Question:

I light my Shabbos candles with another candle. When I’ve lit the last one, I’m left with a lit candle that I’d like to extinguish, but I remember learning that once that last candle is lit, it is already Shabbos for me. So what I’ve been doing is lighting the candles with this candle, extinguishing it two candles before the end, lighting the last two with a match, and then putting down the match to go out on its own. What is the correct way to do this?

Answer:

A woman usually only accepts Shabbos after making the berocho (which she ordinarily says after lighting). ((כן משמע ממ”ב רס”ג ס”ק כ”א וכן כתב בעה”ש להדיא ע”ש דהוסיף לבאר לפ”ז דמש”כ הב”י שנוהגות קצת נשים שאחר שהדליקו את הנרות בברכה משליכות לארץ הפתילה שבידן שהדליקו בה ואין מכבות אותה עכ”ל, היינו משום דאותן נשים ברכו לפני ההדלקה כדמשמע מלשונו, ולפ”ז נשים שלנו שמברכות אחר ההדלקה שפיר יכולות לכבות ואח”כ יברכו דהא פשיטא דקודם הברכה לא הוי קבלת שבת עכת”ד. וסמך לזה יש להביא ממש”כ הרמ”א בס”ה דיש מי שאומר דמברך אחר ההדלקה ועמ”ב ס”ק כ”ז (והוא ממג”א ס”ק י”ב) דטעם המנהג דאם תברך קודם ההדלקה, כבר קבלה שבת ואינה יכולה להדליק, ולכן מברכת אח”כ. אלא דמזה ליכא ראיה גמורה, די”ל דגם עצם ההדלקה הוי קבלת שבת, וא”כ כשגומרת להדליק נר אחרון שוב לא תוכל לכבות הגפרור או הנר שבידה, ולכן הבאתי דברי עה”ש דס”ל דקבלת שבת רק בברכה ולא בגמר ההדלקה. )) Therefore, even after you light the last of the neiros Shabbos you have not accepted Shabbos until you have completed theberocho. This means that you could finish lighting all the neiros Shabbos with a candle, extinguish the candle used for lighting, and then make the berocho.

On Yom Tov it is best for a woman to make the berocho before she lights. ((Ordinarily, a berocho should be said before the act of the mitzva. Lighting Shabbos candles, however, presents a unique problem. Once the berocho is made, Shabbos has been accepted and lighting a candle is forbidden. To solve this paradox, the custom has developed of making the berocho before Shabbos, after the candles are lit (M.B. 263:27). On Yom Tov, however, one is permitted to light a candle from an existing flame. Therefore it is best to make the berocho for the Yom Tov candles before lighting. Yom Tov will be accepted with the berocho and the mitzva of lighting the candles can be performed afterwards. (This is obviously only true when Yom Tov does not fall on Shabbos.) Some people are accustomed to making theberocho after lighting the Yom Tov candles just as they do for the Shabbos candles. This prevents confusion and mistakes on Shabbos (Mogen Avrohom 263:12). Such a practice is acceptable. It is preferable, however, to act with deliberation and wisdom and make the berocho before Yom Tov candle-lighting (M.B. 263:27 and the introduction by the son of the Derisha to the Tur Y.D.). )) In that case, she accepts Yom Tov at the time of the berocho and lights the candles on Yom Tov itself (not before Yom Tov). ((This is true even when a woman lights neiros Yom Tov before sunset. On Yom Tov, a woman can light the neiros after dark, in which case it is obviously Yom Tov already and the same procedure needs to be followed. )) In this situation, putting out a candle or match is forbidden. Once Yom Tov was accepted with the berocho, even striking a match before the candle-lighting is forbidden. You need to obtain a flame in a permitted fashion and then light the candles. ((If you wish to light the neiros with a match, you must strike the match before the berocho is made (when lighting before sunset) or you can transfer a flame to the match or candle from an existing flame (this can be done when lighting after sunset also). )) As long as you do not extinguish the fire, but put the match down and let the fire go out on its own, you have not violated Yom Tov. If you do not want to use a match you can also light all the neiros Yom Tov with a candle but you must leave the candle burning after you have finished lighting theneiros Yom Tov.

This should be your method for lighting all the neiros Yom Tov. You will not have the luxury of lighting the first neiros with a candle, extinguishing the candle, and lighting the last two neiros with a match as you had done before Shabbos.

When Yom Tov falls on Shabbos, the practice of lighting for Shabbos should be followed. ((הטעם פשוט, דהרי אינו מברך אלא ברכה אחת להדליק נר של שבת ושל יום טוב (מ”ב רס”ג ס”ק כ”ד), וא”כ מקבלת שבת בברכה ולא תוכל להדליק אח”כ כמו בכל שבת, ולכן נכון שקודם תדליק ואח”כ תברך. ))

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