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When are the candles lit? The custom is to light the candles prior to sunset at the same time that they are lit on Erev Shabbos. [One who did not light the candles prior to sunset is to light the candles at night, on Yom Tov, from a preexisting flame. It is to be lit, at the very least, prior to the return of the men from Shul.]
Erev Shavuos that coincides with Shabbos: When Yom Tov falls on Motzei Shabbos one may not begin doing any Melacha which is permitted on Yom Tov until he says Havdala, or recites Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh, after the conclusion of Shabbos. It is of importance to remind women of this requirement, and have them say Baruch Hamavdil prior to doing any Yom Tov preparations. Thus, when Erev Shavuos coincides with Shabbos the candles are only to be lit after nightfall, and only after reciting “Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh.
A child that is lighting for the first time: It is proper for young girls who are able to recite the blessing, to begin lighting candles for the first time on Shavuos. Those who are extra scrupulous can begin the previous Shabbos, and wear a new dress to include in their blessing of Shehechiyanu.
Covering eyes: It is customary to cover the eyes immediately after lighting the candles, until the conclusion of the blessing. This applies both on Shabbos and Yom Tov.
Said Shel Shabbos instead of Shel Yom Tov:
If one accidently said in the blessing “Shel Shabbos” instead of “Shel Yom Tov”, then if one remembers right away, within Kdei Dibbur, she is to correct herself and say Shel Yom Tov. If one only remembered after Kdei Dibbur, it is questionable as to whether she fulfills her obligation of the blessing, and thus she is not to repeat the blessing. Nonetheless, she may ask her father/husband to light another candle with a blessing and have in mind to be Yotzei her with his blessing.
If a man is lighting candles for Shavuos when is he to do so, after nightfall or before sunset?
He is to light candles directly before Kiddush, in order to proximate the blessing of Shehechiyanu said during Kiddush to the candle lighting. If he chooses to light candles before sunset, he is to do so only after first Davening Mincha.
If a man is lighting candles, when is he to say the blessing of Shehechiyanu, by lighting or by Kiddush?
A man always says the blessing of Shehechiyanu by Kiddush, even in the event that he is lighting candles. However, in such a case he is to light candles directly before Kiddush, hence having the blessing of Shehechiyanu also go on the candle lighting. If however, he said the blessing by candle lighting he does not repeat the blessing by Kiddush.
Does a woman who will be saying Kiddush say Shehechiyanu by candle lighting or by Kiddush?
If a man is lighting candles, does he first light the candles and then say the blessing or vice versa?
Some Poskim rule men are to follow the same order as women and hence first light the candles and then say the blessing. Other Poskim however rule that men are to always first say the blessing and then light. [See footnote for opinion of Admur]
Q&A Baruch Hamavdil
If a woman lit Yom Tov candles on the night of Yom Tov which is Motzei Shabbos, and after saying the blessing remembered that she did not yet say Baruch Hamavdil, what is she to do?
Some write she is to think the words in her mind and then light one candle, and then verbalize the Baruch Hamavdil. Afterwards, she may light the remaining candles.
If one recited “Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol” instead of “Bein Kodesh Lekodesh” on Motzei Shabbos which is Yom Tov, has he fulfilled his obligation?
Preparing a 24-hour candle:
It is proper to prepare a 24/48 hour candle on Erev Shavuos in order to have a preexisting flame available to use on Yom Tov. [In those years that Shavuos falls on Motzei Shabbos, one is to light a 48/72 hour candle.]
When to light it: It is forbidden to light a candle on Yom Tov unless its light is needed for the room. Therefore, those who have a Yartzite on Yom Tov are to light the Yartzite candle before Yom Tov. Likewise, those who light a Yizkor candle, are to light it before Yom Tov. [Accordingly, in Eretz Yisrael, a 24-hour candle is to be lit before Yom Tov, while in the Diaspora a 48-hour candle is to be lit before Yom Tov.]
Lighting in Shul if one did not light the candle before Yom Tov: One who did not light the Yartzite/Yizkor candle before Yom Tov may light it on Yom Tov inside an active Shul, [in the room where the prayer takes place]. One is not to light the candle in one’s home on Yom Tov, unless it is lit in an area that is dark and one intends to also use the light in order to see in the room.
Lighting at home if one cannot light in Shul: In a case that one did not light the candle before Yom Tov and one is unable to light the candle in Shul, some Poskim rule it is permitted to light the Yartzite candle at home, even if there is enough light in the room without the candle. Nonetheless, initially in such a case, one is to light it near one’s dining room table prior to the night meal, thus giving it a use for one’s meal. However, if this too is not possible, then one may light it in any area that he desires. Other Poskim however argue and rule one may never light a candle at home if one does not need its light. [Practically, one may be lenient in a time of need regarding a Yartzite candle, for one who has a Yartzite of a parent on Yom Tov. However, a Yizkor candle should not be lit on Yom Tov.]
