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Author:  Aryeh
E-mail:  not available
Date:  12/27/2003 8:27:00 PM
Subject:  Mincha after sunset
Message:      You wrote in a post that Chasidim should not daven Mincha after sunset.
     Don't the Shulchan Aruch and Ramo poskin that you could daven until nightfall and it is only later authorities that the Shar Hatzion brings down (GRO and others) that hold one must daven before sunset.
     And in fact you mentioned in a different post one can daven till 25 minutes after sunset b'dieved. That comes from the Mishna Berurah who says that b'dieved we poskin like the Shulchan Aruch until 1/4 hour before nightfall.
       So, why can't the Chasidim poskin like the Shulchan Aruch even L'chatchilah?
           Also, the Chasidim hold that shkiah is 58 1/2 minutes after sunset like Rabeinu Tam. This is how the Shulchan Aruch poskined even with regard to doing melochoh on Fridays. If they are consistent and daven Maariv after 72, (which I admit is usually not the case), is there any problem?
Reply:  The Talmud says that it is 100% night when you see three stars. One cannot pray Mincha (afternoon prayers), once it is night. The period after sunset is a period called "Bein Hashmashot," which is a limbo-like Safek Period. It is ideal to pray Mincha prior to sunset, to be sure that your prayers are before nightfall. The actual nightfall can happen anywhere between sunset and the sighting of three medium stars. We can't say exactly when. If you did not pray prior to sunset, you can still pray for about another 25 minutes, since it is still not yet dark completely. After that, it is logical that the night has begun, and the time is for praying Arbit/Maariv, which is the evening prayers. Too late for Mincha, the afternoon prayers. Even though the people want to be "Machmir," extra strict, and keep the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam, which is that night falls at 72 minutes exactly after sunset, they certainly cannot use it as a "Kulah," a way out of the law, to pray later, especially since they would be going against a Gemara at that point. As we always say, "Kol Hamosif Gorey'ah," He who adds, subtracts. First we add this restriction not to end Shabbat or pray evening prayers before 72 minutes after sunset. Then we use that as an excuse to pray afternoon prayers when it is dark outside, and too late. The times of prayers were meant to be kept. In any case, logic would say that Rav Moshe Feinstien was right when he said that once there are 3 stars out, even Rabbeinu Tam would agree that it is night, because he wouldn't be arguing on the Gemara. We don't understand what Rabbeinu Tam held 100%, but 3 stars he clearly would follow. In our areas in the United States by 45 minutes, you already see many stars. That is the main rule considering it night. If you go to some place and you don't know what time sunset is, just go outside, and when you see 3 amall stars, which means you'll usually see many, it is night. The Chassidim do not have there own religion. I am always skeptical of people who only follow a specific line of Rabbis. Sephardi, Ashkenazi, etc... what's the difference? If they are Talmidei Chachamim, then they should be considered as such. Anyone who studies the Sugya (topic) properly will see very clearly that what I wrote here is true, unless it was studied with a subjective outlook, and the intent to come out to a specific end.

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