Question:

On a couple of occasions in the last couple of years my wife has missed the zman for lighting Shabbos candles and as a result has added two more candles, one for each time she missed. She has always used wax candles. When I looked this up recently in the “39 Melachos” sefer (vol. 1) from Rabbi Ribiat, I saw that he mentions the option of – instead of adding candles, you can get longer than usual candles or, if you light oil, add more oil than usual.

All of this being said – my wife has been thinking of switching to oil anyway. Would it be an option for her to switch to oil and, instead of adding the two extras for the time she missed, just get large sized cups for the oil and have the wicks burn longer than the wax ones used to?

Thank you and kol tuv.

Answer:

The Mishna Brura implies that ideally she should add an additional candle, and only one who can’t afford that could add additional oil or use longer candles. Being that she already began to add additional candles it would seem she should continue.

However, there is room for leniency as in general in our times when we have light from electricity and are not left in the dark, many authorities rule this custom of adding does not apply. For some women lighting a different number than their children is very bothersome and if that is the case you may be lenient to add oil.

 

Sources:

MIshna Brura 263:7, See Chut Shani Vol. 4 pg. 56. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbos Vol. 1 pg. 174

 

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