Friday, November 24, 2017

Yahrzeit candles

                                                         לז"נ הני תרי נשי, רות בת צבי יהודה ופעסיל* בת בונם ע"ה יום השנה ז' כסליו 


There is no mention anywhere in Shas,Tur & Shulchan Aruch about lighting a candle on the day of a Yahrzeit. 

The Mishna in Ms.Brachos (53a) that says not to use a Ner Shel Meisim for Havdalah, refers to a candle used for the Levaya etc.
and not a Yahrzeit candle, which probably may be used for Havdalah.The Gemoro in Kesubos (103a) Rebbie left a Tzavo’oh  with his
sons to have a candle burning at the table refers to Shabbos candles and not Yahrzeit candles.

The first mention of Ner Neshama is probably the Kol Bo in Hilchos Yom Kipurim. The Kol Bo writes to light a Ner for deceased parents, on Erev Yom Kippur, so they will have a Kapparah. The parents have a Kapparah, because of  ברא מזכה אבא, The Mitzvohs a child does benefits the deceased parents.
The Tur writes (630) There is a special Inyan to have lots of candles in Shul on Yom Kippur. In the olden days, the largest and one of the few expenses a Shul had, was Ner Lamo’or. Beeswax was a very expensive commodity.
It is possible, the Chachamim tried to entice people to donate Ner Lamo’or, therefore attached the special Segulah of Kappara for the Meisim, a Siman Tov for the living and the Ner Hashem Nishmas Adam for a Yahrzeit candle.

The Chasam Sofer (Shu"t #6:27) writes he is unaware of a so-called מצוה רבה to light Yahrzeit candles at home or even at the Kever.

The ביאור הלכה ס' תקיד  quotes from the  שו"ת כתב סופר (O.Ch65) that "on Yom Tov when we may not light
a נר של בטלה ( a candle that has no purpose) it is best to light the Yahrzeit candle (if it wasn't lit before Yom Tov) in the room where you eat (purpose) or even better, to light it in Shul.(Mitzvah)

Only for a שעת הדחק may we light a Yahrzeit candle for parents* since it's done for their honor (כיבוד אב ואם)

According to the Maharshal even though lighting a candle for parents may not be a Mitzvah, but since everybody lights candles and some are even מקפיד on this more than other Mitzvos, therefore, we allow him to light the candle on Yom Tov, so he
will not be מצטער and have no Simchas Yom Tov.


*She & her family were involved in saving from the Nazis ym"s
hundreds of families. Amongst them, my Mother's ע"ה entire
family.

Yehi Zichrom Baruch

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