Might have missed sunset
15 December, 2015
On Shabbos, I had an afternoon nap, woke, quickly did a hefesk taharah, put on a robe, ran downstairs to see the time and it was 6:23pm. Candlelighting was 6:02. I doubt more than two minutes passed between getting on a robe and going downstairs, so it's likely that the hefsek taharah was done 1 or 2 minutes past shkiah. How black and white is the shkiah deadline? I did another hefsek taharah on Sunday just in case.
Our position is that a hefsek taharah performed even a few minutes after shkiah is too late and the clean days may not begin that night. (In a situation of extreme need – such as confirmed infertility, or serious shalom bayit issues there may be room to permit a hefsek or bedikah within a few minutes after shkiah. Each case must be individually assessed.) However, since there is doubt about the time you actually performed your hefsek – perhaps you really did perform the hefsek at shkiah – you may rely on your Shabbat hefsek taharah.
For the future we recommend performing a backup hefsek in the morning on the day you later plan on performing an afternoon hefsek. This way if you forget or miss shkiah you may rely on your morning hefsek.
Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.
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