Feb 19, 2021

What is the answer to the question of lighting candles where and when you are as you celebrate Shabbat together through digital communal convenings in different time zones (ie, new York and Jerusalem)?

#Question: What is the answer to the question of lighting candles where and when you are as you celebrate Shabbat together through digital communal convenings in different time zones (ie, new York and Jerusalem)?

#Answer: As one might imagine, different rabbis have different answers to this truly modern question. I say this: Lighting at 10am in New York as part of a Jerusalem community is holy but not halachically applicable (meaning that Shabbat does not begin in New York despite being spiritually connected to Jerusalem through a holy beyond-space simultaneous convening).

In the realm of the holy, space and time do not exist. But in the realms of time and space, holiness is like an electric current - we tap in to its theoretically boundless power but are not dissolved into energy ourselves. Shabbat begins at different moments based on location, the boundaries of time and space still apply to our lives, though the spiritual beauty knows no limits.