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Melacha Before Havdalah 3 – Melacha Before Melave Malka (Klal 8 Siman 23) Hilchos Shabbos – S0241

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Melacha Before Havdalah 3 - Melacha Before Melave Malka (Klal 8 Siman 23) Hilchos Shabbos - S0241
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  We are continuing in siman 23, discussing the performance of melacha after Shabbos. We learned that there is a halacha, based on kabbalistic sources, that a man should not light a candle on Motzei Shabbos until reciting kedusha d’sidra. The kabbalistic concerns behind this halacha do not apply to women, so a woman can turn on a light without issue, provided she said baruch hamavdil bein kodesh lechol.   The Shaar Hatziyun (299:sk 51) brings from the Derech Hachaim that this issue is not limited to lighting candles, but any melacha which involves tircha (involvement and exertion) and is time-consuming should not be performed until after havdalah on a kos. That being said, the Shaar Hatziyun himself writes that it is a chumrah and not a chiyuv, so one who will not be able to recite havdalah on a kos for a while, or a woman who needs to be able to perform melacha immediately, can do so without concern. Beyond the kabbalistic issue, part of the reason for this chumrah is to ensure that people do not get caught up with melacha and forget to make havdalah. Since women are not the ones making havdalah, the chumrah does not apply to them.    In siman 300, which discusses melaveh malka, the Shulchan Aruch writes that melaveh malka should be eaten earlier rather than later. Certainly, the Shaarei Teshuva writes that one should eat it before chatzos. That being said, if a person is not hungry, they should wait, but the Mishnah Berurah there states that a person should not get involved in a focused activity until after eating melaveh malka.     To summarize, according to the Chayei Adam, 
  1. a) once a person recites baruch hamavdil bein kodesh lechol, they can perform melacha. 
  2. b) Melacha which involves effect or time should preferably wait until after havdalah on a kos. Women do not have these chumros.
  3. c) One should preferably eat melaveh malka before involving oneself in significant focused melacha.. 
  Summary
  • For Kabbalistic reasons, a man should not light a candle until after kedusha d’sidra. This concern does not apply to women.
  • Some are machmir not to perform any melacha until making havdalah on a kos, but this is a chumra and not a chiyuv.
  • One should try to refrain from getting involved with focused melacha until eating melaveh malka.

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