Sunday, April 15, 2007

A major error by the OU

This past Shabbat (Sabbath) afternoon, Saturday, April 13, my husband pointed out this conflicting opinion on Sabbath candle-lighting time for the previous evening:

Orthdox Union "Z'manim" (times) page: 7:32 PM (Yes, I have my weekly pre-Shabbat print-out to prove it.)

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism calendar: 7:13 PM

Eek! So did we light the Shabbat candles on time or not?

I just went back to the Z'manim page and checked out April 13, 2007. The candle-lighting time has been corrected to 7:14 PM. A lot of good that does, after the fact.

My husband says that, from now on, we should check two different sources for candle-lighting time, and not rely on the OU Z'manim page exclusively. Sadly, I don't think we have much choice. Oh, well, even the rabbinim (rabbis) have been known to make mistakes.

I've just sent a slightly-edited version of this post to the OU via their "feedback" e-mail form. It's possible that there was a computer glitch and they didn't even know about the error. Now that they know, I hope that they'll take steps to ensure that this doesn't happen again.


Blogger rivkayael said...

you technically have at least 18 min after the candlelighting time to light candles--and some say that you have a few min even after that where the status of dusk is debatable.

me, my shul is a 30 min walk from my home so i ignore candlelighting altogether and bring in Shabbat by davenning kabbalat Shabbat...ah good times. and yes, i defy anyone who says that i do this because i am an angry feminist =)

Sun Apr 15, 12:15:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Well, that was *19* minutes, so I hope you're right about us having a tad more leeway.

Sorry you have to schlep so far to shul.

Sun Apr 15, 02:16:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Maybe you looked (or the glitch was) the time for shkia? We also had 7:14, and if you add the 18 minutes to that... well, that's 7:32.

As an aside, since it may relate... the OU candle-lighting page used to be the top hit when you'd google candle-lighting, but no longer is. The reason is because it wasn't working properly for a few months, so people started going to the Chabad site. Now, they've fixed it, but perhaps there are still glitches.

Sun Apr 15, 07:56:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Judaism 101 time: I've heard that word many times, but I have no idea what it means and/or how it's currently used--Could you kindly explain the term "skia?"

Sun Apr 15, 08:11:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm sorry, thought you knew that one... :) Shkia = sunset! Candle lighting times on erev shabbos are 18 minutes beforehand to ensure that people don't accidentally light after sunset, which would be after Shabbos has begun. So in the future, if you're stuck, look at the paper to see what time sunset is; then, subtract 18 minutes, and you'll have the right time to light! :)

Sun Apr 15, 08:48:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Shkia means sunset? Boy, now I really feel dumb. Here I thought it was some complicated law about which Gil Student would write reams of imcomprehensible posts on Hirhurim. :) Thanks for the clarification. I'll keep an idea out for the local sunset time before deciding when to light candles.

Mon Apr 16, 07:00:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Binyamin said...

Funny thing years ago, when I first started using the internet, it was Gil Student on an old discussion board who explained to me what shkia was and other Zmanim related terms.

Tue Apr 17, 09:29:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Elie said...

So in the future, if you're stuck, look at the paper to see what time sunset is; then, subtract 18 minutes, and you'll have the right time to light!

Actually I remember hearing once that skiah=halachic sunset, and the sunset printed in the paper, are a minute or two apart. This is because one standard considers "sunset" to have occurred when the midpoint of the sun crosses the horizon, and other considers it sunset when the sun has completely gone below the horizon. Now if only I could remember which was which!

Tue Apr 17, 12:11:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Oy, so I'm back to square one. See, Ezzie, I *thought* it would be some complicated, incomprehensible law. Nu, Elie, what difference does it make which YU musmach* is getting me confused, Gil or you? :) Help!

*(rabbi ordained by Yeshiva University)

Tue Apr 17, 12:26:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Binyamin, I love the "About me" on your blog: "I've been growing in my Judaism for the past couple decades. Just when I think I've gotten it all down, I find something new . . ." That sounds remarkably like my own story.

Tue Apr 17, 12:34:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Elie said...

Well, it shouldn't be hard to confirm. This Shabbos, halachik sunset here is 7:41 (candle lighting + 18). I'll check the paper on Friday and see if the time it prints is earlier, later, or the same. That should settle it.

Tue Apr 17, 03:33:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...


That may explain why some places use 20 minutes, not 18 minutes, before sunset. [Which probably answers which is which, Elie.]

Wed Apr 18, 01:45:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

So I have to check ye local newspaper or figure out where to find ye local sunset time online, and subtract 20 minutes.

Thu Apr 19, 12:42:00 AM 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>