Monday, October 5, 2009

Lighting the Candles

The Jewish Project

Tishrei 17, 5770

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Ex 20:8

“Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy G-d hath commanded thee.” Deut 5:12

Every Friday at Sundown is the start of Shabbat. In many Jewish and Christian homes, Shabbat is welcomed in through the ceremonial lighting of the candles.

As I thought about how to arrange this post, I realized that it had the potential of being very long. So, I’ve decided to break it up over the next three posts.

Knowing this ceremony differs from family to family, I can only base this off how Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) has guided our family in this ceremony. And, as our family grows in the study of our Hebraic roots, I’m sure the depth of which we light the candles will as well. But, here it is for now.

The lighting of the candles is supposed to take place prior to sundown and, traditionally, no later than 18 minutes before sundown. I would love to know the premise behind the 18 minute rule but have yet to find that answer. I will continue to research that.

So, the first thing I do is prepare the table.

The two candles in the front represent the two ways the Lord told the Israelites to keep the Sabbath in the Torah. It is based on Ex 20:8 and Deut 5:12 (listed above). In Ex, the Hebrew word for “remember” is Zakhor and in Deut, the Hebrew word for “sanctify” is Shamor (which actually translates “keep” or “guard”).

Therefore, the two candles are to Zakhor and Shamor Shabbat or remember and sanctify the Sabbath.

Many families also light an additional candle for each child in the home. The two candles in the back represent our two children.

As a side note, when we started lighting the candles earlier this summer, I went on a mad search to find just the right Shabbat candle holders. I was unsuccessful to say the least. I did find a set online that I loved; however I was informed by the seller that they were on back order. And at this point, they must be on back order for all of eternity since I have yet to hear back from them.

But, I started going through an old box in our garage and discovered a hidden treasure of crystal items that were given to us as presents at our wedding. We had packed them away because in our first house, there was no where to put them. After that, the box was forgotten about. Well, in the midst of this treasure was a pair of crystal Star of David candle holders.

Let’s just say, I wore a smile on my face and heart for the remainder of that day.

As a Messianic family (believing that Yeshua or Jesus is the Messiah) we also take communion as part of our candle ceremony and of course the last item on the table is the word of G-d…..

More to come on Wednesday. In the meantime, please feel free to leave a comment with any questions. The more questions I have, the more I know what to research.



Sista In Arms Lxx said...

I'm loving following this. My husband is a fourth generation Seventhday Adventist, I also have roots in that faith, so we observed the Sabbath for many years, we have since left this faith but one of the most precious memories is the family time and fellowship with friends during the Sabbath. His family used to prepare everything including the meals before sundown. There was a downside for him as he remembers it also being very legalistic and mostly don'ts attached as he was growing up, I'm sure that was not the way it was meant to be. Won't be able to read any more posts till Sunday as I will be away, looking forward to then to see your progress Lxx

The Blonde Duck said...

So, I'm confused.