Candle lighting

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Lighting candles:

When are the candles lit?[1] The custom is to light the candles prior to sunset at the same time that they are lit on Erev Shabbos.[2] [One who did not light the candles prior to sunset is to light the candles at night, on Yom Tov, from a preexisting flame. It is to be lit, at the very least, prior to the return of the men from Shul.[3]]

Erev Pesach that coincides with Shabbos:[4] When Yom Tov falls on Motzei Shabbos one may not begin doing any Melacha which is permitted on Yom Tov until he says Havdalah, or recites Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh[5], after the conclusion of Shabbos. It is of importance to remind women of this requirement, and have them say Baruch Hamavdil prior to doing any Yom Tov preparations. Thus, when Erev Shavuos coincides with Shabbos the candles are only to be lit after nightfall, and only after reciting “Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh.

The blessings:[6] One first lights the candles, as is done every Erev Shabbos, and then says the blessing of “Lehadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov”.[7] This is then followed by the blessing of Shehechiyanu.

A child that is lighting for the first time:[8] It is proper for young girls who are able to recite the blessing, to begin lighting candles for the first time on Yom Tov. Those who are extra scrupulous can begin the previous Shabbos, and wear a new dress to include in their blessing of Shehechiyanu. 

Covering eyes:[9] It is customary to cover the eyes immediately after lighting the candles, until the conclusion of the blessing. This applies both on Shabbos and Yom Tov.



Said Shel Shabbos instead of Shel Yom Tov:[10]

If one accidently said in the blessing “Shel Shabbos” instead of “Shel Yom Tov”, then if one remembers right away, within Kdei Dibbur, she is to correct herself and say Shel Yom Tov. If one only remembered after Kdei Dibbur, it is questionable as to whether she fulfills her obligation of the blessing, and thus she is not to repeat the blessing. Nonetheless, she may ask her father/husband to light another candle with a blessing and have in mind to be Yotzei her with his blessing.


If a man is lighting candles, when is he to say the blessing of Shehechiyanu, by lighting or by Kiddush?

A man always says the blessing of Shehechiyanu by Kiddush, even in the event that he is lighting candles.[11] However, in such a case, he is to light candles directly before Kiddush, hence having the blessing of Shehechiyanu also go on the candle lighting.[12] If, however, he said the blessing by candle lighting he does not repeat the blessing by Kiddush.[13]


Does a woman who will be saying Kiddush say Shehechiyanu by candle lighting or by Kiddush?
She is to say the blessing by candle lighting.[14]


If a man is lighting candles, does he first light the candles and then say the blessing or vice versa?[15]

Some Poskim[16] rule men are to follow the same order as women and hence first light the candles and then say the blessing. Other Poskim[17] however rule that men are to always first say the blessing and then light. [See footnote for opinion of Admur[18]]


Q&A Baruch Hamavdil

If a woman lit Yom Tov candles on the night of Yom Tov which is Motzei Shabbos, and after saying the blessing remembered that she did not yet say Baruch Hamavdil, what is she to do?[19]

Some write she is to think the words in her mind and then light one candle, and then verbalize the Baruch Hamavdil. Afterwards, she may light the remaining candles.


If one recited “Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol” instead of “Bein Kodesh Lekodesh” on Motzei Shabbos which is Yom Tov, has he fulfilled his obligation?

Some[20] rule that he has fulfilled his obligation, although seemingly he should repeat the correct Nussach.[21]



[1] Mateh Ephraim 599:11; 625:33; Hakdama of the son of the Derisha to Tur Yoreh Deah 1; Shevach Hamoadim p. 13 [4:1] in name of Rav Zalman Shimon Dworkin and the Toras Chesed of Lublin; See Likkutei Sichos 24 p. 792 footnote 96.

