shabbos candles

Weekly Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Yom Tov

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Written by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita


These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita



Questions for the Week of Parshas Ki Savo

May one insert the wick into the float on Yom Tov?

The issue is one of making a k値i - makeh b恥atish. Do we say that the combination of the wick in the float is a new k値i and ossur or not?

The Magen Avraham writes [1] that one may not insert a thread into a needle to sew a chicken prior to roasting, lest one cuts the thread to size.

Why did he say that it is ossur on account of a g築eira and not that one is making a k値i when making the shidduch (matchmaking) between the needle and the thread? The answer is that we do not view the needle and thread as a single entity rather as two separate items that when combined become one, but are still separate items and will forever remain so.

Do you have an example of the above?

Inserting feathers into a quilt for the first time is ossur [2] because together they form a single k値i. Likewise, one may not loop shoelaces into a shoe that were not threaded with those laces before Shabbos. [3]

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach wrote [4] that it is customary to insert the wick into the float on Yom Tov even though each item is ineffective without the other.

But how is this explained?

The explanation is that it is similar to the needle and thread. [5] The wick is not transformed by inserting it into the float, as the float merely prevents it from sinking into the oil. It is not that the float and wick combine to be a single entity.

May one remove the burned wick from the oil to replace with a new one?

The issue here is mainly muktze and perhaps repairing the oil holder.

One approach is that since one may handle muktze for ochel nefesh (food and its subsidiaries) one may handle the old wick and remove it to light a fresh one, as light is a subsidiary of ochel nefesh. [6]

Another approach is that since some opinions hold that one may light used wicks on Yom Tov they are not muktze. [7]

What about extracting melted wax from a candlestick?

Here the issue is muktze and makeh b恥atish. Used wax is muktze, as it has no use; removing wax from a candlestick might be repairing a k値i, as it is useless when clogged with wax.

As for muktze, the same heter applies as per wicks, which may be handled for the sake of ochel nefesh. [8] With regards to repairing, the Chayei Adam writes [9] that it is permitted to remove, because we do not view a candlestick filled with wax as being broken. [10]

One may use a knife to remove the wax and once removed it may not be handled on account of muktze. Preferably boiling water should not be poured onto the wax on account of melting. [11]

May one melt the bottom of a candle to stick it into the candlestick?

The Magen Avraham [12] writes that it is ossur to heat the bottom of a candle lest one smooths the candle, which is ossur on Yom Tov as well.

One may not chisel the bottom of the candle to fit the candlestick on account of mechatech cutting to size. [13] There is room however to permit inserting the candle with force into the candlestick, but preferably avoided, because one is after all shaping it to size. [14]

Is one permitted to 'flick' the black soot from an oil wick while burning?

The issur involved is 粗xtinguishing because the black soot is partly lit and its removal extinguishes the little flame within. Even though light is a subsidiary of ochel nefesh, extinguishing is not permitted for light and is ossur to flick or remove. [15]


Q          Where should one light Yom Tov candles - in the house or the sukkah?

The main reason for Shabbos or Yom Tov candles is to benefit from light during the meal. It is of great importance to make sure that there is ample light in one痴 home but it is of secondary importance to light during the meal. Accordingly one should light in one's sukkah where one eats the meal.

In Eretz Yisrael many people light Chanukkah candles outside in a weatherproof box, which is perfect for use in the sukkah. [16] If not possible to light in the sukkah one should light Yom Tov and Shabbos candles in one痴 house adjacent to the sukkah (when attached to the house), otherwise just light in the house.

If one is afraid to leave the candles in the sukkah after the meal, they may be brought inside, because candles are not muktze on Yom Tov.

[1] Simon 509:8.

[2] Simon 340:8.

[3] M韮 317:18.

[4] Tikunim umilu段m chapter 11 footnote 133.

[5] Rav Ezriel Auerbach in Binyan Shabbos page 161.

[6] R Akiva Eiger at the end of simon 501. See Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in SS葱 chapter 13 footnote 79.

[7] Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 501:18 last paragraph.

[8] Although the second approach mentioned is not valid in this case.

[9] 92:2 ands Nishmas Adam.

[10] See also simon 507:4, where one may remove plaster from an oven to bake and cook.

[11] SS葱 13:43, based on simon 320:14.

[12] Cited in M韮 simon 514:18 and Chayei Adam 92:2.

[13] SS葱 13:42.

[14] See SS葱 13:42 and footnote 136 Binyan Shabbos bottom of page 278.

[15] Shulchan Aruch HaRav simon 514:23, M韮 simon 514:47.

[16] People always remark that I start chanukkah early.


Food for Thought

May one cook on first day Yom Tov for the second?

Is there a difference between Rosh Hashana and other Yomim Tovim?

Answers coming BE"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

The possuk says that "And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the name of Hahsem is called upon you; and they shall be afraid of you", where Chazal tell us this refers to tefillin placed on one's head.

Rav Sternbuch points out that Chazal did not say tefillin on your head 蓼瓊, rather 碾瓊 inside your head.

Accordingly, when one's thoughts and intentions are guided by Hashem's will and everything written inside the tefillin, they will fear you for being a true servant of Hashem.

For a printed version, click here.



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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.