Halachos Of The Week: ‘Shabbos Candles’
Question: We are going out to friends for the Friday night meal. Where should I light my Shabbos candles?
Answer: The ideal situation would be for the woman to light in her own home and derive some benefit from the candles before leaving her home (e.g. daven next to the candles). Alternatively, she could use long-lasting candles which will still be burning upon returning home from the meal, and at that point she, or any family member, could derive some benefit from the light of the candles (e.g. have dessert next to them). If for some reason a woman can not light at home, she may light in the home where she is having the meal.
Question: Am I allowed to do melacha (prohibited acts) after my wife lights Shabbos candles? What about any children who will not be coming to shul? Are there any circumstances when my wife will be allowed to do melacha after lighting?
Answer: Normally speaking, the only one in a home bound by the lighting of Shabbos candles to actually accept Shabbos at that time is the woman lighting the candles. Although the husband and older children (over 12 for a girl and 13 for a boy) are fulfilling their obligation to light candles with the lighting of their wife/mother, it is not considered an act of ‘kabbolas Shabbos’ – an acceptance of Shabbos, on their part. There are certain, pressing cases when even the woman who is lighting the candles may delay her acceptance of Shabbos until sunset. To accomplish this, she should verbally or mentally stipulate that although she is lighting the Shabbos candles, she is not yet accepting Shabbos.
Have a great Shabbos.