Extinguishing the match after lighting candles, before saying the blessing

Extinguishing the match after lighting candles, before saying the blessing:[1]

The background in Poskim: Some Poskim[2] rule that Shabbos is accepted as soon as one lights the candles, and it is hence forbidden to perform Melacha and extinguish the match/candle once the Shabbos candles have been lit, unless one made a stipulation upon the lighting not to accept Shabbos.[3] Other Poskim[4], however, rule that Shabbos is not considered accepted with the lighting of the Shabbos candles as one is not dependent on the other at all, and hence it is permitted to extinguish the match after the lighting. Practically, although the main opinion follows the latter and lenient approach, the women are accustomed like the first opinion to accept Shabbos with the lighting.[5]

The practical law for women:[6] Due to the above custom to follow the stringent opinion and accept Shabbos upon the lighting, the women are accustomed that after they say the blessing and light the candles, they throw the match that was used to light the candles and is still in their hand, onto the ground [or another surface, and let it extinguish on its own], and do not extinguish it [directly]. [Some Poskim[7], however, rule that this custom only applies to those women who first say the blessing and then light, however, today that the widespread custom is to first light and then say the blessing[8], it is permitted to extinguish the candles after the lighting, prior to saying the blessing.[9] Other Poskim[10], however, rule that this law and custom applies even today that we say the blessing after the lighting, and hence a woman is not to extinguish the match or candle after the lighting, even before saying the blessing.[11] Practically, so is the seeming implication of Admur[12] and so is the final ruling and custom, not to extinguish the match even before the blessing.[13] Nonetheless, those who are lenient have upon whom to rely, especially in the event of a possible fire hazard.[14]]

The law for men:[15] There is no custom at all for men to be stringent like the first opinion and accept Shabbos with candle lighting, and hence we establish the law according to the main ruling [i.e. the 2nd opinion brought above] that accepting Shabbos is not dependent on candle lighting. [Accordingly, men who light Shabbos candles may extinguish the match after the lighting, even after saying the blessing.] Nonetheless, it is initially proper even for men to stipulate before the lighting that they do not intend to accept Shabbos.




It is permitted for men to extinguish the match or candle after lighting, however it is best for them to stipulate prior to doing so. Women, however, are not to extinguish the match or candle used for lighting and are rather to put it down and let it extinguish on its own. Nonetheless, those women who are accustomed to extinguish the match after the lighting, before saying the blessing, have upon whom to rely. This especially applies in the event of a fire hazard. Regarding Sefaradim, there are different rulings and customs, and each is to follow their Minhag and Rav.

May a woman carry the match box to put away after lighting candles, before saying the blessing?[16]

She is not to do so being that she has already accepted Shabbos and the matches are Muktzah. As well, she is not to make an interval between the lighting and the blessing. Rather, she should ask her husband, or other male child to take the matches to their destination.



[1] See Admur 263:7; Michaber 263:10; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263:31; Ner Tamid

[2] 1st opinion in Admur ibid; 1st opinion in Michaber 263:10 and Tur 263; Bahag Hilchos Chanukah; Mordechai Remez 293; Ran Shabbos 23b

[3] 1st opinion in Admur ibid and Michaber ibid; Maharam in Tashbatz 8; Hagahos Maimanis Shabbos 8; Mordechai ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that according to the Bahag it is invalid to make a stipulation, and in all cases one accepts Shabbos with the lighting. [2nd opinion in Admur ibid and Michaber ibid; Tashbatz ibid in name of Rabbeinu Yuda; Kol Bo in name of Rabbeinu Peretz]

[4] 2nd opinion in Admur ibid, Michaber ibid, Tur ibid; Hagahos Maimanis Shabbos 5 in name of Tosafus; Rosh end of Shabbos Bameh Madlikin; Rambam as explains Maggid Mishneh Chanukah 4:13; Ramban Shabbos 23b; Rashba Shabbos 23b and Shut 1:1070; Rabbeinu Yerucham Nesiv 12:1-2;  

[5] Admur ibid “The custom is like the first opinion that the women who lights candles accepts Shabbos with this lighting”; Rama 263:10

