The world is a maddening place. Your life is a ship at storm. Friday night is your escape hatch to crawl into another world, a place of serenity and calm. A calm we call Shabbat. And it all begins with the flicker of a small flame of light.

  1. Count the number of females in your home. Include everyone that’s old enough to get a kick out of this (usually about three years old).
  2. Get a minimum of one candle and one candleholder for each female. Married females will need two.
  3. Set up candleholders on or near your dining room table.
  4. Place candles in candleholders.
  5. Wait for Friday.
  6. Wait for the listed Shabbat candle-lighting time for that particular Friday.
  7. Put a few coins in a pushka.
  8. Light candle(s).
  9. Wave hands over candles in a circular motion. Cover your eyes. Say blessings. Say a little prayer asking for those things closest to your heart.
  10. Open your eyes and achieve spiritual serenity.

When I light my Shabbat candles, I imagine the view from outer space. As darkness crawls over the face of the earth, I can see little flames flash upward to consume it. First in New Zealand, then Australia, India, Israel, Europe, America and finally Hawaii or Tahiti. Over a period of twenty four hours, every part of the world gets its infusion of Shabbat light.

The world of the spirit resonates with the world of action, playing back the song we sing here below, but in a higher way, with awesome impact. One small candle in this world, lit at the right time with the right purpose, generates a spiritual light above so magnificent, so bright, it can illuminate an entire world.