Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Yahrtzeit Candle




     Parshas Hashavua
     בהעלתך את הנרות         
  נר ה' נשמת אדם משלי כ' כ"ז

Lighting a candle on the day of a Yahrzeit is not mentioned
anywhere in
ש"ס, רמב"ם,טור,שו"ע

The first to mention
נר נשמה is probably the. כל בו הלכת יום כיפורים.

כל בו writes to light a נר for deceased parents, on ערב יו"כ
so they will have a
כפרה. The parents have a כפרה, because
ברא מזכה אבא, Mitzvohs a child does benefit the deceased

טור writes (630) There is a special ענין to have many 
candles in Shul on Yom Kippur.
The need for lots of candles was because some people
spend the whole night & day in Shul. Others spend there the
whole day till the evening. 

It is probable, that the
חכמים tried to entice people to donate
נר למאור, therefore, attached the special סגולה of כפרה on יו"כ
for the
מתים, and applied the פסוק of נר ה' נשמת אדם to the
Yahrzeit candle.

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

According to the Chasam Sofer, there is no point
in lighting Yahrzeit candles at home or at the Bais Hachaim.
The sole purpose of a Yahrzeit candle is to do a Mitzvah with
it to light up the Shul so that others will have light to Daven & learn.

Today with electric lighting the light of the candle is useless.
Perhaps, paying the electric bill would be more beneficial 
for the
עליית נשמה than Yahrzeit candles.

*In ברכות נ"ג ע:א כתובות ק"ג ע"א is not referring to Yahzeit candles



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