Havdalah After Yom Kippur

By Rabbi Chaim Chazzan


What conditions are required for the candle for it to be permitted to make the blessing on the candle after Yom Kippur?


One may not make the brocha borei meorei hoeish on Motzoei Yom Kippur on a flame that was lit that night. The brocha must be recited over a flame that was in existence on Yom Kippur that was not lit in a manner involving a melacha, meaning that the flame must be kindled before Yom Kippur. This candle is known in halacha as a‘ner sheshovas’.

The reason for this requirement is that the brocha over fire on Motzoei Yom Kippur is celebrating the fact that it is now permissible to benefit from fire to its fullest extent, after kindling and other uses of fire were prohibited on Yom Kippur. This point – that it was forbidden to use fire and now it is permissible – is only conveyed if the fire was in existence on Yom Kippur and no melacha was done with it.

However, the brocha on fire on Motzoei Shabbos is recited for a different reason: since the first time a fire was lit by Odom Horishon was on Motzei Shabbos. Therefore there is no need for a ner sheshavas on Motzoei Shabbos.

One may only recite the brocha borei meorei hoeish on a flame that’s purpose was to provide light[1], but not if it was kindled for another purpose such as a ner neshama lit when saying yizkor (yartzeit licht), the candles in shul lit for kovod, a flame on a gas range etc[2]. Therefore optimally one should light a candle on Erev Yom Kippur for the specific purpose of using it for havdalah on Motzoei Yom Kippur[3].

The rishonim[4] are in dispute whether it is permitted to make a brocha on a new flame that was lit that night from a ner sheshavas. The Alter Rebbe[5]  rules that one may, but one should preferably take the opinion that one may not into consideration, and therefore make the brocha on the original ner sheshovas.

If one only has a ner sheshavas that was not lit to illuminate (e.g. a yizkar licht) the Alter Rebbe writes that one should light another candle from the ner sheshavas and recite the brocha on both candles, thereby having both requirements: a nersheshovas and a candle that was lit for its light[6].

Reprinted with permission from  Lmaan Yishmeu – a project of Mercaz Anash. To see more articles visit Mercazanash.com

[1] שוע”ר סי’ רצח סעי’ טו-יח

[2] בכל זה ראה שוע”ר סי’ תרכד סעי’ ה-ח

[3] דרך החיים קסט,ו, הובא במ”ב סי’ תרכד ס”ק יג

[4] ראה ב’ הדעות ברמ”א שם סעי’ ה. דעה א’ מהרב המגיד פכ”ט מהל’ שבת הלכה כז בשם הרמב”ן ואבודרהם עמ’ רצ בשם ה”ר יונה ואור זרוע ח”ב סי’ צה, הובאו בדרכי משה. ודעה ב’ מהאגודה סוף יומא ומהר”י ווייל סי’ קצא

[5] שם סעי’ ח כפי שבינו במ”מ במהדו’ החדשה. ובזה מיושב מה שהקשה על שוע”ר באג”מ או”ח ח”ד סי’ קכב

[6] שם. ויש לעיין מדוע לא נהגו להקפיד על

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