I'm compiling a shiur that I plan to give on Rosh Hashanna that focuses on Ben Hashmashot (twilight). I know that there is much confusion and many opinions on how this is defined. The shiur will take about 15 minutes, so, obviously, I can't cite too many opinions on this.

I'd like to focus on these basic items in the shiur:

  • The foundation of the debate on how to interpret how long it actually is. I know that this is mentioned in the Gemarah but I'm uncertain where
  • A concise definition of the timing according to the most commonly current accepted opinions. When it starts; when it ends.
  • A concise list of some of the halachic items that Ben Hashamashot affects. Some I can think of are Tosefet Shabbat, Time to start Ma'ariv, birth dates, yahrtzeits, date of death. There are others.

I've been hunting on-line and sifting through various articles and I can't quite find something that's concise enough to focus on these ideas. Perhaps a reader, here, has some suggestions to assist me on this? I'm not seeking you to answer things, here. A reference to some good on-line articles will suffice for me.


3 Answers 3


Some possibly useful English resources (in addition to those mentioned in the comments):

  • Thank you very much. Prior to posting the question, I looked at your first link as it was one of the first ones that Google produced. At first, I wasn't thrilled with the content, but, on 2nd reading, it does have some useful info that I may be able to condense. I agree that I did pick a "meaty" topic, so I may be "over" challenging myself in this. I'll have to review the other links, later.
    – DanF
    Aug 31, 2018 at 15:28
  • 1
    torahmusings.com/2018/09/when-is-shabbat-over recent post. cc @DanF
    – Double AA
    Sep 12, 2018 at 23:30

Rabbi Ari Storch gave a very well-organized shiur a few years back ... I see the link to the recording but not the recording itself?



See Brachot 26a, Pesachim 94a, and Shabbat 35b for sources in the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch OC 261:2.

Commonly accepted start of bein hashemashot is at sunset(when the sun sets on the horizon out of our sight) and ends when three medium-sized stars appear(about 13.5 minutes in sha'ot zmaniot according to Shulchan Aruch; with differing opinions below). This is in accordance with the opinions of the Geonim, the Rif, the Rambam, the Rosh, the Ra'avan, the Gra, the Ba'al Hatanya, the Shulchan Aruch, and the Rama.

The calculation is based on the Talmudic definition of the time it takes to walk 3/4 of a mil(Shabbat 35b). According to the Rambam it takes 24 minutes to walk a mil, 22.5 minutes according to the Gra, and 18 minutes according to the Shulchan Aruch(see OC 459:2) and Rama(see SA OC 261:1; which is how we hold). According to the SA, the time it takes to walk 3/4 of a mil is 13.5 minutes(all times b'sha'ot zmaniot).

There are other opinions of when bein hashemashot starts; like the Re'em(R' Eliezer miMitz; that it starts "3/4 of a mil" before sunset), R' Tam(according to the SA; at sunset and drags on 72 minutes), and the Minchat Cohen(like R' Tam). To the best of my knowledge, according to all opinions(in accordance with the Talmud's ruling), tzet hakochavim is the time when three medium-sized stars appear in the sky.

Some affected mitzvot include tefilat mincha/arvit, knisat v'yetziat shabbat umo'adim, megillah, chanukah, tefillin/tzitzit, kriat shema, sefirat ha'omer, ta'aniot, kiddush levanah, the 10 daily zichronot(including yetziat mitzraim), and other Rabbinic mitzvot.

  • 1
    The Rambam and the Geonim didn't hold like the Gra (and neither did the Shulchan Arukh for that matter). The Shulchan Arukh only rules 18 minutes for Chametz where it's a Chumra. (Similarly many of your other claims/attributions are easily debatable.)
    – Double AA
    Aug 31, 2018 at 0:04
  • @DoubleAA The Geonim, the Rif, the Rambam, the Rosh, the Ra'avan, the Gra, the Ba'al Hatanya, the Shulchan Aruch, and the Rama all held that shkia and bein hashemashot starts at sunset(when the sun disappears) and ends when three medium-sized stars show up. The only difference is the actual time this happens(which are brought in the answer); with respect to the Yere'im and R' Tam(also brought above). Why is this hard for you to accept? And show me where you see otherwise. Sep 2, 2018 at 20:57
  • @DoubleAA Not bein hashemashot; only shkia. Sep 2, 2018 at 21:03
  • you just repeated yourself, and it's still wrong, or at least easily debatable. I didn't write the answer so why am I providing sources? You already cited the Shulchan Arukh. See Rambam at judaism.stackexchange.com/a/94299/759 and R Kappach's remarks in multiple places. See too R Posen's Ohr Hameir.
    – Double AA
    Sep 2, 2018 at 21:24
  • @DoubleAA Dude, see shu't Maharam Alashkar 96 for de'ot and summary. For times of mil; see Pirush Hamishnayot Rambam Pesachim 3, Biur Hagra 459:2. For Ye're'im, see 274. Also, see sefer Bein Hashemashot here hebrewbooks.org/…. Sep 3, 2018 at 18:40

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