The candle lighting ritual: one must-have custom to observe the holy Sabbath

candle lighting

Shabbat is a holy Jewish ritual that the believers of Judaism observe every week. It is the day of rest for Jewish people after working across the whole week. On Friday evening of each week, after the sun sets down, Sabbath takes place and continues till Saturday night sundown. This ritual allows Jewish people to take a break from the daily life hectic work schedule and spend some quality time with family and friends while having some good traditional foods and drinks.

 The proper celebration of Sabbath requires maintenance of certain customs such as chanting Sabbath greetings, Tzedakah (giving money to the needy persons), reciting Kiddush, blessing the children, candle lighting, etc. There are also a lot of traditional accessories available to properly celebrate these customs such as grand sterling silver candlesticks, Kiddush cups, candelabras, designer wine bottles, etc. In this post, we will discuss about the traditional Shabbat candle-lighting ritual while sharing some history related to candle lighting and the steps needed to perform this ritual. 

History of candle lighting:

The custom of Sabbath candle lighting is a 900 years old custom. There is no mention of candle lighting in Torah or Talmud. Historians think probably women are the inventor of this ritual. As per the argument of most rabbis, candle lighting was not a ritual obligation before the 11th century. Women used to light lamps and candles to remove darkness. Later, the lighting of Shabbat candles became a ritual gradually and women took it as a ritual obligation. Though they did not recite any blessing. However, this created a contradiction as the blessing is compulsory with Sabbath ritual obligations. Finding no helpful source, the women started to recite Talmud’s blessing after lighting the Sabbath candle.

Steps needed to perform traditional candle lighting:

Though in general, the woman of the house lights the candle, but alternatively, anyone can light them up. Some families light one candle for the whole family while some light one candle per person. You can choose whatever you like. After lighting, spread your hands over the candles and then slowly bring them inwards thrice in a circular action. After that, cover up your eyes and recite the holy Sabbath blessing.

Sabbath candlesticks:

Along with the ritual of candle lighting, the usage of silver candlesticks has also been popularized with time. While lighting a candle ushers the essence of holy Sabbath everywhere, a well-designed and good-looking candlestick truly enhances the beauty of it. For Jewish believers, traditional silver candlesticks are something more than just candlesticks. It carries their tradition and plays a very significant role in properly observing the Sabbath. Jewish also love it to keep in their home as a beautiful decorative item, thanks to its unparalleled craftsmanship and gorgeous look. Thus, silver candlesticks are a sacred item of Jewish culture and a very important element of the Jewish lifestyle. 

So, both candle lighting and candlesticks are an inseparable part of Jewish culture and tradition.


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