Forgot To Light Shabbat Candles

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - Forgot to Light 🕯


״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 does one do if one forgot to light the Shabbat Candles?


Answer:

The Chachamim established that a woman who forgets to light candles before Shabbat must light an extra candle on every Shabbat from then on. This only applies, however, to a woman who forgot entirely to light, but if she lit at least one candle, even though she regularly lights more than one, she does not have to light another candle the next Shabbat for forgetting. [1]


A woman does not have to light an extra candle if forgot to light Shabbat candles for reasons that are beyond her abilities. This includes if: she fell asleep before Shabbat and only awoke after shekiyah; the clock stopped working and she did was not aware of the time; she was busy with some other work and though that she had more time to light that she actually had; if she ran out of oil or candles and could not buy any more before Shabbat; if she was stuck somewhere before the onset of Shabbat and could not make it home to light candles; if accidentally lit earlier than plag haminchah and did not know that she does not fulfill her obligation through such a lighting. [2]


If a woman did not light as many candles as she usually lights, then she does not have to light an additional candle the next week, since she has fulfilled her mitzvah of lighting. However, it is praiseworthy for her to add some extra oil or use a larger candle from then on, or she should donate some oil or candles to a poor person. [3]


Furthermore, A woman who just becomes observant does not have to extra candles for all of the times that she did not light when she was unobservant. [4]


Sources:

[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 173; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, book 1, vol. 2, p. 90.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 174; Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, pp. 193-194.

[3]. Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, p. 195.

[4]. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah, vol. 2, chap. 43, footnote 36; Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, p. 195.


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