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Candlelighting

Candlelighting

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On Pesach, as on the Sabbath throughout the year, it is Jewish women and girls who are granted the privilege and the responsibility of ushering the light of the holiday into their homes. Preferably, the holiday candles should be lit on the afternoon of the 14th of Nissan, 18 minutes before sunset. Unlike candlelighting on the Sabbath, however, if the candles are not lit before sunset, they may be lit afterwards. In such a situation, however, the candles must be lit from an existing flame. It is forbidden to strike a match on the holiday.

When the 14th of Nissan falls on the Sabbath, candlelighting is delayed until the appearance of three stars. Before lighting the candles, the women should recite the phrase Boruch hamavdil beyn kodesh likodesh (Blessed is He who distinguishes between the holy and the holy). The candles are lit from an existing flame.

The following blessings are recited before lighting candles:

Boruch Atah A-donai E-loheinu Melech haolam asher kideshanu bimitzvosav vitzibanu lihadlik ner shel yom tov.

Boruch Atah A-donai E-loheinu Melech haolam shehecheyanu vikiemanu vihigiyanu lizman hazeh.

Blessed are You, G‑d, our L‑rd, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the festival lights.

Blessed are You, G‑d, our L‑rd, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

On the second night of Pesach, the candles are lit from an existing flame after the appearance of three stars, and the same blessings are recited. When there is a Sabbath among the intermediate days of Pesach, candlelighting is carried out before sunset, in the same manner as on the other Sabbaths throughout the year.

Eighteen minutes before sunset on the afternoon of the sixth day of Pesach, the candles should be lit for the seventh day. If that day falls during the week, and candles were not lit before sunset, they may be lit afterwards from an existing flame. On the evening of the eighth day of Pesach, candles should be lit from an existing flame after the appearance of three stars. On these two days, the blessing Shehecheyanu (“...who has granted us life...”) is not recited.

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