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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.

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