Home » JCentral

Who Lights The Shabbat Candles?

Submitted by
JewishTreats.org

While lighting Shabbat candles is generally considered a “woman’s mitzvah,” and is traditionally performed by the woman of the house, it is actually an obligation of the entire household. If a man is living alone or the one who usually lights is away, candles must still be lit. In fact, the Talmud encourages every husband to be involved in preparing for Shabbat and assuring that the Shabbat candles are properly arranged. Many men, therefore, have the custom of preparing the candles for their wives.

One could mistakenly surmise that the custom of candle lighting as the woman’s mitzvah is based on practicality. After all, in most households, women are most active in creating the Shabbat atmosphere of the home.

Tradition states, however, that the connection of Jewish women to candle lighting dates back to the matriarch Sarah. According to the Midrash (cited by the great sage Rashi on Genesis 24:67), a candle burned miraculously in Sarah’s tent from one Friday evening to the next. When she died, the candle and its glow vanished. When Isaac’s bride Rebecca moved into Sarah’s tent, however, the miracle of the light returned.  Just as the matriarchs lit a candle on Friday evening to welcome Shabbat, so too have Jewish women welcomed Shabbat with the lighting of the candles, from ancient times until the present.

Copyright © 2013 NJOP. All rights reserved.

Related Treats:
Adding Candles
The Candle Lighting Blessing
Lighting the Way to Peace
Covered Eyes

Email this post Email this post
Bookmark and Share

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.


6 + 6 =

Jmag Search
Search now! »
Please enter a zip code.

polls

  • What Halloween costume turns you on most?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...