Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Shabbos Candles Should Be Lit Where You Eat

Weather is better (or was, anyway...), so I heard another shiur from R' Fuerst: Hadlakos Neiros, sleeping at home but eating somewhere else.  Now that you know the p'sak (it's in today's title), let me give you some background.  By the way, in case you have never heard, "One minute, other line" (ie, you've never called R' Fuerst), you should know that that word "should" makes a big difference.

Let's start from the beginning.  Why do we light Shabbos candles in the first place?  Three reasons are given: kavod Shabbos (a candle lit dinner is more formal/special), oneg Shabbos (it's more fun when you can see what you are eating), and (shalom bayis (so you don't trip over things and each other).  Kavod and oneg Shabbos turn out to be basically two sides of the same coin; kavod is before Shabbos, oneg is during.  Lighting candles before Shabbos (kavod) provides light on Shabbos (oneg).  Shalom bayis, actually, is just another aspect of that; except that it is relevant to any place you provide light, not just the dining area.

So here's the thing: we all have electric lights now a days; Baruch HaShem.  That means that the only real benefit from your Shabbos candles in the dining room are when you are eating the s'uda.  Looking over from the living room (where you also have plenty of light) after the s'uda and glazing over with bliss at seeing the beautiful candles is just not called "ha'na'ah"/benefit; certainly not enough to warrant a bracha.  It's only because the candles were there when you were eating -- at which point all extra candles add to the kavod of Shabbos -- that the lighting earns a bracha.  Which means that if you ate out, that's where you should have lit the candles.

The problem is that some women don't like doing that; they especially don't like having no Shabbos candles at home.  That's where the word "should" in the p'sak takes on a whole new importance.  There are ways to light at home and go out for the meal.  One way to manage that is to light the candles in a room where you don't have lights and be sure to use that now well lighted room upon return home.  Be very sure that the candles will burn that long, of course.

You want more details?  Go ride a bike.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Sometimes a Food Loses Its Identity When It Loses Its Bracha; Sometimes It Doesn't

Let's start with a question: Why are We Allowed to Drink Coffee and Whiskey Made by Non-Jews?  Before you ask,"Why would I think that I shouldn't be able to drink whiskey and coffee made by non-Jews?", I'll tell you. Simple, we all know that Chazal made a decree -- known as בישול עכו''ם/bishul akim -- that particular foods cooked by non-Jews are forbidden.  There are basically two criteria that determines if a dish falls into this category:
Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…