I heard that some Sephardi women accept Shabbat at Shabbat Kiddush rather than with the lighting of the Shabbat candles.

Is this true and if so where is the source for this?

  • Probably what you heard is that Sefardi women (at least stereotypically) say the blessing on lighting candles before lighting and Ashkenazi women (at least stereotypically) say it after lighting, as there is a debate if saying the blessing itself constitutes acceptance of Shabbat.
    – Double AA
    May 4, 2021 at 14:51
  • That is an another question I had but not this one. May 4, 2021 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


In Shulchan Aruch (263:10), the view of the Behag is quoted:

לבעל ההלכות גדולות כיון שהדליק נר של שבת חל עליו שבת ונאסר במלאכה ועל פי זה נוהגות קצת נשים שאחר שברכו והדליקו הנרות משליכות לארץ הפתילה שבידן שהדליקו בה ואין מכבות אותה ויש אומרים שאם מתנה קודם שמדליקה שאינה מקבלת שבת עד שיאמר החזן ברכו מועיל ויש אומרים שאינו מועיל לה ויש חולקים על בעל הלכות גדולות ואומרים שאין קבלת שבת תלוי בהדלקת הנר אלא בתפילת ערבית שכוון שאמר החזן ברכו הכל פורשים ממלאכתם ולדידן כיוון שהתחילו מזמור ליום השבת הווי כברכו לדידיהו.

הגה: והמנהג שאותה אשה המדלקת מקבלת שבת בהדלקה אם לא שתתנה תחילה ואפילו תנאי בלב סגי (מרדכי) אבל שאר בני הבית מותרין במלאכה עד ברכו ועיקר הדלקה תלויה בנרות שמדליקין על השולחן אבל לא בשאר הנרות שבבית וצריך להניח הנרות במקום שמדליקין ולא להדליק במקום זה ולהניח במקום אחר.

(Sefaria translation:) According to the author of the Halakhos Gedolos, because the Sabbath lamp has been lit the Sabbath is incumbent upon you and labor is prohibited. And based on this some few women have the practice of, after they bless and ignite the lamps, throwing down the match in their hands with which they have ignited without extinguishing it. And some say that if she stipulates before she ignited that she is not accepting the Sabbath until the cantor says "Bless," it works. And some say it does not work. And some dissent (from the author Halakhos Gedolos) and say that she does not accept the Sabbath by igniting the lamp but rather by the evening prayer, because when the cantor says "Bless" all refrain from their labor; and according to these, when we begin with "A song for the Sabbath Day," that is like "Bless."

RAMA: And the practice is that a woman who ignites accepts the Sabbath in that ignition if she has not before stipulated, and even a mental stipulation counts. (Mordechai) But the rest of the house's residents are permitted labor until "Bless." And the essence of the ignition resides in the lamps ignited on the table but not in the rest of the lamps in the house. (Or Zarua) And it is necessary to place the candles at the ignition site, and not to ignite them in one place and move them to another. (Mordechai's commentary on Bava Metzia)

There are different opinions in the Rishonim, codified by the above Shulchan Aruch, whether lighting the candles automatically constitutes accepting Shabbos. There is a further dispute whether stipulating that one doesn't want to accept Shabbos helps.

If one doesn't accept shabbat with candle-lighting, we assume that one does accept Shabbat when saying Mizmor Shir/Arvit or Kiddush, or with sunset – whichever comes first.


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