In this week’s parshah, Chayei Sarah, we read that Isaac married Rebecca. Sarah had passed away, and Isaac was still mourning the death of his great mother. But soon after he married Rebecca, he was comforted, because he saw how special she was.

How did Isaac know?

There were three signs. When Rebecca entered Isaac’s tent, a cloud of glory hovered above. Isaac said, “While my mother was alive, a cloud of glory always rested upon her tent. But it disappeared when she died.” Isaac watched for other signs. They came very soon.

As Rebecca baked the challah for Shabbat, she modestly told Isaac: “There seems to have been a special blessing in the dough, it rose so well.”

Isaac was overjoyed. He recalled that his mother’s dough had the same blessing.

By the end of the week the third sign was clear. Rebecca’s Shabbat candles burned all week long, just as Sarah’s had. During the entire week, Isaac and Rebecca felt the holiness which came from the light of the Shabbat candles.

Every mitzvah which we perform brings light into the world. But we don’t always see or feel this light. The Shabbat candles are special, because we can actually see their light, the light of the mitzvah, shining in our homes. When we watch the peaceful flickering of the Shabbat candles, we understand and feel the special holiness that comes with this mitzvah.

Can you imagine how wonderful it would be if this holiness could last the whole week? Well, that’s what Sarah and Rebecca felt. This happens in our homes too.

The Shabbat candles bring us feelings of joy and peace. Although we may be very rushed and busy on some Fridays, our homes suddenly become calm as soon as we light the Shabbat candles. And this light remains even after the Shabbat ends. Even though we can’t actually see their light throughout the following week, as Sarah and Rebecca did, it’s still there, making our homes peaceful and happy.

Rebecca’s Shabbat candles brought this holiness when she was only three years old! This set an example for all Jewish girls.

As soon as a little girl reaches the age of three or as soon as she understands the meaning of lighting candles she should light her own Shabbat candle. This will bring light and holiness into her home and into the entire world.