Are there any authorities who suggest that the reason for the Minhag for women to avoid Melacha (creative work) while the Chanukah candles are lit is because we are worried they may come to use the chanukah candles light (which is prohibited)?

Bonus: Are there any Poskim who therefore suggest that since we now have a 'Shamash' candle and/or electricity (which are permitted to be used), this minhag no longer applies?


1 Answer 1


Not precisely as you say, but the Be'er Hagolah (OC 670:3) quotes the Beis Yosef who writes that the reason is in order that it should be a reminder for them that it is forbidden to use the light from the candles.

ֽֽAs far as your bonus question, while it's quite difficult to prove a negative, but I haven't heard of any opinions that say such a thing. Also, the "Shamash" isn't a new invention, it's mentioned in Gemara* (Shabbat 21b), and brought in Shulchan Aruch (OC 671:5), so it's highly unlikely that anyone is going to come now and say that.

*Credit: David Kenner & Alex

  • 1
    The Gemara just says it's a possibility, not that it was widespread. The OP's claim is based on it being a widespread practice.
    – Double AA
    Oct 14, 2018 at 12:36

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