Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Times of Sunrise/Sunset

In order to properly observe the laws of niddah, it is important to know the precise times of sunrise (henetz hachamah, often called netz) and sunset (shekiat hachamah or shekiah). They apply in the following situations:

  • The hefsek taharah examination needs to be performed before sunset.
  • The bedikot (internal examinations) of the shivah neki’im (seven blood-free days) should be performed after sunrise (if necessary, they can be done any time after alot hashachar, halachic dawn) and before sunset.
  • The onot perishah (periods of separation) observed on vesatot (days when menstruation is anticipated) last either from sunrise to sunset or from sunset to sunrise.

We have linked to two sites ( and that provide the halachic sunrise and sunset times for any location on any date. These may differ slightly from those posted in your local newspaper. One should, however, be cautious even when relying on the halachic times, as halachic authorities differ slightly as to how they are calculated. Altitude may also have a slight effect. In practice, one should leave a margin of a few minutes around the posted times. If a halachically significant event occurs very close to the posted time – for example, if a woman did a hefsek taharah or discovered that she was niddah precisely at sunset – a halachic authority should be consulted.

If it’s not too cloudy, one can also check when the sun sets by direct observation. Halachic sunset occurs when one can no longer see any part of the sun.

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All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

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