Hot answers tagged lighting
This can be found in Rashi, Onkelos, and Ibn Ezra. To cite a post about this on Balashon: The word tzohar (or tsohar) appears only here in the Tanach and there are a number of explanations for the meaning: window (Onkelos, Rashi, Ibn Ezra) - based on tsohorayim צהרים - noon. The light of noon is compared to the light entering the ark via the window. ...
Rav Moshe Mintz, a posek in Ner Israel, told me that you can ideally use any light that can be focused in one area (as opposed to the sunlight or the main light in a room, which lights up the entire room), as the purpose of the candle at night is to contrast with the dark in the rest of the room.
In Shmirat Shabbat K'Hilchato in 13:32 he discusses using a dimmer - and permits it, though he recommends covering/taping up the switch. In the footnote (112) he says that since light bulbs do not flicker, there's no issue with "fixing the wick". He has some sources there which I did not follow up on. It would seem that he would not allow the use of ...
Old shuls in Europe have these plaques as well, but without the lights. Is your question when (and why) lights were added, or when these plaques were first used? I recall from Medieval Jewish History classes that the concept/importance of Yahrtzeit was popularized in the aftermath of the Crusades.
You can see a series of commentaries on Bereshit 6:16 here. Some of the more relevant ones include Ibn Ezra צהר. מקום שיכנס ממנו האור והוא מגזרת צהרים. Bereshit Rabba "צֹהַר תַּעֲשֶׂה לַתֵּבָה" ר' חוניה ור' פנחס ר' חנין ור' הושעיא לא מפרשין ר' אבא בר כהנא ורבי לוי מפרשין ר' אבא בר כהנא אמר חלון Rashi (quoting the above midrash) "צהר" ...
Although it is unlikely given the power of most commonly available lasers, it is possible to damage the klaf using a laser if you had a high powered laser. Some may not like the idea of using a laser since it is moving away from the ancient tradition of using a yad, which is considered to hiddur to the Torah in the same way that all the Torah adornments are ...
Based on my knowledge, I would say that even if you would say that since light bulb filaments get hot, it would only be an issur drabonon. This is because you aren't heating the filament with intent to mold the metal into a shape like a blacksmith rather you are heating the metal filament for light, the case now becomes a מלאכה שאין צריכה לגופה.
Here is an article by Rabbi Michael Broyde & Rabbi Howard Jachter that discusses the entire topic: http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/english/journal/broyde_1.htm (side note regarding heating a bulb before it becomes yad soledes- just because the glass encasing of the bulb isn't yad soledes doesn't establish that the filament itself is not.)
I used the Super Wicks this year, but found that some burned with very little output of light. They would stay lit long after the ones that worked as expected since they were consuming oil at a much slower pace.
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