Blowing Candles Out

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    If I have a Birthday Cake on my Birthday, is it a problem to light candles on the cake and blow them out. I read that it is not a Jewish Minhag, and originated with the Greeks. It is considered Zara. What is the source.


    We have the same minhug not to blow out fire.

    Motzei Shabbos the havdala is dipped in the spilled wine.


    Grandmaster, what do you do if the wine is kedushat shevi’it?


    I saw this minhag somewhere and since then I don’t do blow out fires anymore. I will try to find it again.


    Motza’ei Shabbos is not a Ra’ya at all. The Minhag is to put it out by dipping it into the wine, not just because it is the easiest option other than blowing it out. However, there is an Inyan from the Arizal not to blow out a candle with your breath. Some people don’t blow, but would say PPPurim-PPesach on it until it goes out.

    Just because something was done many years ago by whoever, that doesn’t make it Avoda Zara. Avoda Zara is exactly that – idol worship. You are not worshiping anyone by blowing out a candle. Nor would it be Darkei Emori, for it is not being done as a superstition, only as a celebration. However, you might bump into the problem of Chukos Akum. Being that it is only for fun and is not meant as anything serious, I can hear a big Makom Lehakol.

    So, as all good threads go:

    Ask your …

    And, of course, let us know the response.


    don’t use kedushas sheviis for havdala – you are supposed to overflow it – how can you be sure you won’t waste any.


    A burning candle is considered like ohr ha’neshama, i.e. it represents life.

    The last thing you’d want to do is blow it out.


    i also have the Minhag not to blow out a flame.

    on the other side i have seen great Rabboim blow out flames.

    it is certainly not Halachah, and there are certainly chashavuh people who do not have this Minhag

    Shticky Guy

    The reason is to do with the pasuk of ?? ?’ ???? ???. A fire is likened to a ????? or breath so we dont use breath to blow out a fire or flame


    from Ohr Somayach website:

    As for not blowing out candles in general, the following reason has been said in the name of Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (the ‘Steipler’), zatzal:

    There’s an angel whose name is the same as the sound produced when you blow out with force. According to Kabbalistic tradition, it’s improper to make use of the names of holy angels. Many people, therefore, extinguish candles by hand in order not to pronounce the name of this angel.

    Another explanation: The Torah depicts man’s soul as being a ‘breath’ from Hashem. The soul is also compared to a flame. Using your breath to blow out a candle is an ironic gesture, using one ‘soul’ to extinguish another.

    I know a rabbi who puts out candles by saying the word ‘Purim,’ forcefully emphasizing the letter ‘P’.


    Mr. 80: That’s what THE leivi (the Hei for emphasis), wrote.


    If a birthday candle is lit with the intention of it to be blown out what exactly is the problem? A candle that is lit with the intention of it to be burning and giving light I can understand where there is a problem to blow out. But the intention of a birthday candle is to be lit and blown out so why should that be an inyan at all?


    On certain topics, it says, Hasvara Iveles; especially a Svara Iveles.


    BTW, I think that was a horrible thing to say, on my part, but it sounded funny so I wrote it. My apologies to the target.


    shticky- similar to what u said but i though i heard the reason is from “vaipach beapav nishmas chaim” Hashem blew into Adam a breath of life.. If hashem blew in a neshama and neshama is compared to light – we dont want to blow it out..

    also, Rabbi Blumenkrantz ah in his pesach books writes the history of candles how it used to be used for godesses and avoda zara- im almost sure its in the book every year, under birthday candles


    to be honest, never thought about it….


    So why comment?


    You are getting pretty aggressive lately, Mr. Grand. Do you enjoy confrontation?


    That’s aggressive?!? Are you new to the CR? Personally I think you are just envious of my subtitle compared to your negative one.


    don’t use kedushas sheviis for havdala – you are supposed to overflow it – how can you be sure you won’t waste any.

    We use it because that’s what was on sale, so that’s what we have in the house.


    If it weren’t for my subtitle they would ban both of us.


    I had never heard of this minhag.

    The Wikipedia article states that the custom of putting candles on birthday cakes originated in 18th century Germany.


    Charlie according to Chabad.Org-Candles are nice, but some trace the custom of placing candles on a birthday cake To an ancient Greek custom. This was the practice of celebrating the birthday of one of their pagan gods. This was reported by Philchrous.


    I looked in ???? ??????? but I didn’t see it there. If anyone has a set of ???? ????? ???? give it to me. Or barring that maybe you can look it up there.

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