## Question:

What are the last times one may eat matzo and afikomen the seder night for the year 5770 in Yerusholayim? Can you please explain your calculations and let me know the final times lechatchilo and bedeieved?

## Answer:

**Chatzos Seder Night 5770 – Yerusholayim**

*All times adjusted for Daylight Savings Times*

*Chatzos* on Seder night is **12:44 a.m.**

*Chatzos lechumra *is **12:16** **a.m.** for someone who already fulfilled his mitzvoh of *achilas matzoh* earlier. If one did not fulfill *achilas matzoh* the Seder night, he should try to finish eating a *kezayis* of* matzoh* before **12:09 a.m**. If this is impossible, it is best to try to finish eating a* kezayis* before 12:44 a.m. and if that is also impossible then one can eat the *matzoh* until 5:18 a.m. (( However, if the first kezayis of *matzoh* was not eaten until after 12:44 a.m. although one still should eat a *kezayis*, one should not make a *berochoh* of “*al achilas matzoh*” anymore. After 5:36 a.m. (*alos hashachar*), there is no more point in trying to eat a *kezayis* of matzoh (Biur Halochoh at the beginning of siman 477). ))

The calculation for *chatzos* is the middle point between *honeitz hachamoh *and *shekioh*. At that moment, the sun is directly overhead. The sun forms a right angle from the point of sunrise and sunset. Exactly 12 hours later is *chatzos* of the night. That is also the midway point between sunset and *honeitz hachamoh* of the next day.

The *chumra* calculates the time from sunset until *alos hashachar* of the next day. *Alos* *hashachar* is really the beginning of the day for all matters requiring a halachic day (e.g., *shofar, miloh, kerias megilloh, korbanos* etc.).* Honeitz hachamoh *is a safeguard measure and not a true beginning of the day for any halochoh other than davening shacharis. Therefore, it would seem that the appropriate way to calculate *chatzos* would be to take the time between sunset (*shekioh*) and *alos hashachar*, divide by two and add that time to *shekioh*. (( Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Minchas Shlomo Vol. 1 (91:15) develops this idea. It is also found in Eshel Avrohom Tinyono 477.

Rav Auerbach wrote a letter to Rav Tukichinski on this subject after Rav Tukichinski firmly stated that *chatzos* is midway between sunset and *honeitz *and not between sunset and *alos hashachar*. Rav Auerbach argued that that is not the case and for matters of *de’oreiso* one should calculate midway between *shekioh* and* alos *and for matters of *derabbonon *he can calculate the midway point between 13.5 minutes after *shekioh* until *alos hashachar*. He quoted the Malbim that *chatzos *should be calculated as the midway point between *tzeis hacochavim* until *alos hashachar*. This letter is found in Minchas Shlomo vol. 2 (58:19). ))

*Shekioh* for Yerusholayim is exactly at 7:01:00 and *alos hashachar* on Pesach morning is 5:18:30 (calculating *alos* *hashachar* as 16.1° below the horizon, “72 minutes” in degrees). Accordingly, the night is 10 hours 17 minutes 30 seconds long. Half of that is 5 hours and 8 minutes and 45 seconds.

7:01:00

5:08:45 +

**12:09:45 a.m.**

*Lechatchila* one should try to complete eating a *kezayis* of *matzoh* the first night of Pesach before this time to fulfill his *de’oreiso* responsibility. If a person had a *kezayis* of *matzoh* by this time and wishes to have the Afikomen before the stringent interpretation of *chatzos*, he can consider *chatzos* 12:16 a.m. ((Afikomen is not a *chiyuv de’oreiso* and therefore even when being *machmir* to calculate *chatzos *as the midpoint between the beginning of night until morning, one does not need to calculate from *shekioh*, but rather from the earliest point after *bein hashemoshos*.))

The calculation is as follows:

Shekiah is at 7:01. By adding 13.5 minutes to pass *bein hashemoshos*, we reach 7:14:30. *Alos Hashachar* is 5:18:30 a.m.

The difference in time is 10:04; that is considered the whole night. Half of that is 5:02.

We then add the time of half the night to the beginning of the night to reach *chatzos.*

7:14:30

5:02:00+

**12:16:30**