Halacha Date: 8 Tishrei 5778 September 28 2017
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’ei Yom Kippur (the night following Yom Kippur) immediately at nightfall; rather, one should wait a short while. It is indeed worthy for every person to act stringently and abstain from eating and performing work until seventy-two minutes past sunset have elapsed in accordance with the opinion of Rabbeinu Tam as well as the majority of the Rishonim. We have already dedicated a special Halacha stressing the importance of being stringent in accordance with Rabbeinu Tam’s view.
Nevertheless, one who is ill and suffers greatly from the fast or pregnant or nursing women who suffer greatly from the fast may be lenient and eat a short time after nightfall (in the United States approximately forty minutes past sunset).
Havdala on a Cup of Wine
One must recite Havdala on a cup of wine on Motza’ei Yom Kippur just as one would do on Motza’ei Shabbat and Motza’ei Yom Tov.
The “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” Blessing- This Year, 5778
In the Havdala of Motza’ei Yom Kippur, one must recite the “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” blessing just as one does during the Havdala of Motza’ei Shabbat. The reason why we recite this blessing on Motza’ei Shabbat is because the creation of fire came about on Motza’ei Shabbat, as the Gemara (Pesachim 54a) states that on Motza’ei Shabbat, Hashem granted Adam the wisdom to strike two stones together to produce fire.
However, on Motza’ei Yom Kippur which does not coincide with Motza’ei Shabbat, this reason does not apply. Nevertheless, one should recite this blessing on Motza’ei Yom Kippur as well, for during Yom Kippur, it was prohibited to light a fire and on Motza’ei Yom Kippur, it becomes permissible to do so once again. We therefore recite the “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” blessing as a result of the renewed permission to light a fire.
One must therefore take care that the fire used to recite this blessing on was from a “candle which rested,” i.e. a candle lit before the onset of Yom Kippur or another candle lit from a candle which was lit before the onset of Yom Kippur, for on Yom Kippur itself it has been forbidden to light a fire from it and now, on Motza’ei Yom Kippur, it is permissible to light a fire from it.
If one does not have a candle lit before the onset of Yom Kippur, on all other years according to Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l, one should not recite the “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” blessing at all. However, this year, 5778, when Yom Kippur coincides with Shabbat in any case, even if one does not have a candle lit before the onset of Yom Kippur, one may recite this blessing even on a regular candle lit on Motza’ei Yom Kippur. The reason one may recite a blessing even on such a candle is for the same reason we recite the “Boreh Me’orei Ha’esh” on any other Motza’ei Shabbat. (See Responsa Yechave Da’at, Volume 1, Chapter 63 and Chazon Ovadia-Yamim Nora’im, page 383.)
“Boreh Minei Besamim”
During Havdala of Motza’ei Yom Kippur, a blessing is not recited on Besamim (fragrant objects). Even this year when Yom Kippur coincides with Shabbat, one should not recite the “Boreh Minei Besamim” blessing. Nevertheless, Maran zt”l writes (ibid. page 384) that it is especially worthy that after one has concluded the Havdala and tasted the required amount of wine, one should then recite a blessing on Besamim.
From Strength to Strength
It is a Mitzvah to eat and drink merrily on Motza’ei Yom Kippur, as the Midrash states that on Motza’ei Yom Kippur a Heavenly voice rings out and exclaims, “Go eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a good heart, for G-d has already accepted your actions.” (Kohelet Chapter 9)
Those who are especially meticulous with Mitzvah observance begin building their Sukkah on Motza’ei Yom Kippur in order to go from one Mitzvah to another, as the verse states, “They will go from strength to strength.”