19) There is a dispute among the authorities whether lighting candles on Yom Tov/Friday for Shabbos (or for extra light) requires an ET. In the rare event that one has no ET to rely upon, he may be lenient and light all of the candles he needs (while the stricter opinion would allow him to light only one light for bare necessity, or else “transfer ownership” as we will learn in the next halacha.) It is interesting to note that the text of our declaration reflects the view of the stricter opinion by adding the phrase “…kindle flame” to the list of activities that are permitted by the ET.
20) Question: In the rare event that this person (we’ll call Shimon) has no ET to rely upon, is his neighbor Reuven – who did make an ET – permitted to take Shimon’s food and cook or prepare them for him? Answer: Not so fast, Reuven! Of course Reuven is permitted to invite Shimon to dine with him on Reuven’s own food. However, as Shimon does not have his own ET to rely upon, his food is off limits and may not be cooked by anyone! There is one solution, however: Shimon may transfer ownership of his foodstuffs to Reuven by gifting, and physically handing them to over (on Yom Tov), whereby Reuven may now cook the food for Shimon. In the event that this transfer is not possible, Shimon is still permitted to prepare a bare minimum of food (e.g. one loaf of bread, not even two for ‘lechem mishneh’) so that he does not starve on Shabbos!
Question: In a typical household, who is required to make an ET?
Answer: Generally speaking, all those dwelling under the roof of the ba’al habayis (homeowner) are covered by his/her ET, and they may all do appropriate melachos and preparations for Shabbos on Yom Tov. This includes one’s wife, single or married children and other guests who are staying for Yom Tov. (See The Laws of Yom Tov by Rav S. B. Cohen, p. 286.) (Ed: In cases where people are not eating together, a shaila should be asked.)
Question: If food was set aside for the ET, but the bracha and/or declaration (See #12 above) were not made, is the ET still valid?
Answer: If the bracha was not made, it is still valid according to all opinions. (Note: Rarely, if at all, does the omission of a bracha invalidate a mitzvah.) If the declaration was not made (or if an abbreviated version was made without explicating the specific activities), there is a dispute as to whether or not the ET is valid. Therefore, if Yom Tov has not yet started, one should certainly attempt to take hold of the ET food and make the declaration (without making a second bracha). If he did not realize his error until Yom Tov had started, he should attempt the transferring method described above. If that is not possible, he may rely on the lenient opinion and use his ET as usual