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

Halacha is In Memory Of
 Avi Mori Yaacov ben Mazal HaCohen Z"L
"Leilui Nishmat Avi Mori Yaacov ben Mazal HaCohen Z"L Hazcarah 16 Av "

Dedicated By
Isaac Tawil

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
(File size: 1 MB)
May One Add Water to the Oil Cups of the Shabbat Candles?

Many people use olive oil for Shabbat candles (which is, indeed, the preferred manner of observing the Misva), pouring the oil into glass cups and then placing a wick. The question was raised concerning the permissibility of adding some water to the bottom of the glass cup. For example, if a woman does not have a large amount of oil to use, she might want to pour some water to lift the oil and wick so that the wick protrudes above the rim of the cup, making it easier for her to light it. Assuming, of course, that this is done before Shabbat, would this be permissible?

This issue is discussed by the Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 265:4), who writes that if one’s intention when pouring the water into the oil cup is not to cause the flame to be extinguished sooner, then this is permissible. As long as one does not pour the water for the purpose of hastening the extinguishing of the flame, he may add the water, and thus it would be permissible to add water for the sake of lifting the wick. The Rama (Rabbi Moshe Isserles of Cracow, 1525-1572) disagrees, citing authorities who allow adding water even for the purpose of having the fire extinguish sooner, since the extinguishing is done indirectly. Regardless, even according to the Shulhan Aruch, it would certainly be permissible to add water to the oil cup for the sake of elevating the wick.

Hacham Ben Sion Abba Shaul (Israel, 1923-1998), in his work Or Le’sion (vol. 2, 18:17), addresses the question of whether this Halacha applies also to one who adds water in order to prevent the glass cup from becoming very hot and cracking. He cites some authorities who claimed that adding water for this purpose is akin to adding water for the purpose of causing the flame to extinguish, and is thus forbidden. Hacham Ben Sion, however, disagrees, arguing that these cases are very different from one another. In his view, as long as the intent is not for the candle to extinguish sooner, one may add water, even for the purpose of maintaining the glass’ temperature. He adds that we may also take into account the Rama’s ruling, that regardless of one’s intent it is permissible to add water to the cups. The final Halacha, then, is that one may add water before Shabbat to the oil cup in order to avoid cracking. By the same token, it would be permissible to add water in order to prevent the glass from blackening.

Summary: One may add water before Shabbat to the glass oil cups of the Shabbat candles, such as to prevent the cups from cracking or blackening, as long as this is not done for the purpose of having the candles go out sooner.


Recent Daily Halachot...
Berit Mila on Shabbat – Bringing the Baby to the Synagogue
Opening a Front Door with a Key on Shabbat
Using Baby Wipes or Moistened Toilet Paper on Shabbat
Taking Fertility or Birth Control Pills on Shabbat
May a Doctor Receive Payment for Medical Services Provided on Shabbat?
Violating Shabbat for a Woman and Newborn After Childbirth, and for Fetal Distress During Pregnancy
Violating Shabbat to Care for a Woman After Childbirth
Violating Shabbat For the Sake of a Woman in Labor
Resuscitating an Unconscious Patient on Shabbat
Using Suppositories or an Enema on Shabbat
Taking A Blood Test on Shabbat
Exercising on Shabbat
Prescription Medication and Antibiotics on Shabbat
Shabbat – Using Mouthwash, Eating Food for Medicinal Purposes
Pills That are Allowed on Shabbat; Inducing Vomiting on Shabbat
Page of 221
3311 Halachot found