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Thursday 24 July, 2014

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Zmanim - Zemanim - Shabos - Shkia - Shekia Hama
Correct Times For: DST AM/PM   24H           Lat   Deg   Min   N  S Lon   Deg   Min   W  E
 
Alot Hashachar (dawn) Chatzot  hayom (noon)
Misheyakir Mincha  gedolah
Times For Tzizit And Tefilin: Mincha  ketana
Hanetz Hachama (sunrise) Plag  hamincha
Sof  zman  shema (gr"a) Shkiat  hachama (sunset)
Sof  zman  tefillah (gr"a) Tzeit  hakochavim (nightfall)
Knissat  Shabbat Motzei  Shabbat
Copyright © 5760-5763(2000-2003 CE),Abu Mami and Yisrael Hersch.All rights reserved

Times of the Day

Times of the day in Jewish law used to be easy because all the astronomical phenomena such as dawn, sunset, midnight, noon – were seen by the human eye.  Man would look to the West, saw the sunset, and accordingly adjusted his deeds.  During recent generations, with the development of cities, pollution, street lights and the separation of direct contact with nature around us, a situation has been created whereby man cannot see with his own eyes the times of the day and need schedules and timetables to do the work.


In order to determine the correct times a basic knowledge is required in astronomy, mathematics and wisdom in the earths triangles (triangles which are drawn on the circumference of the earth), and a great deal of patience to make all the necessary calculations.  In previous generations the wise students excelled in these attributes and had great knowledge in this wisdom.  The book "Wisdoms of the Heavens" Rabbi Refael Halevy of Hanover testifies this.  The book includes many tables with thousands of numbers which were calculated in exhausting methods.  In our generation there is probably nobody who could fulfill this feat and any timetable composer wanting to avoid error, needs an electronic calculator.


But even with the help of a computer the problem is not entirely solved.  In order to create a correct timetable for each and every place, the computer must be fed with exact data on the place itself:  Geographical length, width and height taking into consideration surrounding mountains.  According to this information we can determine exactly the times of sunrise, noon, and sunset.  The remaining times of the day – dawn, time for putting on Tefillin, the end of reading the Shema prayers and such – are still in debate among the different customs and sects.  (See on this subject the books of Rabbi Chaim P. Beinish Shalita "Times in Jewish Law" and Rabbi Yedidya Meneth Shalita "Actual Times according to Jewish Law".  There you can see the different methods, sources and definitions according to Jewish law.

There might be differences in a number of minutes due to the various different methods used for calculating times.  It is best for safetys sake to take into account two to three minutes beforehand.

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