Where To Light Shabbat Candles

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - Where To Light 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:

Where should one light the Shabbat Candles?


Answer:

The mitzvah of hadlakat nerot should be done in the room where one will be eating the Shabbat meal or in a place where one will be using throughout Shabbat. One may not light in a place where one will not be using. [1] The best place to light the Shabbat candles is in the place where one will be eating. Once one has lit in the dining room, there is no obligation to light in the other rooms of the house, even if one will be using them on Shabbat. However, it is praiseworthy to have some light in every room of the home that one will be using on Shabbat. [2]


Although the candles do not have to be placed on the table (many Ashkenazim have the custom to place the candles on the table [Rama 263:10]), especially in a home where there are children around and the candles risk being tipped over, nevertheless, the candles should be placed in close proximity to the table where one is eating, where one can benefit from the light as well. [3] If one wants to eat on the porch or in a separate room than the room that the candles have been lit in, he may, but one should sit by the candles afterwards for some time in order to get some benefit from them. [4]


Sources:

[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 203; Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, p. 172.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 195 in the footnotes.

[3]. Even though the Rama 263:10 states that the candles should be on the table. The Kaf HaChaim 263:68 states that according to the Zohar HaKadosh and the Arizal the candles should be placed facing the table in the south. In any case, Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, p. 173 quotes from Mishnat Yosef 4:34 that it is preferable that one should place the candles in close proximity to the table that one is eating on, in order that one should get some benefit from their light, since the candle light is hindered by the electric lights that are on and one cannot derive benefit from them when they are far away from the table.

[4]. Ben Ish Chai, Noach, 2:4; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, book 1, vol. 2, p. 203.


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