Moving The Shabbat Candles

The Daily Halacha Moment - Moving The Shabbat Candles 🕯️


״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:

May one move the Shabbat Candles on Shabbat?


Answer:

When one places a muktzeh item on top of a non-muktzeh item, even the non-muktzeh item becomes muktzeh, and is not permitted to be moved. This is called bassis le’davar ha’assur. (Bassis Le'davar Ha'assur will be explained at length in future Halacha Moments)[1]

The fire of a candle is considered muktzeh, and the candle sticks that are supporting the candle flame are considered a bassis ledavar ha’issur. Therefore, since they were lit from before Shabbat, they retain their status of muktzeh machmat gufo and are not allowed to be moved even after the flame extinguishes. According to the Sephardic custom a way to circumvent this issue is that one can stipulate before Shabbat that when the flame goes out, one has intention to move the candle sticks to a different place. It is sufficient to state this stipulation once every year, and one does not need to do so every erev Shabbat. [2] Ashkenazim, however act stringently and may not move the Shabbat Candles even with a stipulation. [3]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 310:7. See also Gemara, Shabbat, 44a.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch 279:4; Birkei Yosef 279:4; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 259; ibid., vol. 6, p. 147; ibid., Chanukah, p. 181. See also Sh"t Pele Yoetz §12 p. 257. One may even move the candle sticks in order to protect the candle sticks and not only because one needs the space.

[3]. See Rama 274:4 Based on Tosafot, Shabbat, 44a.


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