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If I can transfer a fire, can I light a new fire on yom tov? What's the difference between lighting a new fire and transferring a fire? Aren't they part of the same melacha?? The melacha is to create a fire or burn something!

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By "pass a fire", are you referring to the practice of lighting a flame (like yom tov candles on the second day) from an existing source instead of striking a match? –  Monica Cellio Nov 15 '12 at 13:50
@MonicaCellio: yes. But not only the second day... im reffering the first day too... For ochel nefesh –  juanora Nov 15 '12 at 16:19
@juanora, welcome to Mi Yodeya and thanks for the interesting question, which would be even more valuable if you would source how you know that you can transfer a flame but not light a new one. I've also edited out your final question, which is really separate from the rest, and can be asked separately if you so desire. –  msh210 Nov 16 '12 at 0:10

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Torah says "what is consumed by all people" is work that can be done on yomtov.

The Biblical prohibition on "burning" is in fact not in force on yomtov (i.e. "no-work" holidays other than Yom Kippur, when not on Saturday), provided it's for the right cause (more below). But creating a new fire is a separate problem of "generating", which is a rabbinic prohibition. (It does help remind you that it's still not a usual work day.) But you are correct that on Shabbos or Yom Kippur, it would be the same Biblical prohibition of "burning" whether you strike a match or touch an existing flame to a candle.

On yomtov, it is permissible to transfer an existing flame to cook food (to be consumed on that specific day of yomtov, by Jews), warm up a room (e.g. fireplace), light a candle, or use hot water to wash your hands and face as those are all considered "appreciated by all people." Not very long ago, smoking tobacco products had been seen as "universally appreciated" by the folks who brought you the Marlboro Man, but most of today's rabbis aren't buying it. Using hot water to shower your whole body hadn't been seen as "universally apppreciated" in medieval France, but many rabbis are reconsidering. (Now Ramban felt there was a specific rabbinic prohibition on showering ... but that's beyond the scope of this question.)

That's a quick overview. If you have more-specific questions, please ask them separately.

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How can we learn that create fire is nolad? I studied gemara beitza when i was a kid...but I dont remember the discusion if fire is considered nolad...and, furthermore, if nolad was a idea accepted by all, and how was the conclusion. –  juanora Nov 15 '12 at 16:31
hashave lechol nefesh applies for the first day also, right? –  juanora Nov 15 '12 at 16:35
"Shaveh lechol nefesh" is a requirement for any day of yomtov. "Nolad" means something that presented brand-new by itself (a freshly-laid egg, a fruit that fell off the tree) may be muktza. This is different, a rabbinic prohibition against "moleed": generating things, including fire. –  Shalom Nov 15 '12 at 17:54
Why does @shnozolla said that "Shulchan Aruch Harav ch. 502:1 explains the reasoning, since creating fire is considered "Nolad" (creating something new) versus lighting from a pre-existing flame which does not bring forth something new into this world (which is forbidden on Yom Tov)." And more, he brings also "Beitza page 33a: "One may not bring forth fire from wood, stones, earth, tiles nor water etc."" –  juanora Nov 15 '12 at 18:51
Please see the newly edited question without its final part. –  msh210 Nov 16 '12 at 0:14

See Mishna in tractate Beitza page 33a: "One may not bring forth fire from wood, stones, earth, tiles nor water etc."

Shulchan Aruch Harav ch. 502:1 explains the reasoning, since creating fire is considered "Nolad" (creating something new) versus lighting from a pre-existing flame which does not bring forth something new into this world (which is forbidden on Yom Tov).

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You meant Beitza 33a, right? –  Shalom Nov 15 '12 at 15:59
yes, thanks Shalom, i'm not sure how that crept in. –  shnozolla Nov 15 '12 at 16:14

The Rambam (Shevisas Yom Tov 4:1) writes that the reason one may not kindle a new flame on Yom Tov is because one could just as easily do it beforehand.

We find a similar idea with various Yom Tov related rabbinic prohibitions, such as cutting hair on chol hamoed, which one may not do because one could just as easily do it beforehand, and allowing people to wait may potentially cause a lack of honor to the holiday (Moed Katan 14a; Rambam ibid 7:17).

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+1. See also Raavad ad loc. –  msh210 Nov 16 '12 at 1:55
If someone forget to do beforehand, finish the candle, or something that the person cant transfer fire. Is it possible to kindle a new flame? –  juanora Nov 16 '12 at 2:18
And why rambam dosnt say anything about moleed or nolaad? Doesnt he agree with these reasons? –  juanora Nov 16 '12 at 2:21
@juanora While many are hesitant about taking the Rambam's words to the conclusion you mentioned as can be seen in the Kaf Hachaim OC 502:2 found here hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=12&daf=14&format=pdf, the Chida cites a source here hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=7626&st=&pgnum=215 that does rule from here that someone who was not able to beforehand may kindle a flame on yom tov. As for nolad, the commentaries on the page indicate that the Rambam rejected that argument. –  Dov F Nov 16 '12 at 5:49
@juanora The reason is pretty straight forward, all ways that people had of lighting fires from scratch where generally difficult and time consuming. It's the same reason the Sages forbid to harvest wheat and grind it into flour on yom tov or various other activities - it's allot of work and interferes with the proper experience of chag. Rambam gives this reason explicitly. –  Robert S. Barnes Oct 13 '14 at 19:01

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