Other opinions: Some write that due to the ruling in 494:2 [brought in Chapter 2:1] on the night of Shavuos, women are to light candles after nightfall. [Luach Tukichinsky; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 494:1; M”B Dirshu 494]

[2] As the Mitzvah of lighting candles begins with the entrance of Yom Tov and it is hence improper for them to delay this Mitzvah. [Alef Lamateh 625:51]

[3] See Alef Lamateh 625:51; In order so they return from Shul with a set table that contains lit candles. [ibid]

[4] Admur 299:17-18

[5] Other Opinions: The Elya Raba rules it does not suffice on Motzei Shabbos which is Yom Tov to simply say Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh. Rather one must say the entire blessing of Hamavdil without Sheim Umalchus. [Brought in Kaf Hachaim 299:58]

[6] Admur 263:8; M”A 263:12; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 514:20; 263:18

At night: This ruling applies even if one is lighting the candles at night. [Hiskashrus]

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that on Erev Yom Tov one is to first recite the blessing and then light the candles. [Hakdamas Ben Haderisha Tur Y.D. 1 in name of his mother; Mateh Ephraim 625:33; M”B 263:27] Some rule that this especially applies when one is lighting the candles at night as at that time no one would mistakenly think one can also do so on Shabbos. [Mateh Ephraim ibid; Alef Lamateh 625:50]

[7] The reason: Although on Yom Tov extending a flame is permitted, the Sages did not wish to differentiate between the lightings of Shabbos and Yom Tov. [Admur ibid; M”A ibid]

[8] Sefer Hasichos 1990 2:481

[9] Admur 263:8

Those who light after the blessing: The above custom is only applicable to those who light candles before the blessing. Those however who light the Yom Tov candles after the blessing do not need to cover their eyes.

[10] Some Poskim rule that she is Yotzei, as Yom Tov is also called Shabbos. [Maharam Brisk 2:44; Halichos Bas Yisrael 17/11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263:17; Kitzur Dinei Neshek p. 40] Others leave this matter in question. [Hisorerus Teshuvah 1:114] As Admur rules in 487:1 that one is not Yotzei Shemoneh Esrei if he said Mikadesh Hashabbos, as he changed the dialect of the Sages.

[11] Mateh Ephraim 599:9; Vayagel Yaakov 39; Luach Kolel Chabad; Hiskashrus 896

The reason: As even by women there is no source in Poskim to say the blessing by candle lighting, and it is only because of the time honored custom of women to do so that we allow them to say it then. [See Poskim in previous footnotes] However men who never accepted such a custom certainly are to say the blessing by Kiddush. [Vayagel Yaakov ibid]

[12] Mateh Ephraim ibid

[13] Mateh Ephraim 619:12; Sefer Haminhagim p. 128 [English]

[14] As this was their accepted custom. However, Piskeiy Teshuvos 518:21 rules that they are to say the blessing by Kiddush. However, after looking in his sources, one clearly sees that the cases discussed there are regarding men and not women. Hence, seemingly by women the custom should remain to say Shehechiyanu by candle lighting as is always done.

[15] See Admur 263:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263 footnote 168

[16] Derech Hachaim 50:7; Ketzos Hashulchan 74 footnote 19; Customs in new Siddur Tehillas Hashem; Maharam Shick 119; Birchas Habayis 45:4

[17] Aruch Hashulchan 263:13; Toras Yekusiel 61; Ashel Avraham Butchach; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263:18

The reason: As men do not accept Shabbos right away upon lighting. [See 263:7]

[18] Some rule based on Admur [who does not differentiate between men and women] that men follow the same order as women and light before the blessing. [Ketzos Hashulchan 74 footnote 19; Customs in new Siddur Tehillas Hashem; To note the Nesiv Hachaim did not argue on the ruling of Derech Hachaim ibid] Others however rule that according to [the M”A and] Admur [who states the above custom to first light in Lashon Nikeiva, in contrast to the wording of the Rama] men are to first say the blessing and then light. [Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun on the above Poskim who did not infer differently from Admur as seems clear from his wording and as writes Piskeiy Teshuvos.

[19] Sheivet Hakehasy 6:153

[20] Piskeiy Teshuvos 299 footnote 102

[21] Based on M”A 299:9 that one who says Bein Kodesh Lekodesh when he is meant to say Bein Kodesh Lechol is saying a lie.

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