I remember hearing a story of how a rabbi had, prior to the discovery of electricity or creation of the light bulb (my memory of this story is vague), access to a light bulb which he used to learn throughout the night or something along those lines. Has anyone heard of such a story?

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    כִּ֤י נֵ֣ר מִ֭צְוָה וְת֣וֹרָה א֑וֹר -- -- For the commandment is a lamp and the Torah is a light. [Proverbs 6:23] Sep 11 at 16:11
  • Nope. There is a story of Maharshal learning by a candle that did not go out one night.
    – N.T.
    Sep 11 at 17:07
  • Even if they had access to a light bulb, how would they power it?
    – Double AA
    Sep 11 at 17:07
  • I remember hearing a fairy tale about the Gra having electricity.
    – user6591
    Sep 11 at 18:02
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    @shmosel I added an answer giving the source of the story (Shalshelet Hakabbalah): judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/109296/….
    – Harel13
    Sep 22 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


I doubt that's true. They used oil lamps. Here is a story in the Talmud:

If not for Ḥananya ben Ḥizkiya, the book of Ezekiel would have been suppressed because its contents... contradict matters of Torah. What did he do? They brought him three hundred jugs of oil up to his upper story and he sat there until he homiletically interpreted [all problematic verses in Ezekiel and resolved the contradictions]. [Shabbat 13b]

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    I'm not sure if this answers the question, but I 'm also not sure the question can be answered. Sep 11 at 23:07
  • @יהושעק what makes you think so?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Sep 12 at 20:07
  • A single maaseh about a single rabbi in the Gamarra does not prove or disprove that no rabbi from the Tanaaim until Thomas Edison had a light bulb.@RabbiKaii, but what would? Sep 12 at 20:10

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