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Lighting Shabbos Candles


Hello Rabbi,

My mom very much dislikes lighting Shabbos candles and because my parents are divorced, that leaves my brother (who is below the age of bar Mitzvah) and I. Should I light Shabbos candles in her place? Must I ask her every Friday afternoon if she would like to light them before I do it (even though she almost always says no) ? Also, if I am in the shower or busy getting dressed for shabbos, may I ask my brother to light the candles even though he is below bar mitzvah?

Thank you and have a happy channukah


Thank you for your question.

If your mother doesn’t want to light, there is no need to force her to do so, you should just light the candles every Shabbos. The reason for this is because essentially men and women are obligated in the mitzva of lighting candles for the honor of Shabbos, however women were given the privilege of getting the honor to light for everyone in the house. If your mother doesn’t want the honor, you don’t have to ask her and bother her about it. When you light though have in mind to  include your mother in the mitzva.

Make sure that you are ready in time to light the candles, because you brother who is not yet bar mitzva cannot be your messenger to do a mitzva for you, since he is not yet obligated to do the mitzva. Although preferably you should be dressed for Shabbos when you light the candles, it the time has come and you are not dressed yet, you can still light the candles and get dressed later.

Another point, preferably the candles should be lit 18 minutes before sunset, and if you missed this time light as soon as you can. However, you may not light the candles when it is less than 2 minutes to sunset.

Have a great Shabbos and a happy Chanukah


O:CH 263-2, Shmiras Shabbos Khilchoso 45 ftnt. 34, Zachor V’shamor -Kabolas Shabbos pg. 2, Igros Moshe O:CH 1-96, Shvus Yitzchok 4 pg.155.

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