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Is it permitted to do work after lighting the Shabbat candles?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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With the lighting of the Shabbat candles, the kindler is ushering in the Shabbat. As soon as all the candles are lit, even before the blessing is recited, all forms of work are prohibited.1


If a woman makes a condition, even if the condition is non-verbal, that she is not accepting the Shabbat with the lighting of the candles, she is permitted to continue working until approximately ten minutes after she lit the candles. This is especially useful when one is lighting candles at home and then needs to drive to synagogue or another home to eat the Shabbat meal. This condition should only be used in times of need—ideally, Shabbat should be accepted immediately with the lighting of the Shabbat candles, otherwise it isn’t readily evident that the candles are solely in honor of Shabbat.

As soon as all the candles are lit, even before the blessing is recited, all forms of work are prohibited

Footnotes

  • 1. This rule applies only to a woman who lights candles. A man who lights candles may continue doing work until shortly before sunset.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Shabbat » Forbidden Activities
Women & Judaism » Women's Mitzvot » Candle Lighting

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.