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Term Definition
Netz Hachamah

Sunrise. The calculation of shaot zmaniot begins now according to many opinions (including the Alter Rebbe in his Siddur). (All the Halachic times provided by Chabad reflect this view.) Those who wish to pray vatikin, start the recitation of the amidah at this time.


"Pesach" is the Hebrew word for Passover, the springtime holiday commemorating our dramatic exodus from slavery in Egypt, and the institution of our nation and its mission to serve God instead.

Plag Haminchah

One and a quarter shaot zmaniyot before sunset. According to Rabbi Judah this is when halachic nighttime begins. Therefore, if one chooses to follow his opinion, one recites minchah before plag haminchah and then maariv (the evening prayer) may be recited anytime after the "Plag". This is also the earliest one may bring in the Shabbat on Friday afternoon.


the ten aspects of divinity in Jewish mysticism

Sha'ah Zemanit

Proportional hour, i.e. an hour according to halachah. Total daylight hours divided by 12.


The Divine Presence; the surface of contact between material reality and the transcendental.


Sunset. The latest time for minchah, the afternoon prayer, and all mitzvot associated with daytime hours. B'dieved (if one missed this time) one may still recite minchah, and do all "daytime mitzvot" until Tzeit Hakochavim (although the blessing on the mitzvah would be omitted if done after Shkiah).


the Jewish prayerbook

Tzeit Hakochovim

The time when three stars are visible in the sky and nightfall is complete. Earliest time for maariv (evening service) according to Rabbi Judah's rabbinic counterparts. Earliest time for reciting the evening Shema and Counting the Omer. A woman who has completed her cycle of seven pure days goes to the mikvah after this time.

Fast End: There are differing opinions when Tzeit Hakochavim takes place. Out of consideration for people's comfort, and considering that the fast days are rabbinic decree, not Torah law, we rely on a slightly earlier opinion concerning the end of day fasts (aside for Yom Kippur).

Shabbat End time: Shabbat and festivals end, and "weekday" work may resume, at this time. A stricter calculation of Tzeit Hakochavim is used. Known as the appearance of "three small stars," it coincides with the sun’s descent to 8.5 degrees below the horizon. This stringency also ensures that we do not accidentally violate the sanctity of the day, and that we fulfill the obligation to add time from weekday onto the Shabbat or holiday.

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