We light candles every week. But sometimes we might not be sure…did we say the bracha? What if a candle goes out before sunset? How early can we light? Here are top 10 halachos
By Halacha Yomi For Women
- When one member of the household kindles the Shabbos lights, all the members of the home fulfill the mitzvah with that lighting. Although both men and women are obligated in הדלקת נרות, since this mitzvah is associated with the home it is the province of the woman who is home more frequently and is the one who attends to its needs.
- It is the minhag for women to first don Shabbos attire and then perform the mitzvah of הדלקת נרות. However, if a woman sees that she is running late, it is better to light first and afterwards get dressed for Shabbos. Additionally, mincha should be davened before הדלקת נרות.*
* It is questionable if and under what circumstances mincha may be davened after candle lighting. A rov should be consulted.
- The earliest time to perform the mitzvah of הדלקת נרות is at plag hamincha– an hour and a quarter before sunset (שעות זמניות– halachic hours).
- One fulfills the mitzvah of הדלקת נר even if they accidentally did not make a bracha. If one got interrupted in the middle of candle lighting, and is unsure whether or not she made a bracha, a bracha is not recited.
- If after completing הדלקת נרות, a woman realizes that she forgot to make a bracha, if it is still before sunset, a bracha may be recited. After sunset a bracha can no longer be recited.
- A candelabra is considered muktzah and may not be moved (even after the candles have burnt out), even if one wishes to use the place it occupies for a different purpose.
- There is a question if one can fulfill the mitzvah of הדלקת נרות with electric lights. In the event that one does not have access to other lights (i.e. in a hospital room) than they should turn on electric lights for the sake of Shabbos*.
* A rov should be consulted whether or not a brachoh is recited in such an instance.
- If one or more of the lights went out, they should be rekindled (before sunset) by someone for whom it is not yet Shabbos.
- If one mistakenly recited the bracha prior to lighting, she may still perform the mitzvah of הדלקת נרות.
- If one forgot to perform the mitzvah of הדלקת נרות, during bein hashmashos (the timeframe between sunset and nightfall) it is permitted to instruct a non-Jew to light on their behalf. The non-Jew is permitted to kindle on their behalf all of the candles that they would regularly light. In such an instance, no bracha is recited.
Under the guidance of Harav Alexander Mandelbaum Shlita.
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