Who Should Light Shabbat Candles?
It is customary for the woman of the household, or any girl over the age of Bat Mitzvah (12) to light the candles. In the event this is not possible, a man can and should light candles instead.
When are candles lit?
Candles should be lit 18 minutes before sunset. In the summer months, some bring in Shabbat early and light candles after 'Plag Hamincha,' an hour and 15 minutes before sunset. There are plenty of apps and websites (such as myzmanim.com) to check weekly Shabbat times.
What happens if I forget to light candles, can I light after sunset?
After sunset, the laws of Shabbat strictly prohibit lighting a fire. If one forgets to light before sunset, she/he may add an extra candle the following week (and onwards) to compensate for the missed week.
What is the procedure for lighting the candles?
Make sure to set up the candles on a stable, clear surface. Tea lights, oil, and wick, or any wax candles may be used. For a couple, two candles should be lit. It is customary to light an additional candle for every member of the family.
Some have a custom of giving charity prior to lighting. Immediately after lighting, One should wave the hands over the eyes three times and recite the blessing-
"Baruch Ata Adonai, Elokeinu Melech Hao/am, Asher K'dishanu Bmitzvotav V'tzivanu Lehadlik Ner Shell Shabbat." (Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of the holy Shabbat.
The beginning of Shabbat is an auspicious time to sit by the candlelight and pray for the health and well-being of self, family, and community.
What is the biblical source for lighting Shabbat candles?
In Exodus (20:8) it says "'and you shall remember the Shabbat day," followed by the commandment to 'observe the Sabbath' in Deuteronomy (5:12). While there is no specific commandment in the Torah to light candles, it became a Jewish tradition to do so since lighting a fire on Shabbat is strictly prohibited. As quoted in the Shulchan Aruch, the code of Jewish law- "both men and women must ensure that a candle is lit in their house for Shabbos."
Long before the Torah had even been given to the Jewish nation, the Matriarchs were known for lighting candles each week. "For as long as Sarah was alive, a candle burned in her tent from one Shabbos eve to the next, her dough was blessed and a cloud hung over her tent. These blessings ceased upon Sarah's death, but resumed when Rivka entered the tent." When we continue this special tradition, we honor the holy Shabbat, bringing a spiritual 'light' into the home that carries us through the week.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:7, the 4th commandment)
Welcome the sabbath with the elegance and eloquence of a pair of Shalom House Shabbat candle holders. Whether you choose leaves of gold and bronze, hand crafted to enhance the flicker of the candle flames, or “loving”, delicately interwoven metal and glass holders embracing a heart, our candlesticks let you give your own personal expression to your reverence for the holy day. Originating in Talmudic times, throughout the centuries Jewish women have been lighting Shabbat candles on Fridays at sunset to mark the beginning of the sabbath, a time of rest and family. It is customary to light two candles to remind us of the twin mitzvah’s of “remembering” and “keeping” the sabbath, and some say, to signify the partnership of marriage. We invite you to uphold this age-old and heart warming tradition with candlesticks from our timeless collection.