Ner Tamid


Is having a ner tamid in a shul halacha or just custom? Also, is it halacha or just custom that the ner tamid always be lit?



  1. The Ner Tamid is a custom that has its origins in the Temple, where one of the Menorah’s lights was constantly kindling. The exact source for the custom seems to have been lost over the generations, although the Kol Bo, an authoritative Halachic work from the fifteenth century, writes that that it was a universally accepted custom already in his days. According to the Kol Bo, the Ner Tamid gives honor to the Divine Presence that rests wherever Jews gather together to pray.

    Can the Ner Tamid be switched off when Jews are not praying there? Yes, it can. Especially if the area being used as a Shul is used for other, mundane, things as well.

    Best wishes from the Team