7

Obviously you cannot light candles on a plane, so if you can't light candles within the time frame is there any other activity one could do, which is permissible on an airline, that would fulfill the obligation for lighting candles?

8

According to Rabbi Shlomo Fisher on ohr.edu, someone flying is exempt from lighting, because the rule is one candle per household ("נר איש וביתו;" Shabbos 21b); and if there's no one at home then there is no obligation to light.

  • The irony that's where I'm actually flying to.. Thanks for that! – Zach Leighton Dec 15 '14 at 21:25
4

A shiur by Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz that I listened to recently, but can't seem to find just now, notes that one option, recommended by Rabbi Baruch Simon, is that the person can light a flashlight on the plane. It has batteries present, so that is better than the usual electric menorah which relies on a power source that is not present (a power plant far away).

Another option, and not one he recommends, quoted from a prolific Rabbi Zylberstein, is that one could light a candle as soon as the flight attendant goes by and extinguish it before she returns. Rabbi Leibowitz notes that being arrested is likely more than the mitzvah requires.

If someone will be in the traveler's home, that person can light on the traveler's behalf, which solves all of the problems.

He also considers the possibility that a person travelling is exempt from the mitzvah because he is homeless.

2

I personally asked this question to Rav Avigdor Nevenzahl Shlit”a former Chief Rabbi of the Old City. He told me that one should light a flashlight (one with a filiment in the bulb, not LCD) and may even make a brocha on it. He also said it should be placed in the front pocket of the seat. And after a half hour it may be turned off.

He also noted that the lights provided on the plane above the passenger is not valid for the mitzvah as it is not considered a pirsum for the nes.

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