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Indirectly Extinguishing A Fire On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Indirectly Extinguishing A Fire On 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)


May one Indirectly extinguish a fire on Shabbat?

May one open a door or window if it will extinguish a fire?


It is forbidden to open a door or window that will cause a draft (either from the wind coming from outside or by the swinging of the door) that will extinguish a flame that is near the door or window. [1]

However, If the flame is not near the window or door, then it is permitted to open the window or door provided that the flame will not definitely become extinguished. [2]

Similarly, if there are two opposite doors on either side of the room, then one should not have both doors open at once since it may cause a draft and blow any candles out that are lit in the room. [3]

Nonetheless, It is permitted to open a window or close a window, even though this will cause a flame of a candle or wick to either become larger or smaller. [4] Furthermore, it is permitted to walk past a lit candle, even though one may cause the flame to move as one is passing by. However, one may not run past the candles. [5]


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 277:1; Mishnah Berurah 277:2. This is prohibited since the flame will definitely become extinguished, even though one has no intention to do so or have any benefit from the melachah. See Halachah Berurah, vol. 17, pp. 179-188 at length on this subject. See also Rambam, Shabbat, 2:17.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 110; Mishnah Berurah 277:2.

[3]. Mishnah Berurah 680:2; Halachah Berurah, vol. 17, p. 190.

[4]. Rama 277:1; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 113; Halachah Berurah, vol. 17, p. 192. See also Terumat Hadeshen 59.

[5]. Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 18:20; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 113; Halachah Berurah, vol. 17, p. 204; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah, 13:38.

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