Lighting Candles for Tzadikim

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Hi Rabbi Simon

I have anther question. I have seen people light candles for various tzadikim. What are the rules regarding this? I would like to light for rebbe nachman, rebbe shlomo carlebach and my grandma.

Spencer

 

Lighting a candle to mark the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the death, on the Hebrew calendar) of a relative, a tzaddik, or indeed any person is perfectly permissible. The time to light it would be at night, as the day of the yahrtzeit begins, customarily for 24 hours. It would be appropriate for the candle to be positioned in a safe place (obviously) and one where it can be observed, however not where you will need its light for reading, etc. I.e. it should be designated as a symbolic, not a utilitarian flame. Of course, nowadays this is very easy to achieve, as we primarily use electric lights for our needs.

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
I hope you fasted well yesterday.
Thank you for the insights into the Kinnot, making them easier to understand.
In the afternoon, I was listening to a shiur on Eichah on Torahanytime.  As an aside, the speaker mentioned that the 1st perek of Eichah is the source for the order of the alef bet as we know it.  Other chapters also follow the alef bet chronology but with ayin en peh interchanged.
He quoted Rabbi Shimon Schwab as his source.
Although he did not elaborate on this, surely Sefer Tehillim predates Megillat Eichah by centuries.  Several psalms are written in the alef bet order (e.g.
psalm 119).
Can you please clarify?
Thank you & best wishes.
PhilippeHi Philippe
***
TY for your sophisticated Q.
I have also heard that the question of the sequence of samekh and 'ayin is subject to dispute. It seems that there are indications that in Paleo-Hebrew the order is reversed from what we know. It is alleged that chapters 2, 3 and 4 of Eichah (chapter 5 is not alphabetical) reflect the original order. Of course, as you say, ch 1 conforms to the order with which we are family.
You are right that Tehillim predates Eichah, however a critic can claim that the order was redacted to bring it in line with the accepted/preferred sequence. This is particularly true for ch. 119, where each of the 8 vv per letter are their own group, and each set of 8 vv. can easily be repositioned. The question is in Ps. 34 or 145, if the internal logic of the passage sheds light on the correct sequence. In Ps. 34, some claim that the v. starting with the letter peh makes more sense to follow the verse starting with samekh (due to the common appearance of the word ra'). I am not convinced that this argument is compelling.
I will stick with the mesorah, that 'ayin belongs before peh. Best to look before speaking.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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