Halacha for Thursday 26 Elul 5778 September 6 2018

Lighting Candles on the Days of Rosh Hashanah

Lighting Candles on Erev Rosh Hashanah
On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to light candles in honor of the holiday before sunset as we do on Erev Shabbat. If candles were not lit before sunset, candles may be lit on Yom Tov as well in the permissible manner, i.e. by transferring a flame from a pre-existent fire, such as from a flame on gas stove or Yahrzeit candle lit before the onset of Yom Tov and use this to light the Yom Tov candles, for it is forbidden to create a new flame on Yom Tov.

The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing While Lighting the Candles
There is a custom among some women that when lighting the candles on Erev Rosh Hashanah or any other Erev Yom Tov for that matter, they recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing at the same time as well. Nevertheless, it is preferable not to observe this custom, for it is clear from the Poskim that our Sages did not institute the recitation of the “Shehecheyanu” blessing while lighting candles. Indeed, the great Gaon, She’elat Ya’abetz (Chapter 107) writes, “The custom that some have to recite the ‘Shehecheyanu’ blessing while lighting the candles in honor of Yom Tov is baseless, for this is not mentioned by any of the Poskim.” Women should therefore fulfill their obligation to hear the “Shehecheyanu” blessing within the Kiddush of the night of Yom Tov along with the men present (Chazon Ovadia-Yamim Nora’im, page 62). If a woman, nevertheless, has recited the “Shehecheyanu” blessing while lighting candles, she must take care not to answer “Amen” to the “Shehecheyanu” blessing recited during the Kiddush.

Lighting Candles on the Second Night of Rosh Hashanah
Candles are lit on the second night of Yom Tov as well in honor of the holiday. Some women have the custom to light candles before sunset of the first day of Yom Tov while others light the candles after nightfall of the second night of Yom Tov, once the first day of Yom Tov has already passed. Halachically speaking, the candles may be lit on the first day of Yom Tov before sunset in order for the candles to remain lit in honor of the second night of Yom Tov and this does not constitute the prohibition of “preparing on one day of Yom Tov for the next” since these same candles illuminate on the first day of Rosh Hashanah as well, when they are lit. (See Tosafot Betzah 22a and Chazon Ovadia-ibid. page 182)

Summary: Candles should be lit on Erev Rosh before sunset. It is preferable not to recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing during candle-lighting. Candles should likewise be lit in honor of the second day of Rosh Hashanah as well. These candles may be lit before sunset of the first day of Yom Tov.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

Laws of the Sechach (Roof) of the Sukkah and Decorations Hung from the Sechach

The Mitzvah to Beautify the Sukkah It is a great Mitzvah to beautify the Sukkah and decorate it as much as possible by adorning it with beautiful vessels and illuminating it with fine lights. The Mekubalim write that by honoring the Sukkah with fine lighting, one’s soul will merit resting pea......

Read Halacha

The Ten Days of Repentance

“Seek Hashem When He is Present” Our Sages teach us (Rosh Hashanah 18a) teach us that the words of the verse “Seek out Hashem when He is present, call Him when He is near,” refers to the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when Hashem is considered to be closer and mor......

Read Halacha

Motza’ei Yom Kippur

Adding From the Mundane Onto the Holiness One must add some of the mundane weekday onto the holiness of Yom Kippur upon its exit, i.e. one should not end this holy day immediately with nightfall; rather, one should wait another few minutes. Thus, it is prohibited to eat or perform work on Motza&rsq......

Read Halacha


The Obligation to Eat in the Sukkah-The Days Between Yom Kippur and Sukkot

The days between Yom Kippur and the Sukkot holiday are indeed holy ones during which we are involved with the building of the Sukkah in order to go from strength to strength. Our Sages teach us that the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot are treated as sanctified days and are similar to the day......

Read Halacha

Rosh Hashanah-Judgment Day

On both nights of Rosh Hashanah, we customarily eat certain symbolic foods that serve as a good omen for the upcoming year. The details and order of this custom can be found in the Halacha regarding the Order of Rosh Hashanah. Our Sages, in Masechet Rosh Hashanah (16a), have disclosed an invaluab......

Read Halacha

The Ten Days of Repentance

Important Note: Those who suffer from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and the like, should already seek the guidance of a G-d-fearing doctor and then consult with an expert halachic authority regarding how to prepare for Yom Kippur in terms of fasting since many times, due to proper preparation,......

Read Halacha

Lighting Candles on the Days of Rosh Hashanah

Lighting Candles on Erev Rosh Hashanah On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to light candles in honor of the holiday before sunset as we do on Erev Shabbat. If candles were not lit before sunset, candles may be lit on Yom Tov as well in the permissible manner, i.e. by transferring a......

Read Halacha