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I am confused about the exact/official time of Shabbat starting. Is it 18 minutes before sunset, when the candles are lit, or at sunset?

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Shabbat starts at a split second notice that only Gd knows. The period this transition takes place we call this questionable period bein hashmashot - between the guards. During this period it is unknown to us whether it is part of the day (Friday) or part of the next day (shabbos). This period starts after shkiah/sunset. Thus, one should refrain from doing prohibited work during this period. The 18min here or the longer or shorter periods added in other locals are all customs that help to safeguard Shabbat.

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    Sources???????? – Alex May 13 '18 at 3:00
  • Thank you, so it would be okay for me to light my Shabbat candles any time within those 18 minutes? As Shabbat does not officially start until sundown? – Matt R May 15 '18 at 22:45
  • Technically, yes. One also has an additional mitzvah of tosefes Shabbat which means one must add time from the weekday Friday onto Shabbat by accepting it early. – Draizy-Levi Pine May 16 '18 at 2:48
  • This Chabad article cites Sefer Bein ha-Shemashot 6:2–4, which I have not looked up. If you do, you can edit your answer to strengthen it with sources. – Monica Cellio Sep 23 '18 at 20:01

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protected by Community May 12 '18 at 21:18

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