DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

(File size: 942 KB)
If a Candle Falls on the Table During Shabbat

If one lit wax candles on the Shabbat table, and during the meal the candle got knocked over in a manner that does not pose a risk, is one allowed to lift the candle and put it back in place? Normally, of course, it is forbidden to move candles, as they are considered Mukseh. Can an exception be made in this case, when a candle fell on the table?

The Mishna Berura (Rav Yisrael Meir Kagan, 1839-1933), in Siman 277 (Se’if Katan 18), cites the Bah (Rav Yoel Sirkis, Poland, 1561-1640) as commenting that in such a case, if no minor or non-Jew is available to lift up the candle, one should shake the tablecloth to remove the candle. One is not permitted to lift the candle or to extinguish the flame, and thus his only option is to shake the candle off the table. The Mishna Berura adds, however, that nowadays, when people are very anxious when it comes to fire, we must be concerned that one might become frightened when shaking the candle off the table that the tablecloth or carpet will catch fire, and he will then extinguish the flame. Therefore, Halacha permits one to pick up the candle and put it back in a safe place, as otherwise it is likely that one would violate the more severe prohibition of extinguishing the fire.

The Mishna Berura also comments that if a napkin or some object on the table catches fire, and one would be very anxious leaving it in place, he may remove it and put it somewhere safe. He may not extinguish the fire, but he may remove the object. If the tablecloth or the table catches fire, one should put water around the perimeter of the flames so that when they spread, they will be extinguished. One may not extinguish the fire directly, but should instead place water around it. Some authorities ruled that one should not use water for this purpose, as putting water on the tablecloth would violate the Torah prohibition of laundering on Shabbat, but the Mishna Berura allows using water in such a case. One may also ask a gentile to extinguish the fire.

Needless to say, this entire discussion relates to situations where there is no danger to life. If something catches fire and creates a potentially life-threatening situation, then clearly it is permissible to do whatever is needed to put out the flames.

Summary: If a candle falls on the table on Shabbat in a manner that does not pose danger, one should ask a gentile or child to lift the candle and put it in back in place, and if there is no gentile or child, then one may lift it himself, even though candles generally may not be handled on Shabbat. If a napkin or other object catches fire, one should move it to a safe location. If the tablecloth or table catches fire, a gentile should be asked to extinguish the flame, and if no gentile is present, one may place water around the flames so they are extinguished as they spread. Of course, if a fire poses a potentially life-threatening situation it may be extinguished.


Recent Daily Halachot...
Customs When Announcing Rosh Hodesh in the Synagogue on Shabbat
Is it Permissible to Repeat Sections of the Torah Reading to Add Aliyot?
Moving Candlesticks on Shabbat After the Flames Go Out
Which Prayers May Be Recited by the Light of the Shabbat Candles?
Tying Neckties and Garbage Bags on Shabbat
Tying and Untying Knots on Shabbat
Is It Permissible to Trap a Deer Inside a Home on Shabbat?
Is It Permissible to Trap a Bug on Shabbat?
Trapping Explained- One of the 39 Forbidden Melachot on Shabbat
May One Ask a Non-Jew to Turn Off a Light on Shabbat?
Asking a Non-Jew to Move a Mukseh Item on Shabbat
Shabbat – If a Non-Jew Mistakenly Turned Off a Light and Then Turned It Back on for a Jew
Asking a Non-Jew to Turn on the Heat or Air Conditioning on Shabbat
If a Non-Jew is Paid to Turn Lights on For a Jew on Shabbat
Giving Precedence to the Shabbat Day Meal Over the Friday Night Meal
Page of 234
3497 Halachot found