Is it permissible to set a timer on the irrigation system in my
We learned in the
previous shiur that according to the Rama one may not begin
an operation before Shabbos that will continue into Shabbos if it is
something that people are liable to say that one began it on
Shabbos. The example in the halacha of such an operation is a
The question is
whether an irrigation system is similar to a mill. The Mechaber
that one may turn on the irrigation system before Shabbos and allow
it to continue watering on Shabbos, but the Mechaber is of
the opinion that one may operate the mill before Shabbos as well.
It appears that it
would depend on the type of system. According to the stringent
opinion, if it is a sprinkler system, which is easily seen or heard
by passersby in the street, it would be prohibited. If it is the
type that cannot be heard or seen, it would be permitted.
What are the reasons for lighting candles
that candles must be lit on Shabbos for two reasons, oneg Shabbos
and k’vod Shabbos.
– to enjoy the
Shabbos. We learn from the prophets that one must enjoy Shabbos, as
it says å÷øàú ìùáú òðâ, and if the
house is dark on Shabbos, one cannot enjoy the Shabbos.
also say that one can easily trip over something in the dark, which
might disrupt the Shabbos harmony and to prevent this situation,
Chazal wanted us to illuminate our homes and enjoy the Shabbos.
– to honor the Shabbos by lighting candles. It is common practice to
turn on many lights to honor distinguished guests. Therefore to show
how we honor and respect the Shabbos queen, Chazal wanted us
to light candles in her honor.
Is there a practical difference between the
There are several
differences. For example, we could say that even though electric
lights brighten our homes, we must still light candles in
order to honor the Shabbos.
(This is not to say that electric lights cannot be used in lieu of
candles, it is an issue which we will be”H deal with later,
but the candles are noticeable that they were lit to honor the
Shabbos) but if it were only for the sake of oneg Shabbos, it
would suffice that the house is illuminated on Shabbos.
might be that if one has candles lit before Shabbos for some other
reason and Shabbos arrives, if it were for oneg Shabbos one
could leave them as they are, but for the sake of k’vod Shabbos,
one would need to extinguish the candles and light them in order to
honor the Shabbos.
Where should the main location of lighting
The main position
for lighting candles is adjacent to one’s meal, as this includes
oneg Shabbos – to enjoy one’s meal, and k’vod Shabbos –
to honor the Shabbos during one’s meal.
The b’racha for lighting should be made over the candles near
one’s table, but one must make sure that one’s house is lit to the
extent that one can see into the bedrooms etc. and not trip over
items lying on the floor. One need not turn on the lights in the
bedrooms, it is sufficient to turn on the electric lights in the
corridor if that light shines into the bedrooms.
If one is sleeping at home but not eating
at home, may one still make a b’racha over the candles lit at home?
Not only may one
make a b’racha, one must make a b’racha,
because candles are lit even if one is not eating at home. We will
learn be”H the halachos pertaining to the lighting of
candles when eating out or sleeping out.
How many candles should one light?
instituted the obligation to light one candle, but common custom is
to light at least two candles, one for zachor and one for
shamor. There are many customs prevalent as to the number of
candles one lights for Shabbos and one should accept the custom “b’li
neder” – without the obligation of an oath, in the event that
one will not be able to light the number one is accustomed to.
Many women add
candles according to the amount of children, but when eating out the
custom is to light only the two candles.
What happens if one forgot to light Shabbos
One should add
another candle from then on, i.e. if one normally lights two
candles, in the future one should light three candles. This is a
type of penalty for having forgotten to light the candles.
There are many ramifications to this halacha, such as, what
if lights are on in the house and the house is not dark, but the
candles were not lit. In such an instance one must ask a rav for
halachic guidance. If one forgot to light the number of candles one
usually lights, e.g. usually two are lit, and by mistake only one
candle is lit, one need not add a candle from then on.