Shabbat Candles

The tradition of candle-lighting on the eve of the Sabbath is both functional and spiritual. The rabbis teach us that the Sabbath lights not only help to guide us through the dark but also enhance the spirituality of the Sabbath. The Torah is likened to light: “a home without light is considered a home without Torah.” Although it is not scriptural in origin, the custom to light candles is observed with the same solemnity as if it were Biblically decreed. The candles are traditionally lit by the woman of the house. After she recites the blessing, she addresses the Creator in an intimate supplication for the spiritual and physical health of the family. At least two candles are lit, representing the commandments to “Remember the Sabbath” (Ex.20:8), and to “observe the Sabbath” (Deut.5: 12).