In Hilchos Channukah (OC Siman 675 Sif 1 -- see also there Mishneh Brurah Sif-Katan 3) we learn that if one lit Channukah candle(s) (for the mitzvah) for one day and they stayed lit until the following day, he must nonetheless extinguish the candles and re-light them now for the sake of the mitzvah (of ner channukah) since each day is a mitzvah in and of itself.

What about in regards to Shabbos? That is, if someone lit Shabbos candles Erev Shabbos Parshas Chayeh Sarah (for example) and they stayed lit until Erev Shabbos Parshas Toldos and would easily burn well into the night, is this enough? Or must new candles be lit in honor of this Shabbos? The main reasons for Shabbos candles is for Shalom Bayis — in order that one may see around the house — as well the enjoyment one has by eating by the candles. Seemingly these two things are fulfilled with the candles that remained lit from the previous Shabbos.

  • What about candles lit on Tuesday that last until Friday night?
    – Double AA
    Nov 11, 2012 at 17:47
  • 1
    Aside from the fact that one cannot be makabel Shabbos any earlier then Plag HaMincha (See SA OC Siman 261 Sif 2 in the Rema) candles lit on Tuesday were definitely not lit L'Kavod Shabbos. In regards to Channukah the candles lit from the day before don't work because each day is a mitzvah in and of itself. However Candles lit L'Kavod Shabbos and for the mitzvah of lighting candles could perhaps "work" for next week as well (at least that's the sofek.) Why do you think lighting on Tuesday would mean anything?
    – Yehoshua
    Nov 11, 2012 at 17:51

3 Answers 3


The reason why candles that were lit for the previous night of Chanuka must be extinguished and re-lit is, (as Shulchan Aruch OC 675 explains) because "hadloka oseh mitzvah". That is, the mitzvah of Chanuka candles is not the fact that they are lit, but rather the actual act of lighting. The Gemora (Shabbos 23a) derives this from the fact that the brocha we make on lighting Chanuka candles is "lehadlik ner shel chanuka" - to (actively) light the candles of Chanuka. Many poskim learn from this that similarly by Shabbos candles, where we say the brocha "lehadlik" we apply the principle of "hadlaka oseh mitzvah" (see Ravyah Chelek 1 Siman 199, Birkey Yosef 675:2, Pri Megadim M"Z 675:1, Mishna Berura 675:1 and 263:48 and more). Thus it would seem that according to them, candles lit for the previous Shabbos would not count for the mitzvah of the comming Shabbos. However, some do argue with this (for example see Taz 675:1 and Pnei Yehoshua to Shabbos 23a) and do not extend the principle of "hadloka oseh mitzvah" to Shabbos.

  • These candles were lit l'kavod Shabbos (to begin with.) Perhaps it is quite simple that each and every week there is a mitzvah in and of itself I just want to try and find this point clearly (like we see by Channukah.) The main point of the Aruch HaShulchan seems to be that one shouldn't light to early because it's not noticeable then that it's being done in honor of Shabbos. However these candles from last week were done in the right time, in honor of Shabbos.
    – Yehoshua
    Nov 11, 2012 at 21:12
  • Much improved answer! Great mareh makomos for both sides of the issue -- Especially the Taz and Pnei Yehoshua. My mistake for not looking in the obvious place of the Taz. I had even written in my SA there "ayin Pri Megadim". The Pnei Yehoshua tops it off though.
    – Yehoshua
    Nov 13, 2012 at 23:12

I think the Gemara indicates that it would not be proper to light Shabbos candles in such a fashion. The Gemara is in Shabbos 23b:

דביתהו דרב יוסף הות מאחרה ומדלקת לה אמר לה רב יוסף תניא (שמות יג, כב) לא ימיש עמוד הענן יומם ועמוד האש לילה מלמד שעמוד ענן משלים לעמוד האש ועמוד האש משלים לעמוד הענן סברה לאקדומה אמר לה ההוא סבא תנינא ובלבד שלא יקדים ושלא יאחר

R. Joseph's wife used to kindle [the Sabbath lights] late. [Thereupon] R. Joseph said to her, It was taught: He took not away the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night: this teaches that the pillar of cloud overlapped the pillar of fire, and the pillar of fire overlapped the pillar of cloud. Thereupon she thought of doing it very early. Said an old man to her: It was taught: Providing that one is not too early or too late.

Rashi explains:

שלא יקדים - דלא מינכרא שהיא של שבת

That one is not too early: for it is not recognizable that [the candle is being kindled] for Shabbos.

It seems that there is a significance in the candles being lit at a time when it is noticeable that they are in honor of Shabbos.

  • 2
    These candles were lit already from the previous Shabbos at a time when it was noticeable that it was being done in honor of Shabbos. Now they have managed to stay lit until the following Shabbos. I don't see so much what the re'ah is from this gemorah then. The only reason by Channukah that the lit candles wouldn't be good is because we pasken "hadlaka oseh mitzvah" and that each day is a mitzvah in and of itself. Shabbos do we have these reasons? The candles are lit for the reasons of Shalom Bayis and Enjoyment. If they are already lit perhaps that is good enough.
    – Yehoshua
    Nov 11, 2012 at 20:56
  • @Yehoshua I hear your argument. At the same time, it seems to me from this Gemara that the more noticeable it is that they are being lit for Shabbos, the better, so even if technically such candles would count as shabbos candles, it would be more proper to do it the traditional way.
    – Dov F
    Nov 12, 2012 at 13:48

An interesting answer "al derech drush". It says in Parshas Chayei Sarah (Bereshis Perek 24 Pasuk 67

וַיְבִאֶהָ יִצְחָק הָאֹהֱלָה שָׂרָה אִמּוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ וַיִּנָּחֵם יִצְחָק אַחֲרֵי אִמּוֹ

And Isaac brought her to the tent of Sarah his mother, and he took Rebecca, and she became his wife, and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted for [the loss of] his mother.

Rashi says there,

האהלה שרה אמו: ויביאה האהלה ונעשית דוגמת שרה אמו, כלומר והרי היא שרה אמו, שכל זמן ששרה קיימת היה נר דלוק מערב שבת לערב שבת, וברכה מצויה בעיסה, וענן קשור על האהל, ומשמתה פסקו, וכשבאת רבקה חזרו

To the tent of Sarah his mother: He brought her to the tent, and behold, she was Sarah his mother; i.e., she became the likeness of Sarah his mother, for as long as Sarah was alive, a candle burned from one Sabbath eve to the next, a blessing was found in the dough, and a cloud was attached to the tent. When she died, these things ceased, and when Rebecca arrived, they resumed (Gen. Rabbah 60:16).

The candles only burnt until Erev Shabbos. After that they would have to be lit again "lkavod" that Shabbos.

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