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Shabbat Candlesticks

When Shabbat starts at sunset on Friday, women gather together to light candles and say a prayer over them to bring in the day of rest. Generally, two candles are lit, but many choose to add an extra candle per child in the family. While there is nothing in the Torah (Jewish Bible) that says to light Shabbat candles, it actually started as a way to keep peace in the household. Before the times of electricity, women would light a lamp before Shabbat began so there would be light in the house and people would not trip or not be able to see food while they ate. Not being able to see made Shabbat, the happiest day of the week much less enjoyable so candles were lit before Shabbat to keep people calmer and at peace, making Shabbat the enjoyable day it is. The spiritual leaders of the Jewish community decided that this should be a continued ritual, which is why even today we continue to light Shabbat candles and still to this day represents the concept of peace in the house.

Who, When and How?

Shabbat Candles are lit at sunset by women and depending on the family’s tradition, girls will start lighting at Bat Mitzvah age (12 or 13 years old) or when they get married. If a man lives alone or is married but his wife is not home, he should light the candles himself. There are a few steps when lighting the Shabbat candlesticks. First, the candles are lit but then the women cover their eyes to say the blessing. This is done so we do not enjoy the light of the candles before Shabbat, but rather only once Shabbat has been brought in with the blessing. Immediately after saying the blessing, women uncover their eyes and Shabbat has begun.

shabbat/shabbat_candlesticks.txt · Last modified: 2022/01/25 11:47 by