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Candle lighting when eating out for the seder


Dear Rabbi
I have a Shaila about candle lighting for Shabbos and Yom Tov on each of the Sedarim nights, if one is staying in a hotel should they light by the hotel room where they will be sleeping or should they light by where they will be eating? The first night Seder is at the shul and second night at the Rabbi’s home. Thank you Rabbi for your kindness in answering my Shailos and I wish for you and your family Chag Kasher v’Sameach



Here are the Halachos with the various options.

In order to fulfill the מצוה of הדלקת נרות, there must be some benefit derived from the light of the candles. This can be done in one of two ways; 1. By enjoying the elegance that the candles add to the Shabbos meal (כבוד שבת). 2. By receiving pleasure from the light that the candles give (עונג שבת).

The Poskim discuss whether one may be יוצא the mitzvah of lighting candles in a room that is already illuminated with candles[1], ( and nowadays with electric lights[2]), because no real benefit is being derived from the light of the candles. There is a difference between lighting where one is eating, and lighting in other places.

  1. Lighting in the place of the meal– When one lights where she is eating, she is יוצא since the candles add to the elegance[3]of the meal. Many Poskim suggest, that even here, it is preferable that the lights in the room be turned off[4] and then turned on immediately before lighting the candles Have in mind that the lights of the electric bulbs should be included in the bracha on the candles. This way, all the lights in the room are part of the lighting, and a benefit is definitely gotten.
  2. Lighting where one is not eating- As mentioned above, a person can fulfill the מצוה by benefiting from the light of the candles. However, when lighting in a place different from where one is eating, and other candles already light that place, one must be very careful to derive a benefit from the candles. If no benefit is derived, the ברכה made on the candles is a ברכה לבטלה. Some options are; (see F-3-a)
  1. Eat some food by the candles, (preferably a מזונות food). This way the place of the candles becomes like the place of the meal.
  2. Read close enough to the candles so that you benefit from it’s light.
  3. Turn the electric light on when lighting the candles, and include them in your הדלקת נרות.


Hotels– Staying in a hotel for Shabbos, (regarding הדלקת נרות), is very similar to being in a hospital. Very often, the hotel management will not allow the guests to light נרות at their tables, and instead, sets up a table for lighting candles. Usually these tables are in a room adjacent to the dining room, or in an out-of-the-way corner of the dining room. This set up is very problematic, as the candles do not provide any benefit, therefore, to make a ברכה on those candles will be a[5] ברכה לבטלה.  The options for lighting in the correct way are;

  1. To light in one’s room with candles that will last until returning from the meal. (Of course, providing that the management allows it, and if it is done safely)
  2. If the candle table is in the dining room; by choosing a table near the candles[6].
  3. Eat some challah or matzoh near[7] your candles.
  4. By turning on an electric light in a place that she will benefit from it, while having in mind to included them with her candles[8]. (She shouldn’t talk out between turning on the electric light and lighting her candles.)
  5.  If all the above options can’t be done, then she should turn on the electric lights in her room without a[9] ברכה.

As a side note, on the second night, it is only Yom Tov and not Shabbos, therefore if you have a light that is lit at home, you can light your candles from it after you get home from the second seder and benifit from them then.

Have a good Yom Tov





[1] ע’ שו”ע סע’ ח’, וע”ש שד


עת הרמ”א להקל.

[2] ע’ בפוסקים שהובאו להלן.

[3] ערה”ש שם אות ד’, מ”ב ס”ק ל”ט וס”ק  מ’, וע’ לשונו שם שאינו ברכה לבטלה אבל עדיין עדיף שיהיה דלוק בצורה שיהנה מהם ממש. ע’ ס’ שבות יצחק ח”ח פ”ד אות ג’ שמקשה למה ב’ בעלי בתים שחייבים להדליק שלא ידלקו במנורה א’ לדעת המחבר. וע”ש מה שתירץ ששמע מהרב אלישיב שליט”א.

[4] שש”כ פ’ מ”ג סע’ ל”ד שבות יצחק ח”ח פ”ב אות ה’, ופ”ד אות ב’ מרש”ז זצ”ל ויבחל”ח הרב אלישיב שליט”א, וע’ ס’ כבוד שבת פ”ד הערה 4 וכן בתשובות והנהגות ח”ב ס’ קנ”ז שכן נהגו בביתו של ר’ משה זצ”ל וכן בביתו של ר’ יעקב קמינצקי זצ”ל, וכן בבאר משה ח”ה ס’ קי”ג,  ורבבות אפרים ח”ג ס’ קס”ב.

[5]ס’ כבוד שבת עמ’ 13 בשם ר’ משה זצ”ל, שש”כ פ’ מ”ה ע’ ט’ והערה מ”ד, זכור ושמור הדלקת נרות עמ’ 17.

[6]שש”כ שם.

[7]זכור ושמור שם.

[8] ע’ אמת ליעקב  להגאון הר’ י’ קמינצקי זצ”ל הערה 274 כשמדליקים בחשמל אחרי שמדליקין הנרות לפני הברכה כוללים החשמל בברכת הנרות וע”ש שכן נהג כשהיה במלון. ואמר לי הרב א. גרינבלעט שליט”א שאף שאין מברכים לכתחילה על נרות עלעקטרי אבל הכא כיון שיחד עם זה מדליקה גם סתם נרות ממילא היא יכולה לברך, אע”פ שהנרות גם כו אינם מספיקין לברכה היות ולא יהנו מהם, מ”מ ביחד מצטרף לברכה.

[9]ס’ כבוד שבת שם בשם ר’ משה זצ”ל. וכן בחוט שני פפ”ג סע’ ח’ אות ט’.



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