Shabbat & holiday candle lighting times and information.
Welcome to our Shabbat and holiday candle-lighting section where you will find candle-lighting times, blessings, instructions, practices, traditions, greetings and expressions.
Candle lighting times
Parshat Hashavua Vayigash By Rav Nissim Mordechai Makor
The Jewish tradition of lighting candles
According to Jewish traditions, our Matriarch Sarah. the wife of Abraham, would light the candles in her home, on the eve of the Shabbat. The candles miraculously burned all week, from one Friday to the next.
Abraham was known for his hospitality and so the light of Sarah's candles lit their home and welcomed the guests that visited them throughout the week.
When Sarah died, her Shabbat candles were extinguished. Years later, Isaac, the son of Sarah and Abraham, noticed that the Shabbat candles of his prospective wife, Rebecca, also burned for an entire week, from one Shabbat to another. When he saw this he understood that Rebecca was Sarah's righteous successor, and so he married her.
Why do we light candles?
Our Sages implemented the lighting of Shabbat and holiday candles for several reasons.
Peace in the Home: Shabbat and holidays are intended to be peaceful. We light our home so that we should not stumble in the darkness, something which would create an un-peaceful effect.
Honoring the Day: We add light in the home to honor the Shabbat Queen.
Pleasure: To fully enjoy the Shabbat delicacies, we must be able to see our food
Before they are married, women and girls light one candle. After they are married, women light at least two candles. Some add an additional candle for each child: e.g., a woman with four children lights six candles.
If no woman (i.e. over the age of bat mitzvah) is present in the home, a man should light the candles.
Blessings for Shabbat candles: Hebrew, English & Transliteration
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אַדֹנָ-י אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת קֹדֶשׁ
English Translation: Blessed are you, L‑rd 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.
Transliteration: Baruch a-ta A-do-nay Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam a-sher ki-di-sha-nu bi-mitz-vo-tav vi-tzi-va-noo li-had-leek ner shel Sha-bat ko-desh.
Ha-Motzi - The blessing for bread
On Shabbat we eat Challah (South African Jews call it Kitke - but that's another story), a sweet, braided loaf. The blessing over the bread is called Hamotzi. These are the words for Hamotzi - a blessing that gives thanks over the bread.
ברוך אתה יי, אלוהנו מלך העולם, המוציא לחם מן הארץ
English Transliteration: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech haolam, Hamotzi lechem min haaretz.
Translation: Our praise to You, Eternal our God, Sovereign of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth
Blessings on Festival Candles
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אַדֹנָ-י אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל יום טוב
English Translation: Blessed are you, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the light of the holiday
Transliteration: Baruch a-ta A-do-nay Elo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam a-sher ki-di-sha-nu bi-mitz-vo-tav vi-tzi-va-noo li-had-leek ner shel Yom Tov.
On the first night of a festival it is customary to recite the Shehechiyanu blessing, after the blessing for the candles, as follows:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
English Translation: Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.
Transliteration: Baruch Atah Adonay E-loi-hei-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam she-he-chee-ya-nu v'ki-yi-ma-nu vi-hi-gi-ya-nu liz-man ha-zeh.
Shabbat & Festival Greetings & Expressions
In Israel, on Thursday, you will already hear people wishing each other a 'Shabbat Shalom'
Shabbat Shalom - שבת שלום - A peaceful Sabbath
When the Sabbath comes to an end on Saturday after sunset, it is customary to wish each other 'Shavua Tov'
Shavua Tov - שבוע טוב - Have a good week