To Say Over Candles:
The lighting of the Sabbath candles is one of the most familiar customs connected to Shabbes and one that is part of our collective memory. According to tradition, candles are lit on Friday just before sunset, usually by the mother and daughters of the household, though they may be lit by any Jew. The lighting of the candles signifies the spiritual essence of the Sabbath. Candlelight flickers, spreading its light and its warmth. It envelops us in peace, sholem bayis (family harmony), the light of learning, and the hope for the continuity of the Jewish people. Personal wishes for health and well-being go out from our hearts to all of our loved ones.
Naomi Prawer Kadar, Shabbes (Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, 1995)
We light these candles to celebrate our coming together.
They reflect the light in our lives and the warmth we find in our extended family.
They generate a feeling of togetherness, and connect us to our Jewish history and heritage.
May our time together bring us joy and a renewed sense of commitment to our people and all humanity.
Violet Cherlin, Long Island Havurah for Humanistic Judaism
We rejoice in our heritage which has given us the tradition of lighting the Shabbes candles.
Ashreinu bi'yerushateinu she'masrah lonu et hatoreshet l’hadlik ner shel shabbat.
Mir freyen zikh mit undzer yerusheh vos hot undz gegebn di traditsiye foon ontsindn di Shabbes likht.
Judith Seid, We Rejoice on Our Heritage: Home Rituals for Secular Jews
Barukh haor baolam.
Radiant is the light in the world
Barukh haor ba’adam.
Radiant is the light of humanity.
Barukh haor bashabbat
Radiant is the light of the Sabbath.
Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine
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