Your Candles, Your Home

November 14, 2014 at 8:29 PM , , ,
“….And Yitzchak brought her to the tent of his mother Sarah, and he wedded Rivka and she became his wife and he loved her. And Yitzchak was comforted after losing his mother….” – Bereishit 24:67

״…ויבאה יצחק האהלה שרה אמו ויקח את רבקה ותהי לו לאשה ויאהבה וינחם יצחק אחרי אמו….״ – בראשית כד, סז

He brought her to the tent, and beheld that she was alike his mother Sarah… As long as Sarah was alive, the candle burned from one Shabbos eve to the next, blessing was found in the dough, and a cloud hovered on the tent. These things ceased when Sarah died, but when Rivka arrived they resumed. —Rashi

Candles

With Sarah’s passing, Avraham (and Yitzchak) assumed the duty of lighting the candles in their tent each Friday in honor of Shabbos, (as the Halacha requires in circumstances where the woman of the house can not light them).  We see from Rashi, however, that the miracle of the Shabbos candles burning all week long, as Sarah’s had, was only restored with the Shabbos candles lit by the three-year-old Rivka when she arrived on the scene.

The exclusiveness of this miracle to the Shabbos candles lit by Sarah and Rivkah and not to those kindled by Avraham and Yitzchak, reflects the woman’s unique ability to cultivate and nurture her home and family from within. As the Talmud rhetorically asks (Yevamos 63a), “If a man brings home wheat, does he then chew raw wheat?” Mirroring the respective qualities of men and women, it was only the Shabbos-candles lit by the matriarchs thatbrightened their home in a miraculous manner all throughout the week.

In a spiritual sense, the same is true of the Shabbos candles kindled by every Jewish woman and girl,  for whom the deeds of Sarah and Rivkah are recounted to serve as an example. The Jewish woman’s Shabbos candles impact and illuminate her entire home with a light of Mitzvah observance that endures throughout the entire week. In this regard, the candles lit by a girl under Bas Mitzvah, like Rivkah who was only three years old at the time, are imbued with a power that even the candles lit by Avraham did not have.

 

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—Likutei Sichos vol. 15, pp. 168-171

 

 

 

 

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