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Lighting logs on Shabbos


Good evening Rabbi!

We have a question regarding our property which has a log burner as the only source for heat with no way of using gas or electricity and also no goyim to light the stove for the Shabbos. But when it comes to Shabbos what is the halachah? We have in our family 6 children 1 of which is only a few months old and the temperature can get too cold for him, I believe many years ago when it came to health there were no prohibitions to light fire for heat (but not cooking etc.)? Are there also any sources that say you would desecrate the Shabbos lighting the stove for health reasons? Of course when the Sadducees read only the Torah and not oral law they took it to mean that the Torah meant no fires at all and sat in darkness and the cold…

Many thanks!


Your situation is not very common nowadays, but in past generation, for thousands of years, you question was very applicable. Families always had small children around and in Europe it was always cold. While the Sedducees only have the written law, the oral law tells us that on the Shabbos we may not create a fire or even cause that an existing should get hotter or burn better. We may however arrange things so that the fire in the fire place will burn for the complete 24 hours, by placing enough logs in the fire place, to keep your home warm for the whole Shabbos.

While it is true that when a person’s life is in danger, one may violate the Shabbos. We have to do all that we can before Shabbos to insure, that the situation doesn’t get to that. This includes not getting your self into such a situation in the first place, if you know about it beforehand. Therefore make sure that before Shabbos you set up he house in a way that you don’t have to desecrate the Shabbos.  For further reading see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim Chapter 328 and especially 328-1, 17.

Best wishes

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1 Comment

  1. Evening Rabbi!

    Thank you for the quick response, unfortunately we have not had the fireplace burning for more than 7-8hrs but would love some suggestions on how we would be able to keep it going for longer!

    Best regards,

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