Why do we light the new candle first?

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5 Responses

  1. avakesh says:

    I think that ti is simple the applciation fo teh principle of Maalin bakodesh. Each candle place had as much kedusha as the number of times it has already been lit. You start with one that has not yet been lit, then go to one that is being lit for the 2nd time, then 3rd time etc – maalin bakodesh.

  2. micha says:

    The more prosaic explanation is probably that when lighting in the doorway, we light the side closest to the door first, as that’s the essential mitzvah.

    But I wonder — do we really consider the rightmost candle of day 2 to be the same candle as the rightmost of day 1? In which case, it would be “tadir veshe’eino tadir, tadir qodem” to start on the right!

    -mi

  3. avakesh says:

    I beleive that the acharonim, shaagas arya, say that something that is more tadir for only a period of time, sucha s sefiras haomer, is not called more tadir than something which is less frequent but throughout the year, like havadalah.

  4. according to comedian Yisrael Campbell, he was taught that the reason we light the newest candle first is like covering the hhala at Qiddush so that it won’t be “embarrassed” — the newest candle is new, so it’s unsure of itself and it needs to go first in order to face its anxiety.

    of course, as he points out, all the other candles are equally new, since their *predecessors burned down the previous night(s)*…

  5. meir rabi says:

    Sh”O 676:5 Mechaber says that we move towards the right and also lighting the newest indicates the increasing miracle

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