Sunday, 24 January 2016

Melacha after Lighting Candles

Question: Is there anything wrong in driving to shul after my wife has lit the Shabbos candles? Can I do melacha for her?
Answer: The Rema (OC 263:10) writes that while women are mekabel Shabbos on themselves when they light, that doesn’t affect others in their home. Thus, others may continue to do melacha until they accept Shabbos. The Mishna Berura (261:31) writes that when one davens kabbalas Shabbos, they automatically are mekabel Shabbos.
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 263:17) writes that one who has accepted Shabbos early may ask another Jew who hasn’t yet accepted Shabbos to do a melacha on their behalf. Likewise, one may ask another who had recited havdala at the end of Shabbos to do a melacha for them if they are still observing Shabbos, providing that they aren’t following Rabbeinu Tam’s later zeman (See Piskei Teshuvos 263:44).
Each kehilla has its own minhag as to how long before shekia (sunset) they light Shabbos candles and are mekabel Shabbos. R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 2:6) writes that the reason why we are mekabel Shabbos so long before shekia is to fulfil the halacha of tosefes Shabbos, adding from the weekday onto Shabbos (See Shulchan Aruch OC 261:2). While Rambam (quoted in Biur Halacha 261) holds that tosefes Shabbos is miderabanan, according to some poskim, it is mideoraisa (See Tosafos Moed Katan 4a; Ohr Zarua, Erev Shabbos 14). Thus, while one can do melacha up until shekia if absolutely necessary, one should be most particular to keep to the minhag of their kehilla and light by the time printed on the luach (See Igros Moshe OC 3:38).

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