Chapter: 04 – Lighting Shabbat Candles

01. The Mitzva of Lighting Shabbat Candles[1]

There is a rabbinic mitzva to light a candle to honor Shabbat. There are three reasons for this: 1) to honor Shabbat, as a banquet without light is of no significance; 2) for oneg Shabbat, because one who cannot see … Continue reading

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02. Where to Light and Who Must Light

It is a mitzva to have light in every room that will be used Friday night, so that people will not trip. However, the primary mitzva is to light the candles where the meal will be eaten, since by eating … Continue reading

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03. What May One Light With, and How Many Candles

The second chapter of Tractate Shabbat has an extensive discussion about what materials may be used for lighting Shabbat candles. The general principle is that the wick needs to be soft and absorbent so that it will draw the oil … Continue reading

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04. The Berakha Recited upon Lighting

There are two customs as to when the berakha over the candles is recited. Some say it prior to lighting, as the rule for all mitzvot is to recite the berakha before performing the mitzva. Thus, they first say “Barukh … Continue reading

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05. Fulfilling the Obligation via Electric Lights

If necessary, one may fulfill the mitzva by switching on an incandescent light bulb. A bulb is similar to a candle as the glowing metal filament is the equivalent of a wick and the electricity is the equivalent of the … Continue reading

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06. What Procedure Should Be Followed When Two Families Dine Together

When a family hosts another family for Shabbat, some maintain that only the hostess should light candles with a berakha, whereas the guest should light without a berakha since it is not clear whether there is a need for her … Continue reading

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07. The Status of Married or Single People Spending Shabbat Away from Home

The mitzva of lighting candles has two components. The first is connected to the place – there should be light in the place where one is eating, to make Shabbat enjoyable. Similarly, there must be light in other places that … Continue reading

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08. Those Who Live in Dormitories and Those Who Are Ill

Boys learning in yeshiva, who live in a dormitory most of the time, are considered independent as far as candle lighting is concerned, and have a personal obligation to light candles to honor Shabbat. This is the case even if … Continue reading

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