Israel: Chief Rabbis Say Don’t Light Candles in Sukka

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Last week, YWN-Israel reported that chareidi volunteer firemen in Israel were making an unprecedented effort to have Gedolei HaDor Shlita sign a kol korei banning lighting Shabbos and Yomtov candles in one’s sukka. They felt this was their responsibility in light of fires over recent years that have had devastating consequences.

A letter was released by Israel’s chief rabbis, Rabbi Moshe Shlomo Amar Shlita and Rabbi Yona Metzger Shlita, stating it is absolutely forbidden for one to light candles in a sukka due to the hazards associated with burning candles in a sukka environment.

It is reported that when the letter was shown to Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita, he quoted a passage from his sefer Chazon Ovadia (Sukkos, 207:a) stating “if there is an fear whatsoever, one should light candles in one’s home”. The Rav’s quote was also included in the letter from the chief rabbis.

Yonatan Yosef, a son of HaGaon Rav Yaakov Yosef, who seems to have launched the initiative, expresses his hope that the tzibur will heed the words of the rabbonim towards avoiding tragedies R”L this year.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)