Asking a gentile to light the candle: In all cases that one did not light a Yartzite or Yizkor candle before Yom Tov, it is permitted to ask a gentile to light it for him.
Lighting a candle for other relatives: The above leniency of lighting a Yartzite/Yizkor candle on Yom Tov in one’s home only applies towards one’s the Yartzite or Yizkor of one’s parents, and not other relatives. It is forbidden to light candles on behalf of other relatives inside one’s home, if one does not need the light. Even in Shul, one is not to light too many candles.
When Erev Shavuos falls on Shabbos, may one sleep on Shabbos for the sake of being awake on Shavuos night?
It is permitted to go to sleep on Shabbos for the sake of being awake on the night of Shavuos. One may even say that he is going to sleep for the sake of having strength to be awake and learn Torah. One however may not say “I am going to sleep today on Shabbos so I have strength to do Melacha, such as cooking, after Shabbos”.
 Mateh Efraim 599:11; 625:33; Hakdama of the son of the Derisha to Tur Yoreh Deah 1; Shevach Hamoadim p. 13 [4:1] in name of Rav Zalman Shimon Dworkin and the Toras Chesed of Lublin; See Likkutei Sichos 24 p. 792 footnote 96.
Other opinions: Some write that due to the ruling in 494:2 [brought in Chapter 2:1] on the night of Shavuos, women are to light candles after nightfall. [Luach Tukichinsky; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 494:1; M”B Dirshu 494]
 As the Mitzvah of lighting candles begins with the entrance of Yom Tov and it is hence improper for them to delay this Mitzvah. [Alef Lamateh 625:51]
 See Alef Lamateh 625:51; In order so they return from Shul with a set table that contains lit candles. [ibid]
 Other Opinions: The Elya Raba rules it does not suffice on Motzei Shabbos which is Yom Tov to simply say Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh. Rather one must say the entire blessing of Hamavdil without Sheim Umalchus. [Brought in Kaf Hachaim 299:58]
 Admur 263:8; M”A 263:12; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 514:20; 263:18
At night: This ruling applies even if one is lighting the candles at night. [Hiskashrus]
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that on Erev Yom Tov one is to first recite the blessing and then light the candles. [Hakdamas Ben Haderisha Tur Y.D. 1 in name of his mother; Mateh Efraim 625:33; M”B 263:27] Some rule that this especially applies when one is lighting the candles at night as at that time no one would mistakenly think one can also do so on Shabbos. [Mateh Efraim ibid; Alef Lamateh 625:50]
 The reason: Although on Yom Tov extending a flame is permitted, the Sages did not wish to differentiate between the lightings of Shabbos and Yom Tov. [Admur ibid; M”A ibid]
 Sefer Hasichos 1950 2:481
 Admur 263:8
Those who light after the blessing: The above custom is only applicable to those who light candles before the blessing. Those however who light the Yom Tov candles after the blessing do not need to cover their eyes.
 Some Poskim rule that she is Yotzei, as Yom Tov is also called Shabbos. [Maharam Brisk 2:44; Halichos Bas Yisrael 17:11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263:17; Kitzur Dinei Neshek p. 40] Others leave this matter in question. [Hisorerus Teshuvah 1:114] As Admur rules in 487:1 that one is not Yotzei Shemoneh Esrei if he said Mikadesh Hashabbos, as he changed the dialect of the Sages.
 Mateh Efraim 599:9
 Mateh Efraim 599:9; Vayagel Yaakov 39; Luach Kolel Chabad; Hiskashrus 896
The reason: As even by women there is no source in Poskim to say the blessing by candle lighting, and it is only because of the time honored custom of women to do so that we allow them to say it then. [See Poskim in previous footnotes] However men who never accepted such a custom certainly are to say the blessing by Kiddush. [Vayagel Yaakov ibid]
 Mateh Efraim ibid
 Mateh Efraim 619:12; Sefer Haminhagim p. 128 [English]
 As this was their accepted custom. However, Piskeiy Teshuvos 518:21 rules that they are to say the blessing by Kiddush. However, after looking in his sources, one clearly sees that the cases discussed there are regarding men and not women. Hence, seemingly by women the custom should remain to say Shehechiyanu by candle lighting as is always done.
