Yeshiva/Seminary Students Lighting Shabbat Candles

The Daily Halacha Moment - Students and 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:

Do Yeshiva Bachurim or seminary students need to light Shabbat Candles?

My Yeshiva/Seminary doesn't let me light candles since it can cause a fire hazard what should I do?


Answer:

Yeshiva and seminary students are obligated to light Shabbat candles, even if they are in yeshiva or seminary that is located in the country of their parents’ residence. Preferably, each student in each dorm room should light his own candles. Otherwise, the students may fulfill their obligation with one set of candles. If this is also not possible, one may rely on the candles lit in the yeshiva's or seminary's dining room, provided that he will have some light in his room, such as electric light coming from the hallway or a nightlight. [See footnote 1] In any case, even when lighting in the room, or in the dining room, only one person should recite the berachah on behalf of everyone. Morenu Maran Ovadia Yosef, as brought in a letter in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 59, footnote 29, states that girls in seminary should all light at least one candle, even when lighting in the dining room, and one girl each week should recite the berachah on everyone’s behalf, and after answering amen, they should all light their candles as well.


Nonetheless, if one cannot light Shabbat Candles with fire, according to many poskim one may use an electric light to fulfill one's obligation and may even recite a berachah, provided that one will benefit from this light on Shabbat (I actually use to light with a Shabbat lamp in my Yeshiva dorm room in Eretz Yisrael since the Yeshiva didn't want any fire hazard). Some poskim don't permit to recite a berachah. [See Footnote 2]


Sources:

[1]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 202; Halachah Berurah, vol. 15, p. 306. The Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, Book 1, vol. 2, p. 71 adds that since many yeshivot do not let one to light candles in the room because of the potential fire hazard, then one should rely on lighting an electric light instead, or at least have some light coming into the room from outside of the room. See also in Be’er Moshe 1:14; Ohr LeTzion 2:18:4; Shemesh U’Magen 4:26:8.

[2]. See in Ohr LeTzion 2:18:13; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 1, p. 212; Yabia Omer, 2:17 & 9:108:124; Yechaveh Daat 5:24; Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 46; Maor Yisrael, vol. 3, p. 109; Shevut Yitzchak, vol. 8, p. 32; Hilchot Shabbat B’Shabbat, vol. 4, footnote 28; Ashrei HaIsh, 2:6:33, 56; Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah, 43:4; Teshuvot V’Hanhagot 2:156 who all state that one may recite a berachah on electric lights. Unlike the opinions of the Mishpetei Uziel 1:7, 3:33; Yaskil Avdi 2:9:9; Tzitz Eliezer 1:20:11, 20:19:5, 21:11:2; Chut Shani, Shabbat, vol. 4, p. 66 who state that one should not recite a berachah on electric lights. See also at great length on this subject in Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, Book 1, vol. 2, in the Kuntres Acharon, §3.


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