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What are Shabbat Candles?
A. Shabbat brings light into your universe, and you symbolize this
for 24 hours, it’s gone. You escape. Moms and dads and kids come
B. Shabbat is the original mom thing. That’s why the Shabbat
candles are a woman’s mitzvah—because Shabbat nurtures the
family, like a mother nurtures her children.
C. After the candles are lit, it’s time for family time. Quality time.
Everyone sits around the Shabbat table, around the Shabbat
candles, and spends the Shabbat meal time with one another.
Shabbat—the weekly family retreat, the way it was meant to be.
Young girls start lighting as soon as they can recite the blessing.
How do I light Shabbat candles?
1. Get Ready
Shabbat candles can be made of anything that burns cleanly and
scent-free. Get thee to your local supermarket, and ask the shelf
guy for white wax candles in the box, or tea lights. Avoid the tall
glass candles—they’ll burn all week. You’ll need candlesticks too,
and the nicer, the better—silver is ideal. (Doing a mitzvah elegantly
is a mitzvah too!) Pretty glass candlesticks for a few bucks can
usually be found over in the “home furnishings” section.
2. Light up
Eighteen minutes before sunset on Friday, put the candlesticks on
the dining room table–one per household member. Dad, mom,
baby? Three candlesticks in all. Put the candles in. Light them.
3. Get spiritual
Here’s where the magic happens. With the candles lit, the Jewish
woman goes Kabbalistic—after drawing her hands inward three
times to internalize the Shabbat spirit, she then covers her face with
her hands and says the blessing.
Shabbat has arrived.
Here's the blessing (conveniently spelled phonetically):
"bah-ROOKH ah-TAH ah-doh-NOY eh-loh-HAY-noo meh-LEKH hah-
oh-LAHM, ah-SHER keed-SHAH-noo b'meetz-VOH-sahv v'tzee-VAH-
noo, l'HAD-leek nair shel SHAH-boss KOH-desh."
And in English, "Blessed are You G-d, our G-d, king of the universe,
who has commanded us with His commandments and commanded
us to light the lamp of the Holy Shabbat."
What are Shabbat Candles??
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