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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Candle Lighting

Candle lighting with a flashlight

Rabbi Chaim Tabasky16 Cheshvan 5767
640
Question
Regarding the question Kindling The Chanuka Lights . There is a well known story that once when Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal was caught in a hotel and unable to light Shabbos candles, he ’lit’ a flashlight and made a blessing over it. He used a flashlight which has a battery, constituting fuel in the "candle" as opposed to electricity which has no fuel source in the bulb" My question is: The electricity that you get from any outlet comes from some generator that also consumes fuel (coal/gas/oil), so why should this be different than the flashlight?
Answer
Good point. I think it is because in the battery the fuel and light are part of the same unit, similar to a candle, while with electricity the fuel is far away from the light, sometimes many miles away, and this is dissimilar to a candle.
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