Candle-Lighting Times for Shabbat & Holidays

Photos: Flash90 (None of the people depicted were photographed on the holiday.)

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Candle-Lighting Times for Shabbat & Holidays
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How to Light the Shabbat Candles

It is customary to give some coins to charity before kindling the Shabbat candles. Before we pray to G‑d and ask Him kindly to grant our deepest wishes, it is appropriate to display kindness to others.

After you’ve given charity and removed the charity box, light the candles. A girl should light before her mother, so her mother can help if necessary, and is also forbidden to light her candle after the proper time.

After you’ve lit the candles, do not put out the match. Rather, drop it on a fireproof surface or give it to someone who has not yet accepted Shabbat .

Use your hands to shield your eyes from the flames and recite the blessing while your eyes are covered.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אַדֹנָ-י אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת קֹדֶשׁ

Transliteration: Baruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam A-sher Ki-de-sha-nu Be-mitz-vo-tav Ve-tzi-va-nu Le-had-lik Ner Shel Sha-bbat Ko-desh.

Translation: 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 time of candle-lighting is considered particularly auspicious for private prayer. Women have traditionally prayed, as they stand with eyes closed, for health, happiness, children who will illuminate the world with Torah, and the ultimate Redemption which will be ushered in by the Messiah. Girls, too, offer their own prayers at this special moment, as they discover the beauty of a practice which will enlighten their entire lives.

Uncover your eyes, gaze at the Shabbat lights and greet your family with “Good Shabbos” or “Shabbat Shalom.”

Once you light the candles and recite the blessing, you have accepted Shabbat. As fire is muktzeh (set aside, and forbidden to move) on shabbat, the candles and candlesticks may not be moved until the conclusion of Shabbat.

More on how to light the candles

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