 See Admur 263:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263 footnote 168
 Derech Hachaim 50:7; Ketzos Hashulchan 74 footnote 19; Customs in new Siddur Tehillas Hashem; Maharam Shick 119; Birchas Habayis 45:4
 Aruch Hashulchan 263:13; Toras Yekusiel 61; Ashel Avraham Butchach; Piskeiy Teshuvos 263:18
The reason: As men do not accept Shabbos right away upon lighting. [See 263:7]
 Some rule based on Admur [who does not differentiate between men and women] that men follow the same order as women and light before the blessing. [Ketzos Hashulchan 74 footnote 19; Customs in new Siddur Tehillas Hashem; To note the Nesiv Hachaim did not argue on the ruling of Derech Hachaim ibid] Others however rule that according to [the M”A and] Admur [who states the above custom to first light in Lashon Nikeiva, in contrast to the wording of the Rama] men are to first say the blessing and then light. [Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid] Vetzaruch Iyun on the above Poskim who did not infer differently from Admur as seems clear from his wording and as writes Piskeiy Teshuvos.
 Sheivet Hakehasy 6:153
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 299 footnote 102
 Based on M”A 299:9 that one who says Bein Kodesh Lekodesh when he is meant to say Bein Kodesh Lechol is saying a lie.
 Kesav Sofer 75; Biur Halacha 514:5 “Neir”; Kaf Hachaim 514:79; Sefer Haminhagim p. 180
 See Aruch Hashulchan 514:19; Betzel Hachochma 4:29; Sefer Hachaim Hanitzchiyim 12:2
The Chabad custom: It is not the Chabad custom to light a candle for Yizkor. The Rebbe and Rebbe Rayatz did not light Yizkor candles. [Hamelech Bemisibo 1:321 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 2:250]; Heard from Rav Leibal Groner; However, in Luach Kolel Chabad it says to light it]
 See Admur 514:13-14; Biur Halacha 514:5 “Ner”; Kaf Hachaim 514:79; Piskeiy Teshuvos 514:14; Nitei Gavriel 55:2
 Admur 514:13; Michaber 514:5
 Biur Halacha ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 70; Nitei Gavriel ibid; See SSH”K 13 footnote 27
The reason: As it is forbidden to light a Ner Shel Batala on Yom Tov. [Admur 514:13; Michaber 514:5]
 Nitei Gavriel ibid
 Admur 514:14; Michaber 514:4; P”M 132 M”Z 2; Kesav Zofer 75; Biur Halacha ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid
The reason: One may light any candle in Shul, as it is considered a Neir Shel Mitzvah, as it gives honor to the Shul. [Admur 514:14; Michaber 514:4]
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule one may never light a Yartzite candle on Yom Tov, even in Shul. [Daas Torah 514 in name of Imrei Eish] Some rule one may only do so through a gentile. [Kitzur SHU”A 98:1]
 P”M 132 M”Z 2; Daas Torah 514 in name of Imrei Eish 40; Kitzur SHU”A 98:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
The reason: As it does not add any light to the house even at night being that we have electricity. Thus, it may not be lit as it is considered a light that serves no purpose which is forbidden to be lit on Yom Tov. [Admur 514:13; Michaber 514:5; P”M ibid]
 Kesav Sofer 75; Biur Halacha 514:5 “Neir”; Kaf Hachaim 514:79
 Kesav Sofer ibid; Biur Halacha ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Nitei Gavriel ibid
The reason: As it is permitted to light a Ner Shel Mitzvah [Admur 514:14; Michaber 514:5] and a Yartzite candle can be considered a Ner Shel Mitzvah, being that it is lit for the honor of one’s parents. [Kesav Sofer ibid; Biur Halacha ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid]
 P”M 132 M”Z 2; Daas Torah ibid; Kitzur SHU”A ibid
 The reason: As the custom of lighting a Yizkor candle is not very clear, and many even initially are not accustomed to do so. Nevertheless, one who is in great anguish that a candle is not lit and is doing so in honor of a parent, seemingly may be lenient if there is no other alternative of lighting it.
 Kitzur SHU”A ibid
 See Nitei Gavriel 56:5
The reason: As there is no Mitzvah of honoring these other relatives, and hence the candle is not considered a Ner Shel Mitzvah, but rather a Ner Shel Batala.
 Aruch Hashulchan 514:19; Nitei Gavriel 56:6
 See Admur 290:6
 Implication of Poskim ibid who write it is only forbidden to say “Melacha” and “writing words of Torah”. This follows the rule that the prohibition of Vedaber Davar only applies towards matters that are forbidden to do on Shabbos, and hence since it is permitted to learn or stay awake after Shabbos, therefore there is no prohibition involved in saying it.
Other opinions: Some write it is forbidden to even say “I am going to sleep so I have strength to learn after Shabbos” due to Mimtzo Cheftzecha, as one is revealing that his sleep is in preparation for after Shabbos. [SSH”K 28:72 footnote 168; see also Admur 404:4] Others learn it is forbidden to say this due to it being a belittlement of Shabbos. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 290:4 based on Elya Raba 307:1; P”M 290 M”Z] Practically, this opinion is negated in the wording of the above Poskim.
 Admur 290:6; M”A 290:; 307:1; Sefer Chassidim 266; M”B 290:4