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Hi, can you settle a debate I have been having with some of my friends? Is it permissible to 'light Shabbat candles' using electric bulbs? If so, would you be able to say the blessing? Thanks and Shabbat Shalom.

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Dear Rabbi: Unfortunately my wife (Yael bat Channah) is now already nearly a year in hospitals and Rehab Nursing Homes. She has many times been unconscious, not aware of what was going on, but thank G-d her health has improved and she understands now most of the things, that happen around her. At home I continued always to candle the lights for Shabbos and Chanuka, even when she couldn't. If I bring her electric Shabbos candles and an electric Menora, can she say the bracha over the light kindling? Real fire is not allowed in the Hospital or Nursing Home. Too dangerous.
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Shalom aleichem Rabbi Lauffer. Thank you for answering my last question. The Shmiras Shabbos k’Hilchaso writes that if someone planted a seed on Shabbos, even b’shogeig, he is forever prohibited from benefiting from it. This is because penalizing him by benefiting from it just on that Shabbos would accomplish nothing, as in any event the seed would take weeks or months to grow. Would this rule apply only to something like planting a seed, which takes a long time and has no chance of being benefited from on that day, or does it even apply to something like cooking food, if the person starts cooking the food very close to the end of Shabbos, so that the food is not cooked until after Shabbos is over, even though the food could have been cooked on Shabbos if he had started cooking it earlier on Shabbos? Thanks a lot.

Question
This pertains to those who are using WELLS for the water supply. Wells that use ELECTRICITY to draw the water up and into the house. Therefore, ON SHABBAT: when using the 'faucet' or when flushing the 'toilet,' electricity is being used in the same way as when 'switching' on the light switch, for which on Shabbat there is a special cover to prevent turning on or off, or is on a timer to stay on until whenever. So, why is this 'allowable'?   2. This pertains to opening and closing the refrigerator and/ freezer door ON SHABBAT: Although the inside light is unscrewed so as not to 'come on' when the door is opened, the compressor (or whatever it is called), which uses electricity, 'comes' on (via electricity) when the door is opened. Why is this allowable?  

Question
I am reading Jonathan Rabb's book "Among the Living". In the story, a rabbi looks at a Havdalah spice box, specifically at the Hebrew lettering on the inscription. The rabbi says that the letter gimmel is in the wrong place, because non-Jews did the craftsmanship and they did not read Hebrew. I know that the spice box is the besamim box. What letters are on a typical spice box? What words do they represent? Is the letter gimmel one of those letters?

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"If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it." (Shemot 20:25) So, how was the altar made?

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If Shabbat is supposed to be “a day of rest,” why is it forbidden to do certain things that don’t seem to be “real work,” such as turning a light on or off? Thank you!