Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Using the Menorah's Light for Other Purposes

Using the Menorah's Light for Other Purposes
Day: Wednesday
Date: December 2, 2015
Parshat: Vayeshev
Yalkut Yosef: O"H: 673

It is forbidden to use the menorah's light for any personal use other than a mitzvah. Even for a mitzvah one may only use the light for momentary use, nothing more. For example, one may not count coins with the menorah's light or use it to learn, but he may use the light to help him find a match to light the rest of the candles or to look up a Halacha. Our custom is to light an extra candle, called the Shamash, so that if one does use the light it'll be from that candle and not from the others. The shamash is lit after all the others and should be placed a little higher or lower than the others. If one cannot put it at a different height he should at least separate it a bit so it's obvious that it's not one of the candles being used for the mitzvah. The candles need to stay lit for a half hour. After a half hour has passed it is permissible use the light for any reason. If there is a blackout one does not need to close his eyes so as not to be using the menorah's light, even if the blackout occurs within the first half hour of the candles having been lit.

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