and the concept that (I think) there should not be "divisions" in the community? I.e., how would this apply if there were only one shul in the community?
    – DanF
    Oct 17, 2017 at 15:50
  • @DanF if there were only one shul in the community and they accepted Shabbos then yes the individual would have to follow the community and bring in Shabbos at the same time. this is is what i meant in conclusion that everyone should bring in Shabbos 14 minutes before shekia because usually by then every community has accepted shabbos. take a 2nd look at the answer maybe it will be clearer
    – user15464
    Oct 8, 2018 at 13:24
  • "Shabbos is exactly 24 hours according to the Torah " - I assume you mean 24 sha'ot z'maniyot? Or is this an exception? If this means each hour is a 60 minute hour, that may conflict with the Tosefet Shabbot idea, perhaps.
    – DanF
    Oct 10, 2018 at 17:25

I would say the norm is that even if one regularly prays in a early minyan, occasionally they can pray in a later minyan if they are running late. Therefore one would not suspect his neighbour of being Mechalel Shabbos.

Regarding Gentiles seeing him do Melacha, R' Moshe Feinstein writes in Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 1:96 that Maris Ayin means someone thinks that someone violated something, for example he thinks that someone inappropriately ate something non-kosher. However, it does not include doing something permitted that people may mistakenly think is forbidden due to the fact that they do not know the Halacha.

  1. We're not concerned for Maaras Ayin from non-Jews.

  2. One is allowed to walk by a Shul when people are praying if there is another Shul in town. This implies that if there are other shuls, one is presumed to have prayed there and isn't ditching public prayer.

  3. Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi writes (263:19) explicitly:

אבל אם רוב הקהל לא היו בבית הכנסת אינם נמשכים אחר המיעוט ועיר שיש בה בתי כנסיות הרבה אין הקהל המתפללין באחד מהם נמשכים אחר המתפללים באחרים אע"פ שהמה המיעוט נגד האחרים (ויחיד שלא היה בבית הכנסת שקבלו בה שבת אע"פ שהוא רגיל להתפלל תמיד באותו בית הכנסת אם רוב העיר לא קבלו עדיין שבת אפשר להתירו במלאכה):

If the majority of the congregation were not at shul [when they accepted the Shabbos], they are not "dragged" [into Shabbos] after the minority. In a city where there are many Shuls, those praying in one aren't "dragged" after those praying in the other, even if they're a minority. If one wasn't at a Shul which accepted Shabbos [early], even if he regularly prays there, and the majority of the city didn't accept the Shabbos, one can permit him to do work

(emphasis mine)

  • Where does this refer to someone who regularly davens early and one week decides to daven late? if a person davened late every week then of course there is no Marit haayin
    – user15464
    Apr 11, 2018 at 22:57

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