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Ask the rabbi Shabbat and Holidays Candle Lighting

lighting candles

Rabbi David SperlingSivan 30, 5772
368
Question
it is ok to have your host have you in mind when they light candles but lets say you are going back home alone
Answer
Shalom, I understand now that you are asking what to do when you need to be in the early minyan for mincha on Friday afternoon, and then immediately start kabbalat Shabbat, which doesn't give you time to go home and light candles, and you are not eating at someone else's home in order to be part of their candle lighting. In such a case you should either invite someone to dinner and have them come to your house before you go to shule, and stay there and light for both of you at the correct time (of course this means that they will miss out on going to shule on time). Or you could get someone who have not accepted Shabbat to light the candles for you after you get home (assuming that it is not after sunset yet), or even a non-Jew. In these cases there is a major argument as to who (if at all) should say the blessing. According to the Mishna Brurah the blessing is said by the person lighting the candles, so if it is a Jew they say the blessing, and if it is a non-Jew, then no blessing is said. (But there are other opinions on this matter - if it applies to you, please be in contact with me on this point). In all cases, you should make certain that you leave lights on in your house so as not to stumble in the dark, and to have light to eat by. One can not say a blessing on candles lit early, and they do not have the law of Shabbat candles. Shabbat Shalom!
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