700. The Bracha Over the Candle

96:9 It’s a mitzvah to use a candle that is made of wax and consists of several lights twisted together like a torch. If one doesn’t have such a candle, he should recite the bracha over two other candles that he brings together so that the flames will be like a torch. It’s customary after reciting the bracha Borei m’orei ha’aish (that G-d creates the lights of fire) to look at our fingernails. (We do this in order to use the light, which must be of an intensity sufficient to see the difference between one’s nails and his skin – Mishnah Brurah 298:9.) One should look at the nails and palm of the right hand together, bending his four fingers onto his thumb into the palm of his hand. He looks at the nails and the hand together, then he spreads out his fingers and looks at the nails from the back of his hand.

A blind person may not recite the bracha on the candle, nor may one who cannot smell recite the bracha on the spices. (See Mishnah Brurah 298:34 and 297:13 for discussions of possible exceptions to these rules.)