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Scenario: Erev Shabbat, the woman of the house lights the candles, and then the husband and children join on the blessing. Is this permissible? Is this a custom? If it is, what is the source of this custom?

  • Offhand, this doesn't sound much different than a group of people saying a bracha together for any other bracha where they all have that obligation. Technically, the ba'alt habayit lights canles and her bracha suffices for everyone else. Similar to one person who makes Kiddush for all the others. But, there's nothing wrong with the rest joining in with the bracha if they wish. – DanF Jun 22 '18 at 17:02
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    @DanF there is no obligation for everyone to say the blessing on the candles. Her weekly bracha doesn't suffice for them for anything. – Double AA Jun 22 '18 at 17:46
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Possibility:

Many "communal" brachot ideas such as this may have originated from the Chavura movement. They where quite popular in the 70's and 80's, and I think they began in the Boston area. As you may surmise by their name, "Chavura" connotes a sense of friendship and communal cooperation in many things including tefilla and ritual. While I can't vouch specifically for candle lighting, I know that for Hamotzi, all the participants would put their hands on the challot and recite the bracha together. Kiddush was also said together, and if I recall, was said on one cup from which everyone drank. Many of the Shabbat rituals were done together, communally.

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    Would this not be a halachic infraction, though? Saying the blessing in vain? – Isaac Jun 24 '18 at 4:16
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    @isaac It indeed would be. The Chavura groups weren't known for the fidelity to traditional Halakha. – Double AA Jun 24 '18 at 12:57

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