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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Well Rested Candle

When making Havdala after Yom Kippur one is obligated to use a light ‘that rested’.  This is unique to Yom Kippur, on a regular Saturday night there is no such obligation.  What does this mean? And why?

A “ner sheshavas”, light that rested, requires that one light their Havdala candle on Motzai Yom Kippur from a flame that has been burning from before Yom Kippur.

The Kol Bo explains that the candle on Motzai Shabbos and the candle on Motzai Yom Kippur are fundamentally different. The Gemara relates that on the very first Saturday Night of creation Hashem showed Adam how to make a fire from two stones. So on Saturday night in commemoration we thank Hashem for the creation of fire by lighting the Havdala candle. It therefore may, and indeed should be, a new flame.

On Yom Kippur we are celebrating the fact that we hadn’t used fire all day. In this way Yom Kippur is different from all other Jewish holidays, on which the use of fire is permitted. So it is therefore appropriate to use a flame that had ‘rested’ all day. It had been burning before Yom Kippur, had not been used over the holiday, and had now become permitted once again.

Therefore, if Yom Kippur is on Shabbos the Poskim write that we may use a new flame, however the minhag is to use an existing flame then as well.

A candle that was lit in honor of Yom Kippur, and not for light, is a subject of dispute in Halacha. The recommended practice is to either use a candle that was lit before Yom Kippur specifically for after Yom Kippur, and not in honor of Yom Kippur. If one only has a candle that was lit in honor of Yom Kippur he should light a candle from that (which is not as bad as a brand new flame) and make the bracha on both together.

In the event that one cannot find a flame that had been burning from before Yom Kippur one should not make the blessing on the candle during Havdalah.

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Posted on 09/24 at 04:56 AM • Permalink
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Meet Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch HaberRabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber is sought after by all who know him for his Halachic and practical advice. His keen ability to put complicated matters into a digestible perspective coupled with his ability to get the facts, make him the perfect blogger to help us all “Do It Right”.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber spent his childhood globetrotting with his family. His pioneering spirit first surfaced in Melbourne, Australia, where he was excited to be a member of the opening class of Mesivta Bnei Torah. From Australia the Haber family settled down in Monsey, NY. Ever the maverick, Tzvi promptly left home to study in Yeshiva Ohr Hameir in Peekskill, where he became a mainstay of the Yeshiva, and inspired his younger brothers as well as several friends from the Mesivta in Melbourne to follow him. He then joined his chaburah in Jerusalem, first at the Mir Yeshiva and then at the Bais Medrash of Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, a senior scion of the famed Brisk dynasty. As his globetrotting family returned to Jerusalem, Tzvi returned to the US, to freeze in the famed, yet comparatively chilled Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood.

 In 2004 he met his wife, Suzanne Schor, a native of the warmer Los Angeles climate, and the couple settled in Lakewood, where he focused his pioneering and independent strengths on the study of Halacha, or Jewish law. His innovative spirit and innate ability to help others seeking to clarify the finer points of Judaism and integrate them into their daily lives inspired his decision to commute daily from Lakewood to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in order to bask in the day to day exposure to the world renowned Posek, HaRav David Feinstein. The daily commute was more than compensated for when he received Semicha from Rav Feinstien and the Kollel L’Torah U’lhorah (a division of Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem) in Tamuz 5768, June 2008.

In August 2009, the Habers moved west, heading toward Los Angeles where Rabbi Haber joined the LINK-LA Kollel. After being an active member of the Kollel for several years, he joined the business world, however he is still actively involved in teaching and learning in LA.

Actively involved in all aspects of TorahLab, Tzvi has taken upon himself a quasi-role as administrator of quality control and has effectively improved and upgraded many of the smaller yet vital details involved in our site. His advice is eagerly sought and gracefully given.

Rabbi Haber is now living in the La Brea section of Los Angeles with his wonderful family. He can be contacted at tzvi@torahlab.org