Question:

For those who make kiddush before maariv, is it OK to do so up until 40 or so minutes after shkia, since nightfall is 72 minutes according to Shulchan Aruch/ Rabbeinu Tam? (This is even without a shomer.)

[One cannot start eating once it’s half an hour to nightfall.]

Answer:

Lechatichla one should not make kiddush within half hour of night fall but wait, say shema and then make kiddush. Never the less one who makes kiddush within the half hour has on whom to rely.

Sources:

O:CH 267 Mishnah Berurah 6,  271 Mishnah Berurah 11

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