Responsum: Best to light electric candles in sukkah

Tzomet Institute says best to light electric candles in sukkah for fear of igniting sukkah due to winds, rain, or other factors.

Mordechai Sones ,

Candle in sukkah
Candle in sukkah
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Tzomet Institute head and former Firefighter's Chief Rabbi Menachem Perl says it is best to light electric candles in the sukkah for fear of flare-ups igniting the sukkah due to winds, rain, or other factors.

In response to inquiries to the Institute, Rabbi Perl wrote that in any case there is concern, even the slightest, that lighting candles in the sukkah would endanger lives it is preferable to avoid lighting ordinary candles in the sukkah and use electric candles.

In his reply, the rabbi wrote that according to halacha (Jewish law), Shabbat and holiday candles should be lit in the place where one eats, but there are those who light candles in the sukkah and after pronouncing the blessing bring the candles into the home - which is certainly not correct, since according to halacha, the candles should be lit specifically where they will be placed.

In order not to replicate the regular Shabbat routine, some women light holiday candles at night upon return from the synagogue. In such a case, it is possible there would be no danger in lighting the candles in the sukkah.

To avoid danger, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu suggested lighting candles in a glass box in the sukkah. Another option is an electric candle with a battery. Most halachic authorities have written that one may pronounce a blessing over an electric candle on Shabbat, especially when one does not have an ordinary candle.

Therefore, there is no option more preferable than to light electric candles (with a battery and filament) in the sukkah, wherever there is the slightest shadow of danger.



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