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Unread 04-19-2016, 08:07 PM   #1
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flashlight for bedikas chametz

is it ok to use a flashlight for bedikas chamez? if it's considered a flame for shabbos, why shouldn't it be ok for the bedika too?
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Unread 04-19-2016, 09:02 PM   #2
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For areas of the house where a flame would be dangerous (i.e. under the bed, don't ask how I know) a flashlight is indeed acceptable.

It is our minhag to use a candle. One of the reasons is sourced from the Gemara, based on a posuk in Tzefania - "Achapes Es Yerushalayim Baneiros." This is a hint to Moshiach, when Hashem says "I will search Yerushalayim with candles."

We davka use a beeswax candle, which burns with the clearest light al pi halacha.
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Unread 04-19-2016, 10:10 PM   #3
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Here's some more info:

Rabbi SZ Auerbach wrote that since the Gemara mentions a candle specifically, the minhag is to use a candle. But if it's not possible then a flashlight is OK, as long as it's (a) slim - so that it can fit into small spaces. (b) the light isn't so strong that it blinds you... (הליכות שלמה)

In חג המצות - הלכות ומנהגים he quotes R' Vosner, that if someone is afraid to use a candle, he can use a flashlight - and make a Bracha.

In the Arzei halevonon, it's says that R' Moshe Feinstein would start with a candle, then switch to a flashlight soon after.
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