From the Rav’s Desk: 1) May one recite Tehillim on Friday night? 2) Should a husband light candles at home if his wife is away for Shabbos?

  1. Question: [Thursday, 21st Tammuz 5781]

Is it permitted for me to recite tehillim on Friday night if I generally am careful not to recite tehillim at night?



The Poskim explicitly rule that it is permitted to recite tehillim on Friday night even prior to midnight. You may rely on this if you wish, even though some are stringent according to Chabad custom even on Friday night.


Sources: Yosef Ometz 54; Or Li [of Sdei Chemed] 40; Rav Poalim 2:2; Ben Ish Chaiy Pekudei 7; Kaf Hachaim 237:9; Yesod Veshoresh Haavoda 6:2; Maharsham 1:158; Chabad Custom: See Sefer Haminhagim p. 41 [English] that does not list Shabbos and Yom Tov as one of the days that permit Tehillim to be said at night. This implies that one is not to read Tehillim:/Mikra even on Friday night. See also Toras Menachem 48:122 which does not mention Friday night. However, it was witnessed that the Rebbe said Shnayim Mikra on Friday night. [See Hiskashrus] Likewise, see Kuntres Dinei Uminhagei Rosh Chodesh p. 7 that the Rebbe once said the Tehillim of Shabbos Mevarchim may be recited “throughout the 24 hours of Shabbos” if one is unable to complete it otherwise.


  1. Question: [Thursday, 21st Tammuz 5781]

My wife is traveling out of the country to visit our daughter who was about to give birth and I would like to know if I am obligated to light Shabbos candles at home instead of her? Does it make any difference if one of my daughters are over and are lighting candles anyways, or must I specifically be the one to light them when my wife is not around?



Whenever one’s wife is away from home for Shabbos, then the husband is obligated to light Shabbos candles with a blessing, if there is no one else in the home that will be lighting. If there are other members of the house that will be lighting anyways, such as daughters, then from the letter of the law the husband does not need to light candles if his daughters are already above the age of Bas Mitzvah. Nonetheless, he should do so anyways and light candles in addition to his daughter, especially if they are below Bas Mitzvah. In such a case he should preferably light the candles that rest on the table. When the husband lights the candles, he should light two candles, and is not required to light the same amount as his wife. Whenever the wife is away from home and both she and her husband will be each lighting candles in their respective areas, then they are both to intend to not fulfill the others obligation with their lighting.


Explanation: Both men and women share an equal obligation of lighting candles on Erev Shabbos inside the home. However, being that there is no obligation [and according to some opinions there is no allowance] for each individual to light so long as there is light inside of the home and candles lit near the eating table, therefore normally with a couple, only the wife lights the candles, as she receives the rights of fulfilling this mitzvah on behalf of the household over her husband. However, if the wife is not at home and will not be lighting candles there, then certainly the obligation falls on the husband to light candles in the home with a blessing. However, here too, if there are other members of the household above Bas Mitzvah who are already lighting candles, such as his daughters, then once again he has no obligation to light the candles, being that his daughters lighting already provide light for the home and dining room table and fulfill his obligation for him. [Seemingly, even if she is lighting her own candles, such as a married daughter who brought her own candles from her home to light, the husband fulfills his obligation with her lighting even according to Admur, as the requirement for her to light using candles that he owns is only when he is away from home, and not when he is there benefiting from the light, and is no different than two Baalei Bayis on one table. Furthermore, seemingly according to Admur, Bedieved a husband could fulfill his obligation with his daughters lighting from his candles even if his daughters are below the age of Bas Mitzvah, so long as he accepts Shabbos right away.] Nonetheless, even in such a case that his daughters will be lighting, the Poskim write that it is best for him to light candles with a blessing, as Mitzvah Bo Yoser Mibishlucho. [This especially applies if he only has daughters below the age of bat mitzvah lighting, in which case he does not fulfill his obligation with their blessing, and it is thus as if he lit candles without a blessing, as well as that if he does not accept Shabbos immediately afterwards, the lighting is seemingly invalid for him. Nonetheless, Tzaruch Iyun as to why by a couple we don’t say that the husband should light in addition to the wife, as Mitzvah Bo Yoser Mibishlucho, while if the daughter is lighting then we say that he should light in addition, and that he receives priority to light. In Admur we do not find any differentiation in this matter, and seemingly the precedence of giving the right to the wife to light would apply equally to all woman of the household. Although however, one can argue, that the sages only get precedence to a wife due to Ishto Gegufo and being that she is in charge of the home. Vetzaruch Iyun.]


Sources: See Beir Moshe 8:67; SSH”K 43 footnote 46; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263:10; See regarding the general obligation of a man/husband lighting candles: Admur 263:5; 11; Kitzur Dinei Shabbos 3:7 See regarding the husband’s obligation to light candles when the wife is away: Admur 263:9; See also Admur 263:5 and 11]; See regarding lighting specifically two candles when the wife is away: Divrei Shalom3:73; Chayeh Halevi 1:34; Pnei Shabbos 3:4-48; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263:2; See regarding the husband’s exemption from lighting candles if his daughter is lighting candles, but the allowance for him to still light: Admur 263:9-10; See regarding if the lighting of a small child exempts the father: Admur 263:11 [even a gentile is valid Bedieved and certainly a child below Bas Mitzvah, however he is the one to say the blessing and accept Shabbos afterwards]; Gloss of Rav Akiva Eiger 263 [Gentile is invalid]; Beir Moshe ibid [No, and therefore he must light]; See article of Rav Yosef Zevin in Yagdil Torah T.Z. 6:50

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