Sabbath Candlesticks: The Vessel of the Light
The rituals of the Jewish Sabbath are some of the most cherished in Jewish culture. To remember and keep the Sabbath is one of the 10 Commandments and a fundamental sacrament in Judaism. One of the primary aspects to honoring the Sabbath is the lighting of two candles before the Sabbath begins on Friday evening. This tradition is usually carried out by the women of the household and done in a specific way. It is important to use kosher for Shabbat (Hebrew for Sabbath) candles. Most families have special Sabbath candlesticks to hold the Shabbat candles.
Sabbath candlesticks come in pairs and are commonly made of silver or brass, but can be made of any material. Using a special pair of candlesticks emphasizes how special the Jewish Sabbath is. On Shabbat the whole family gathers for a special dinner after the Sabbath candles are lit and Shabbat it upon us. Having a beautiful pair of Sabbath candlesticks on the table only enhances the warmth and glory of the occasion.
A good pair of Sabbath candlesticks often becomes a family heirloom. They are handed down from generation to generation. When they are used each Shabbat they evoke warm memories of grandparents and parents who are gone and remind us of the importance of passing down our traditions to our children. Just the presence of the family Sabbath candlesticks can make a house feel like home.
Your Shabbat candlesticks can also be used to usher in Jewish holidays as well and Shabbat. Before all Jewish holidays prescribed in the Bible, we light candles. These holidays include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Passover (first and last days), and Shavuot. Because we light two candles before holidays just as before the Sabbath, the same candlesticks can be used.
Sabbath candlesticks can be made from almost any material such as silver, brass, pewter or even Holy Land olive wood. Most Jewish candlesticks have designs relevant to Judaism like Jerusalem motifs, the Star of David, doves of peace or pomegranates. Messianic Jewish candlesticks are often decorated with the Messianic symbol called the Grafted In.
Shabbat candlesticks are the vessel we use to honor His commandment to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. The true beauty comes from the candlelight itself. This is the light of G-d and the light that shows us the way to Him.