Shabbat Candle Lighting

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - Candle Lighting For Shabbat 🕯


‎״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

What reward does one get for lighting Shabbat Candles?

What should one have in mind when lighting the Shabbat Candles?


Answer:

Both men and woman have an obligation to have light in their home on Shabbat (meaning if one isn't married or the wife isn't home the husband lights as will be discussed in a future Halacha Moment). This is in order to honor Shabbat and in order that one should not stumble on an object because of the lack of light. [1]


The mitzvah of hadlakat nerot (lighting Shabbat Candles) is a great and important mitzvah. One who is especially careful in observing this mitzvah merits to have children who are Torah scholars. [2]


At the time one lights the Shabbat candles, it is an especially auspicious time for one’s prayers to be answered. Therefore, after a woman is finished lighting, she should put her hands out and pray for her husband’s health and well-being and for her children’s success in Torah and fear of Heaven. After she is done she should also pray that the redemption should come speedily in our days. [3]


It is also praiseworthy custom to give tzedakah before lighting the Shabbat candles. [4]


Sources:

[1]. See Gemara Shabbat 25b. See also Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 162. See also in Yabia Omer, vol. 2, O.C. 17 regarding the obligation of having a “light” in one’s home.

[2]. See Gemara Shabbat 23b; Zohar, Bereshit, 48b; Shulchan Aruch 263:1; Mishnah Berurah 263:2; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 177, footnote 6. See also in Shemesh U’Magen 2:75.

[3]. See in Rabbenu Bachyeh, Shemot, 19:3 who explains that one’s prayers are more likely to be answered when one prays after doing a mitzvah. See also in Kaf HaChaim_ 263:34; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 173.

[4]. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 75:2. The Kaf HaChaim 263:34 adds that according to Kabbalah, one should give three coins to tzedakah. See also in Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, book 1, vol. 2, p. 23 who brings from the Shela and others that giving tzedakah before lighting Shabbat candles is a segulah for having children.


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