Q. Why do Jewish women light Shabbat candles on Friday evening?

The Torah commands us to honor the Shabbat (Exodus 20:8) and make it a day of pleasure (Isaiah 58:13). One of the ways that we honor Shabbat is by lighting candles at its onset. This brings light to our house as well as a sense of peace and calm.

The job of lighting the candles is given to the women of the home. The woman is the one who sets the foundation of every Jewish home. It is the woman's primary task to ensure that the home is a domicile where light, peace, and harmony prevail, suffusing it with an atmosphere conducive for spirituality and G‑dliness.

Since it is forbidden to light candles on Shabbat, the candles should be lit just before Shabbat begins at sunset on Friday evening. In order to ensure that we do not light the candles accidently after Shabbat begins; we try to light them eighteen minutes before sundown.

Lighting the Shabbat candles, brings not only a physical light but also a spiritual light into the home. It brings peace, harmony, serenity and spirituality into the home and to all of the home's inhabitants. The powerful time of lighting the candles is also an opportunity to ask for blessings for the house and the family.

Learn more about Shabbat Candles here

Recieve your own free Shabbat Candle lighting kit at www.fridaylight.org

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