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Siman 275 - Things Which Are Assur to Do by the Light of a "Candle" on Shabbos

 

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch material for the siman: from "Halacha-yomi" at www.Torah.org

More on practical applications of the siman: see Rav Mansour's discussion of electric lights (with or without a dimmer)

 

NOTE: This is a temporary page. We apologize for the lack of proper "design".

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 1

 

(a) Is it assur to examine one's clothing for lice by the light of a "candle" [i.e. oil lamp] on Shabbos, as a safeguard against the melacha of kindling (i.e. tilting the lamp so it burns better)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 11a (point3b) (Mishnah) and 12a (points2a-e1) (Gemara).]

 

(b) Is there also a decree not to read (books or the like) by the light of a "candle" [i.e. oil lamp] on Shabbos, to similarly prevent the melacha of kindling (and if so, does this apply if one does not speak the words as he reads them)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): There is such a decree - and it includes even if one does not speak the words.

          [Classic sources: Same as above.]

 

(c) Does the above decree (not to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, to prevent the melacha of kindling) make any distinction if the "candle" is too high to reach? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): No - [it is included] even if it is ten times a person's height up.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 12b (points4a-b). (It is also discussed on 149a (points1e-hAndLthruL5).)]

 

(d) Does the above decree (not to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, to prevent the melacha of kindling) make any distinction if the "candle" is enclosed [beyond one's reach such as] in a glass [box] or within a hollow space in the wall? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Based on the principle [set forth in the previous question], even this must be assur.

 

(e) Does the above decree (not to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, to prevent the melacha of kindling) apply even in the case of a candle which is solid (such as one made of wax)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes.

          [Classic sources: See Shabbos 20b (SeePoints1d-e).]

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 2

 

(a) Is there a basic exception to the above decree (not to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, to prevent the melacha of kindling) for someone who has another person reading together with him, since this serves as a protection? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes, for if one of them is about to adjust the flame, the other will remind him [that it is Shabbos].

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 12b (points4c-e).]

 

(b) What are the details of what's considered another person "reading together" with oneself such that it is a protection that can exclude them from the above decree (not to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, to prevent the melacha of kindling)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): They must be reading from the same material, for then each one will notice what his fellow is doing.

          The Rema writes (put simply): [However,] some hold that even reading from the same material is assur if they use separate books, and [that] therefore it is assur to recite piyutim [i.e. liturgical poems] in the synagogue [by the light of "candles"] on Yom Tov nights which fall on Shabbos, and this is in fact the [Ashkenazi] minhag.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 12b (points4c-e).]

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 3

 

If one wishes to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, can another person serve as a protection for him (excluding him from the above decree enacted to prevent the melacha of kindling) if this other is uninvolved in the reading but appointed to the task? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes, both if it is just some other person who is with him that he tells to pay attention to him such that he will not adjust the flame, or if he says this to his wife.

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 4

 

Does the above decree (not to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, to prevent the melacha of kindling) apply to an "important person" (i.e. one who consequently is not accustomed to adjusting a flame even during the week)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): No; it is muttar for him [to read] in any [of the above] cases.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 12b (points4g-i).]

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 5

 

Is another person reading together with oneself a protection that can exclude them from the above decree (not to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, to prevent the melacha of kindling) if it is actually a large fire that they read by? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): No, then even ten people may not read, for since they sit far apart from one another, and furthermore the rods for stoking the fire lie close to them, consequently one of them will not notice if his fellow begins to stoke (and [thus] "kindle") [the fire].

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 12b (point4f).]

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 6

 

If "students [of Torah] in their master's [school]house" wish to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, can "the fear of their master" serve as a protection for them (excluding them from the above decree enacted to prevent the melacha of kindling)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 13a (points4d1-f).]

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 7

 

If one wishes to read the [Mishnah chapter] "Bameh Madlikin" with a "candle" on Shabbos, can its very content serve as a protection for him (excluding him from the above decree enacted to prevent the melacha of kindling)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes, for [in it] he mentions that which is assur on Shabbos - so how could he forget [that matter itself]?

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 8

 

If one wishes to read from a "machzor" with a "candle" on Yom Kippur, can the fear of that day serve as a protection for him (excluding him from the above decree enacted to prevent the melacha of kindling on Shabbos)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): The minhag is [in fact] for people to do so.

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 9

 

If Pesach night falls on Shabbos, is it assur to read the material from a [tangible] Haggadah with a "candle", because of the above decree (to prevent the melacha of kindling)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): No, because this resembles "section headings" [i.e. the leniency in the next se'if], for there is no ignoramus who does not have [this material] "readily upon his lips" [at least] somewhat.

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 10

 

Is it assur for a teacher to glance at the Torah portion to check the material his students will be reading, because of the above decree (not to read with a "candle" on Shabbos, to prevent the melacha of kindling)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): It is muttar, [for he] uses the book [merely] to arrange that the section headings be [readily] upon his lips, [whereas] the reading of the remainder of the section he does by heart. [In fact, this leniency is] not specifically for "section headings", but rather it is muttar in any [case in] which one knows a section [of material] by heart [just that] for a bit [of it] he needs to look in the book, because since he is not focusing constantly on the book, there is a conspicuous aspect [to such "reading"] and [consequently] one will not come to adjust the flame.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 11a (point3c) and 12b (points1a-c).]

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 11

 

Is it assur to examine items of clothing by the light of a "candle" on Shabbos in order to distinguish between them, as a safeguard [related to the one in question 1(a) above] against the melacha of kindling? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): Yes, whenever this requires careful examination, and this includes even distinguishing one's own clothes from one's wife's (if they are in fact similar [to such a degree]).

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 12a (points2f-g1).]

 

 

Siman 275, se'if 12

 

(a) Is it assur for a househould staff member (such as an assistant) to examine dishes (or other such vessels) by the light of a "candle" on Shabbos, as a safeguard [related to the one in question 1(a) above] against the melacha of kindling? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): A permanent staff member may check cups, since that does not require careful examination. One who is not permanent may not check any vessels, since he is not familiar with them, whether by an olive oil "candle" or [even (Mishnah Berurah)] one of "naphtha" [i.e. the foul smelling "white tar"] (whose illumination is stronger).

          The Rema writes (put simply): [On the other hand,] some hold that checking by one of "naphtha" is muttar, even in the case of a staff member who is not permanent.

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 12b (points4j-s).]

 

(b) Is it assur for a househould staff member (such as an assistant) to examine vessels by the light of an olive oil "candle" on Shabbos, as a safeguard against the melacha of extinguishing (for he might partake of it)? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Shulchan Aruch writes (put simply): It is [fundamentally] muttar, but we do not [actively] issue such a ruling to someone (i.e. that he may do it).

          [Classic sources: Shabbos 12b (points4j-s).]

 

(c) Should one see to it that people (even small children) are not undressed in front of the Shabbos candles, to avoid a denigration of the Mitzvah? [Request "Halacha Sources" discussion]

          The Rema writes (put simply): The minhag is [in fact] to see that they are [all] covered, and the Rokeiach wrote [that this is correct] as well.