Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 80:1
Some Activities Forbidden on Shabbos

(The principal "Melachos" which we are forbidden to perform on Shabbos are well-known and therefore will not be mentioned here. The following listing refers to laws which are not common knowledge, and yet frequently arise).

1.It is forbidden to use the light of an oil lamp for any activity which requires some concentration (1). This was forbidden by the Sages lest one inadvertently tilt the lamp in order to bring the oil closer to the wick, thereby violating the [Biblical prohibition] called "Mav'ir" ("kindling" [a fire]) (2). Two people, however, may read the same concept from a single text, because if one of them attempts to tilt the lamp, his colleague will remind him (3).

[Studying by the light of ] our present day candles, in which the wax or tallow adhere to the wicks, is permitted (4). Nevertheless, one must make some sort of mark in order to remember not to snip off the top of the wick that has become charred. The Rambam (Maimonides) considers this to be the violation of a Biblical prohibition (5). It is even forbidden to have a Gentile cut off this portion of the wick.


(1) One is permitted to read portions of the prayers that are somewhat familiar to you by the light of an oil lamp..

(2) "Mav'ir" is one of the 39 categories of activity forbidden on Shabbos.

(3) Most authorities permit this only for reading that is a Mitzvah, such as Torah study or reciting Psalms.

(4) The basic principle is that any candle that never needs to be tilted in order to improve its light, is not included in this prohibition (See Mishna Berura 275:4).

(5) This prohibition is called "Tikkun Maneh" ("Creating a vessel"); in other words, by cutting the one wick into two wicks, one has created a new wick (See Rashi: Beitzah 32:b: D'H: "DeKoMesaken Maneh")

Some Activities Forbidden on Shabbos
Paragraph 2
Table of Contents

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.



View Complete List

Enlightening the Present From the Past
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

Neither Your Bite Nor Your Kiss
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

'Mehadrin' - An Understanding of the Concept
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

On A Wing And A Prayer
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Chanukah Oil: A Real No-Know
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Yosef Recognizes His Brothers
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Let Sleeping Fogs Lie
Shlomo Katz - 5759

8 - The Symbol of Eternity
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

A Better Smelling "Sent"
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761


Yearning for Redemption
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

Keep the Change
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Continuity Crisis?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

> Just Five More Minutes of Sleep!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Candle Lighting Blessings
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

The Triumph of Quality Over Quantity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5756

Non-Negotiable Part I
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5765

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information