Ask the Expert: Early Candlelighting

How early is too early?

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That said, Rabbi Rosenberg also pointed out that there are some instances in which Jewish law forbids beginning Shabbat or a holiday early. He said, “If a holiday immediately follows Shabbat (i.e. it starts Saturday night), one cannot end Shabbat early to bring in the holiday, since there are things forbidden on Shabbat that are permitted on the holiday (e.g. cooking for one's needs for the day), and were you to begin the holiday early you could end up cooking on Shabbat. Similarly, for Jews who observe two days of Yom Tov, the second day may not be begun early. Finally, there are some customs about not starting the first night of Passover early, and there is also a custom of not beginning Shavuot until the stars are out, so that you can have 'seven full weeks' of counting the Omer."

It might be too early to light candles right now, but it's definitely not too early to begin making dinner, so if you’ll excuse me, I'm off to the kitchen!

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