September 15, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #590420
When motzai Shabbos falls out on Yom Tov, as it does this Rosh HaShana, what should be done about a candle for havdala? May two candles be held together?
This question brings up a number of different issues.
HaRav Elyashiv shlita is of the opinion that one may not ignite a new fire solely for the purpose of saying the beracha at Havdala on Yom Tov, since one has no intention to derive any personal benefit from its light. HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zatzal was similarly doubtful about its permissibility. However this issue can easily be circumvented by using the existing Yom Tov candles for Havdala, and not lighting a new one.
The next issue is tilting the candles and holding them together , which inevitably causes more wax to melt and drip off. While the Taz 514:2 forbids one to tilt a candle on Yom Tov to make it drip because of gram kibuyi, the majority of the Achronim disagree. Additionally, the Taz himself was only referring to a situation where the expressed intent was to cause the fire to extinguish sooner, which is not the case here.
The biggest problem is separating the candles at the conclusion of Havdala. The Rema 502:2 writes that one may remove a burning stick from one side of a bonfire to place it in the fire on the other side, even though the intensity of the fire will inevitably be temporarily diminished, since the reduction of the fire is not intentional. The Mishna Berura sk 20 adds that based on this logic one should similarly be allowed to remove the stick to light the way in the dark as a torch. So it would seem that there is no problem separating the candles after Havdala. However, the Mishna Berura adds that some Poskim disagree with the Rema's heter and forbid removing the stick, and one should be machmir for their opinion, and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav concurs with this stringency. It would appear that the same should apply to our Havdala candle, and one should be machmir, however the prevalent minhag is not to.
While it is evident that holding the candles together is permitted in Halacha and it is only a chumra to refrain, one must weigh against this the fact that using a torch or other multi-wicked flame for Havdala is only a "mitzva min hamuvchar" as the Gemarra Pesachim writes; a chumra itself.
So it seems to me that if one has a specific minhag to hold two candles together for Havdala on Yom Tov, it is permitted and not necessary to change an established and legitimate minhag. However a person who does not know of a definite family custom would be better served keeping the candles separate for the duration of Havdala.September 16, 2009 1:57 am at 1:57 am #659051
Thanks for the reminder.
A regular candle with two wicks has been around for a few years and is now readily available. Also, I believe a torch would not be permissible for havdala.September 16, 2009 6:09 pm at 6:09 pm #659052
If you mean a torch in the British sense of the word which is a flashlight to us Americans, it is a machlokes partially dependant on the issue of whether an electric bulb is an “aish”. However an American “torch” is the standard translation of “avuka” which the Germarra Pesachim writes is ideal for Havdala.September 16, 2009 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #659053
An Avuka is actually something giving off bright light which the Misnah B’rura says is halachically made of wax with a minimum of two wicks touching.September 16, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #659054
First of all a common torch is CERTAINLY permissible for Havdala, because even if it is NOT an “avuka” there is no obligation to use an “avuka”, it is only a chumra.
Secondly, the Rosh in the second perek of Shabbos quotes the Sefer HaIttim who equates a wick wrapped in wax with an “avuka”, and this describes many of the common torches today.September 17, 2009 1:08 am at 1:08 am #659055
PM, it’s ok for someone to say they were mistaken.
A torch is not the ideal method in anyone’s book.
If you want to drei, go ahead and drei.
Make havdalla on a torch; just be careful that you don’t burn the building down. Oh, and remember to l’chadchila put two torches together (please do it outside and on lag b’omer).September 17, 2009 1:19 am at 1:19 am #659056rabbiofberlinParticipant
PM, thanks for your erudition and on the mark, as always. Asc far as havdalah on yom tov goes, I always remember in my father’s z’l house, we just made the brocho without putting the candles together, and looking at the candles after the brocho,as you write. I don’t remember whether we looked at our nails- I think not.
You may also know that , if my memory serves me right, by certain Sefardim, they use only one candle, and not two or more, as we do.September 18, 2009 1:50 am at 1:50 am #659057A600KiloBearParticipant
Because a fire one becomes rich, the Avnei Skila, Addeldynee, Moroneynee veRabidynee Arva d’Rabbonon Dovid Schmoigerman under yet another alias that he uses on his credit cards, says that it is mishibich to start the year off right by using two liquid fuel torches and an exposed source of natural gas to make havdoole after the end of Ramadan so long as it is done in a heavily insured property.
He also recommends that one who does this is yoitzei by amira leakum, and of course he puts all who disagree with him in the category of akum.
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