[6] Admur ibid; Michaber ibid “Some women”; Shibulei Haleket 59

The Sefaradi custom: The Sefaradi custom regarding several of the points relevant to our discussion is under heavy debate and controversy amongst the leading Seafardi Rabbanim and Poskim of the past and current generation, and hence practically, whether they may extinguish the candle after the lighting is debated amongst the Sefaradi Poskim. Some of the Seafradi Poskim of today rule that according to the Michaber we do not suspect for the ruling of the Bahag and hence a) women are to first say the blessing and then light candles [Rav Ovadia Yosef, as brought in Yabia Omer 2:16; 9:24, Yalkut Yosef, Ner Tamid and defended in length by his sons] and b) they may therefore also extinguish the candle after it is lit. [Rav Dovid Yosef in Ner Tamid 86] Many of the Sefaradi Poskim, however, rule that Sefaradi women are stringent like the Bahag and hence they too delay the blessing until after the lighting and also do not extinguish the candle. [Kaf Hachaim 263:62 and 45; Ben Ish Chaiy Noach 2:8; All Sefaradi Poskim recorded in coming footnotes in stringent opinion; See lengthy article of Rav Yaakov Sofer whop proves like this opinion for Sefaradim; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 263 footnote166]

[7] Possible understanding of Admur 263:7 and 11 that only if one says the blessing and then lights is the custom to be stringent, however between the lighting and blessing Melacha may be done; Implication of M”A 263:11 that before Chuppah a woman may light and then delay blessing; Beis Yosef 263 in name of Kol Bo that the main acceptance is dependent on the blessing and not the actual lighting; See Ketzos Hashulchan 74:14; Aruch Hashulchan 263:14 “Women who say the blessing after the lighting may extinguish the match as it is obvious that they do not accept Shabbos until the blessing is said, and I believe that so is the custom, and there is no Halachic question on this”; Shulchan Hatahor 263:5; Orchos Chaim Spinka 263:6 in name of Meorei Or; SSH”K 43 footnote 179 in name of Rav SZ”A; Mishneh Halachos 8:31

[8] See Admur 263:8; Rama 263:5; Mahariy Viyal 29

[9] The reason: As even according to the Bahag and the custom of women to follow his approach, Shabbos is only accepted after the blessing is said. [Beis Yosef 263 in name of Kol Bo; Aruch Hashulchan ibid; See Admur 263:8 that the custom is to treat the blessing as the acceptance of Shabbos, and hence we delay the blessing until after all the candles are lit. Accordingly, it is possible to understand from Admur that it is not yet considered Shabbos until the blessing is recited after the lighting]

[10] Implication of Admur 263:7-8 and all Poskim brought in next footnote that the main acceptance is dependent on the lighting and not the blessing; Chesed Lealafim 263:6; Ben Ish Chaiy Noach 2:8; Toras Shabbos; Kaf Hachaim 263:62 “Immediately after lighting throw the match on the floor and then say the blessing”; Ketzos Hashulchan 74:14 footnote 14; Beir Moshe 8:63; Kinyan Torah 2:49; Bris Olam 20; Kitzur Dinei Hadlakas Neiros 4:5; Koveitz Mibeis Halevi 11:36 in name of Rav Wozner

[11] The reason: As according to the Bahag the main acceptance of Shabbos is dependent on the candle lighting, and it is just that the women are accustomed to suspect that even the blessing alone can be considered acceptance of Shabbos and hence they delay the blessing until after the lighting. However, this does not come to negate the main opinion of the Bahag, of which the women follow, that Shabbos is dependent on the actual lighting of the candles and not the blessing. Accordingly, the women are even more stringent then Bahag and consider Shabbos accepted either through the lighting or through the blessing. Based on this, there is no room to be lenient against Bahag and extinguish the match after the lighting even though the blessing was not said. [See Biur Hagra 263:13l; Gloss of Rav Akiva Eiger “Kabalas Shabbos is upon completing the lighting”; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid]

[12] See previous footnotes for the different implications that can be made from Admur, however, it seems clear from the wording Admur uses in 263:8 [“As they think that if they say the blessing first then they accept Shabbos”] that accepting Shabbos with the blessing is a personal added Chumra to the main opinion of Bahag, and since the women are accustomed like Bahag, they may no longer do Melacha after the lighting. Now, although Admur 263:11 rules that technically she may light candles and then go to the Chuppah and later on at night say the blessing, seemingly there it is a different case as she has no intent to accept Shabbos at all with the lighting and it is as if that she is lighting any random candle in her house. Seemingly, even a Tnaiy is not needed in such a case, as the candles are not yet considered Neiros Shabbos. However, in a normal situation when a women plans to say the blessing immediately after the lighting, certainly the candles have the status of Neiros Shabbos of which she plans to begin Shabbos, and this matter is not dependent at all on the blessing.

[13] Rav Wozner ibid that so is custom; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that so is widespread custom; Kitzur Dinei Shabbos 263 footnote 45 that so is custom

[14] Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[15] Admur ibid; M”A 263:18; Bach 263; Elya Raba 679:2; M”B 679:1; Kaf Hachaim 263:64 and 679:3

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even men are to accept Shabbos upon lighting the candles and hence may not do Melacha afterwards. [Taz 679:1]

[16] Piskeiy Teshuvos 263 footnote 296

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