Lighting Candles for Yom Tov

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Many of the laws of lighting candles on Yom Tov are the same as for Shabbat. So this page is primarily for the halachot specific to candle lighting on Yom Tov. For the halachot that apply to lighting candles on Shabbat, see the Shabbat Candles page.

Bracha

  1. Even though there are different minhagim about the order of lighting candles on Friday night, on Erev Yom Tov the Minhag Yisrael is to say the Bracha of Lehadlik Ner before lighting the candles.[1]
  2. There is a Minhag of those who say Shehecheyanu before they light Yom Tov candles. However, many authorities hold that one shouldn't make a Shehecheyanu over the lighting at that time. Rather one should either say it after the lighting or wait until Kiddish to hear the bracha then.[2]
  3. Many poskim advise that the women not say Shehechiyanu at the time of lighting candles, but rather to wait to hear it during the Kiddush.[3]
  4. If on Shabbat Yom Tov the woman made a mistake and forgot to mention Shabbat and Yom Tov in the bracha she can't go back and recite another bracha.[4]
  5. One should make a Bracha of LeHadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov with Shem Umalchut for the lighting of the candles of Yom Tov.[5]
  6. The accepted minhag is that a women say the brachot of hadlakat nerot prior to lighting candles of Yom Tov.[6]

Candle Lighting on Succot

  1. It is a mitzva to light yom tov candles inside the Sukkah in order to enjoy the candlelight while eating. However, if there is any chance of them constituting a fire hazard, one must place the candles inside the home and eat by electric light.[7]
  2. Some women have the custom to light yom tov candles before yom tov has started, similar to Shabbat candles. Other women light yom tov candles just before Kiddush. It is preferable to light before yom tov begins.[8]

Time

  1. It is preferable to light candles before Yom Tov rather than on Yom Tov.[9]

Second Day Yom Tov

  1. Most poskim hold that one must light the candles for the second day of Yom Tov after nightfall because it is forbidden to prepare from one day of Yom Tov for the next.[10]
  2. Usually it is strongly recommended by the poskim to turn off the electric lights before lighting and then turn them on after and as part of one's lighting. However, when lighting for the second day of Yom Tov or a Shabbat when Friday is a Yom Tov it isn't possible to light in the dining room while it is dark and then turn on the electric lights. Therefore, a few solutions are suggested:
    1. Some recommend setting a timer to turn off the lights at the time when one will need to light Yom Tov or Shabbat candles. Then the timer will turn back on the electric lights.[11]
    2. Another solution is to light in a dark room, such as a bedroom, and use the light of the candles there for a few minutes. Afterwards if one wants to move them to where one is eating one may do so on Yom Tov but not on Shabbat.[12]
    3. Some hold not to light Yom Tov Sheni candles at all nowadays.[13]
    4. Some allow lighting even though the electric lights are already lit.[14]

Sources

  1. Machzik Bracha 263:4, Mishna Brurah 263:27, Kaf HaChaim 263:43, Sh"t Yacheve Daat 3:34, Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov p. 305.
  2. Rav Yacov Emden in Sh”t Sheilat Yavetz 1:107 writes that there’s a Minhag to say Shehecheyanu before lighting Yom Tov candles. However he expresses his wonderment about the Minhag considering that it lacks any source or basis expect it’s noting in the Kitzur Shlah or Eliyah Rabba. Nonetheless, he concludes that his wife actually had such a Minhag and he didn’t stop her from continuing the Minhag. Rav Ovadyah Yosef in Sh”t Yachave Daat 3:34 writes that it’s an improper Minhag based on the Leket Yosher (1 pg 49(3); a student of the Trumat HaDeshen) who implies this from the Or Zaruh 2 Hilchot Ever Shabbat 11. So hold many poskim quoted in Yacheve Daat including Chesed LeAlafim, Yafeh Lev, Petach Dvir, and Bet Ovad. Source Sheet: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dg37c33t_82f8tkwcz8
  3. Rav Hershel Schachter in a published pamphlet about Hilchot Shavuot (p. 4)
  4. Leket Shichacha Vtaut p. 394 citing Shraga Hameir 2:6 because once the candles are lit there's no way to make another bracha (see Magen Avraham 263:11).
  5. Shulchan Aruch 514:11, Sh"t Yechave Daat 1:27, Halacha Yomit
  6. Rav Hershel Schachter in a published pamphlet about Hilchot Shavuot (p. 4)
  7. Chazon Ovadia, page 207
  8. Chazon Ovadia, page 210
  9. Mateh Efraim 625:33. Rabbi Yaakov Hoffman notes that nowadays that we have electric lights it is more important to light before Yom Tov with the lights off and then turn them on as opposed to lighting after Yom Tov begins and it is forbidden to turn off and on lights.
  10. The son of the Prisha (Introduction to Prisha YD) quotes his mother as saying that on the second day of Yom Tov one must light after nightfall so as not to prepare from one day of Yom Tov for the next. The Levush 488 and Eliyah Rabba 488:7 argues that one may light before nightfall as long as it is getting dark out because the candles are beneficial even for the first day so that one can see better in the light. Mishna Brurah 514:33 agrees. Nitai Gavriel (Yom Tov v. 2, 15:3, p. 107) points out that the Eliyah Rabba would agree with the Prisha's mother in the common case where there are electric lights on and the candles doesn't make it easier to see.
  11. Chazon Ovadia Shabbat v. 1 p. 217 quoting Beer Moshe 5:64:86, 5:115:11, and 8:62, Yalkut Yosef 5772 Shabbat v. 1 Sh"t n. 4, Rabbi Yaakov Hoffman
  12. Chazon Ovadia Shabbat v. 1 p. 217 quoting Beer Moshe 5:64:86, 5:115:11, and 8:62
  13. Rav Hershel Schachter's opinion as cited by Rabbi Yaakov Hoffman
  14. See Shabbat_Candles#Where_to_light