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Man lighting Shabbat Candles


When a man lights Shabbos candles, when is the blessing recited? Does he need to cover his eyes like a woman? If a man lights Shabbos candles, can he then drive to shul or do others melochos, and accept Shabbot later before sunset? Should he make a tenai? What is the best way for a man to light Shabbos candles? Please be clear.


When a man lights candles for shabbos it is done differently than when women do it. This is because when a man lights the candles he does not accept the shabbos. The usual way that we perform all mitzvos is that we make the bracha before doing the act of the mitzvah, and then we immediately do the mitzvah. Women however cannot do this when they light their shabbos candles. The reason for this is since a woman accepts the shabbos upon herself when she makes the bracha on the candles. Therefore after she makes her bracha it is already shabbos and she cannot light the candles anymore. Therefore what the Rema says to do is to light the candles before making the bracha, then covering her eyes in order to do benefit from the candles until after she says the bracha. With her eyes covered she says the bracha, then she opens them and benefits from the candles, and it is, in a way, as if she lit the candles only after making the bracha.

Men on the other hand, are not mekabel shabbos when they light their candles, rather in shul when they say kabolas Shabbos or borchu, therefore the way men light is the way we do all mitzvos, by saying the bracha and then lighting the candles. There is also no need for a man to cover his eyes when saying the bracha. A man may also drive to shul after lighting the candles. There is a preference for the man not to do melacha after he lights his candles because there are opinions that he is mekabel shabbos, when he lights.


Rema O:CH 263-5,10, M:B 263- 26-27, 42, Biur Halacha S:H V’achar. Regarding a tnai for men see Bais Yosef 263-10 from Smag and Hagaos Maymoni.

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