Candles not

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Candles not

Postby aries » Mon May 21, 2012 3:53 am

The use fire by transfer on yom tov is not a blanket permission. Here are three candles which some consider a useless candle and therefore not permitted to light on yom tov. This is more of a problem this year as we can't light the candle before yom tov as it is shabbat.
1. Ner neshama a remembrance for the dead candle. Since you derive no benefit from the candle it is a useless candle. Some permit since it is such a widespread minhag, that people consider it part of the chag.
2. Havdallah. Since the havdallah candle has a lot of wicks, the extra light it gives is for enhanced effect not for lighting the room. Everyone just puts two candles together so it is not a real problem. Shomrei shabat khilchato 62
3. If you forgot to inspect for chametz before pessach, you have to inspect on pesach,like on chol hamoed. However on pesach yom tov maybe you shouldn't since you need to inspect with a candle during the day. Since the candle just lets you see into cracks to find chametz, it is not necessary for the chag and therefore should not be lit. OH 435
Aryeh Shore
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Candle not 02

Postby aries » Mon May 28, 2012 7:18 pm

Now the question arises of the candles of the synagogue on a holiday. Didn't see too much of this in the States, but in Israel they light candles during the day during every prayer. (Actually they are electric in most places.) They also light a lot of candles during shacharit. I don't know why but my friend collects the wax each day and makes fancy candles from the wax.
In any event, what about yom tov and lighting the candles during the day. The candles have no use and therefore is an unnecessary transfer and not permitted by Askenazim. (The Rambam has no problem with transferring flame for any purpose.) Like many early Askenazic customs, people were doing it long before anyone got around to asking if there was something wrong. The various 13th and 12th century poskim were pretty much all in agreement that the candles serve to make the synagogue look elegant and this contributes to the enjoyment of the holiday. What I found interesting was the justifications given by R. Zedkiah from Rome.
1. Candles during the day give a nice glow to the synagogue. We see this on Hoshanna Rabba where everyone comes to the synagogue carrying a lantern. (I know of no other mention of this custom.)
2. The churches are filled with candles on their holidays, so everyone feels that candlelight makes a place more festive.
Aryeh Shore
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