Question:

We will be on a cruise during Shabat where lighting a fire is strictly forbidden. Can we use a flashlight for hadlokas neiros and havdaleh instead ? Thx

Answer:

It is controversial if we may use a flashlight for hadlokas neiros, therefore you should use it, but it is better not tot make a bracha when you light them. Regarding havdalah it is also controversial, but for more reasons. The main one is that it isn’t enough of a fire to make borie meorei haesh on it. Therefore you may use the light of the flashlight, but don’t make a bracha on it. This would especially apply if the flashlight is only LED or a fluorescent bulb.

 

Sources:

Har Tzvi 1-114, Shulchan Shlomo Sefer Kavod Shabbos chap. 2 ftnt 26 in the name of R’ Moshe Feinstein zt”l, Be’er Moshe 7 Kuntrus Electric 6.

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