Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print

How You Can Make Shabbat: Lighting Candles

In biblical times, Jews lit a lamp that had to last them through the next evening, since lighting a fire was work they would not do during Shabbat. This tradition has been carried forward through Jewish history. Still today, we begin Shabbat on Friday evening by lighting the candles and saying a blessing.

You can buy candles that are marked "Shabbat candles" in many supermarkets, though any candles are fine. These candles are left to burn down, so make sure you find a good fire-safe spot for them. Lighting the candles and reciting the blessing brings Shabbat into your home.

For most blessings, you say the blessing then do the action. Because once you light the candles Shabbat begins (with the prohibition about lighting fire), it is traditional to light the candles and then cover your eyes to hide their light while saying the blessing. Many have the additional custom of waving the hands toward the face, as though scooping up the holiness of the light and the day.

 


Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha'olam asher kid'shanu b'mitz'votav vitz'ivanu l'had'lik ner shel Shabbat.

Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with thy commandments,
and commanded us to light the Sabbath lights.

After the candles have been blessed, remember not to blow them out.


 

Return to the Guide to Shabbat and Havdalah for Interfaith Families Resource Guide.

Hebrew for "blessed are You [,my God]." Introductory words to many Jewish prayers. The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday.
InterfaithFamily

InterfaithFamily is the premier resource supporting interfaith couples exploring Jewish life and inclusive Jewish communities. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our new InterfaithFamily/Your Community initiative providing coordinated comprehensive offerings in local communities.

If you have suggestions, please contact network@interfaithfamily.com.

Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print

Welcome to InterfaithFamily!

We want to know what you think of our resources. Take our User Survey now through November 22, 2013 and enter to win a $500 American Express gift card!