Halacha for Sunday 28 Tishrei 5780 October 27 2019

Stipulating to Move Candles on Shabbat

In the previous Halacha we have discussed that it is absolutely forbidden to move a flame that is burning on top of a wick on Shabbat. As a result of the flame, anything else that serves as a base for the flame, such as the glasses it rest in or the tray under them, is likewise forbidden to be moved on Shabbat. It is forbidden to move the vessels under the flame even after the flame has been extinguished, for the time that establishes an object’s Muktzeh status on Shabbat is “Ben Ha’Shemashot” or twilight of Friday evening. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 279) rules likewise.

Let us now discuss the law regarding one who makes a specific condition before the onset of Shabbat, as follows: “I hereby stipulate that after the flames extinguish, it shall be permissible for me to move the vessels under the flames.” Is this condition halachically sound or not?

Indeed, the Rishonim disagree about this matter, for the Ramban, Rashba, and Ran maintain that if one stipulated explicitly before Shabbat that one should be permitted to move the “bases” of the candles, such as the glasses or tray, once the flames are extinguished, these objects may be moved immediately after the flames are extinguished. Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch (Chapter 279, Section 4) rules likewise.

On the other hand, the Tosafot and Ohr Zarua rule that such a stipulation is invalid. The Rama rules likewise in his gloss on the Shulchan Aruch (ibid). (The reasons for the rulings of the Rishonim can be found in their texts.)

Halachically speaking, Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jews who follow the rulings of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch rule leniently on this matter and they may move the above objects as long as they have made an explicit condition to do so before the onset of Shabbat. However, according to the Ashkenazi custom which is to follow the rulings of the Rama, one should not act leniently. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules likewise in his Chazon Ovadia-Shabbat, Part 1, page 259.

Nevertheless, even according to the Ashkenazi custom, if one stipulated that he should be permitted to move these objects later on, one may move these objects if one requires these very objects for a permissible purpose or because one requires the space they are occupying. Only when there is no such necessity should Ashkenazim rule stringently. (See Chazon Ovadia, ibid, page 261)

It is sufficient to make this condition once a year and have in mind for it to take effect for all of the Shabbatot of the year. The Responsa Peleh Yo’etz (Chapter 12) states that the custom of his household was to make this condition on “Shabbat Teshuva,” the Shabbat preceding Yom Kippur.

Summary: If one stipulates explicitly that one should be permitted to move the vessels under the candles after the flames are extinguished, this stipulation is halachically valid. The Ashkenazi custom is not to rely on such a stipulation unless there is a need to move these objects because one requires them for another permissible usage or because one requires the space they are occupying. It is sufficient to make this condition once a year for all of the Shabbatot of the year.

8 Halachot Most Popular

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

The Pesach Seder-“Maror”, “Shulchan Orech”, and “Tzafun”

Maror Everyone is obligated to eat a Kezayit (olive’s volume, approx. 27 grams) of Maror on the night of Pesach. There are several kinds of vegetables that one may use for Maror, however, the predominant custom today, especially among Sephardic Jewry, is to use the leaves and stalks (spines) ......

Read Halacha

Magid-Motzi-Matzah

The order of the night of Pesach printed in Haggadot is as follows: Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah. Magid Upon reaching the point of the Seder entitled “Magid,” the entire household shoul......

Read Halacha

Hallel on the Night of Pesach-The Laws Regarding Men and Women

The Tosefta (Chapter 3 of Sukkah) states: “There are eighteen days and one night throughout the year when the (complete) Hallel is recited, as follows: The eight days of the Sukkot holiday, the eight days of Chanukah, the first day of Pesach as well as the first night of Pesach, and on the hol......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Koshering Vessels for Pesach

One may not use Chametz vessels on Pesach since vessels which have been used to cook in or have had hot Chametz placed in them have Chametz flavor absorbed in them. Thus, just as we separate between meat and dairy utensils all year long, we must likewise separate between the utensils we use all year......

Read Halacha

Arriving Late to or Skipping Some Portions of the Megillah Reading

Every member of the Jewish nation is obligated to read the Megillah on the day of Purim. One must read it during the night and once again the next day, as the verse states, “My G-d, I call out to you during the day and you do not answer; during the night I have no rest.” This verse is wr......

Read Halacha

Some Detailed Laws Regarding Kitniyot (Legumes) on Pesach

In the previous Halacha we have briefly discussed the primary laws of Chametz and Kitniyot (legumes) on Pesach. We have explained that according to all communities, legumes such as rice and chick peas are not actual Chametz, for only grain products can be considered Chametz. However, Ashkenazim cust......

Read Halacha

Koshering Sinks and Kitchen Countertops

We have previously discussed that just as one should designate vessels for milk and meat respectively, likewise, regarding the holiday of Pesach, one should not use one’s regular Chametz vessels that were used all year round; rather, one should designate special kosher for Pesach vessels. N......

Read Halacha