In the portion of Chayei Sarah, we meet our matriarch Rebecca. The Torah tells us more about Rebecca than about any of our other matriarchs. It tells us in detail how she got engaged to Isaac, what her pregnancy was like, how she made sure that her good son, Jacob, got Isaac’s blessings and how she protected him. It tells us of many miracles that she was accustomed to and more.

Since the Torah tells us so much about Rebecca, we must conclude that there is much to be learned from her.

According to Rashi, when we meet Rebecca, she is 3 years old and quite mature for her age. She is a rose among thorns. While her family worshipped idols, she remained pure and holy.

The first miracle that happened for her is that when Abraham sent Eliezer to Aram Naharayim to get Rebecca, the trip should have taken 17 days. Instead, G‑d shortened the way, and he arrived the same day he left.

Why the need for this miracle? A rose has thorns to protect it while it blooms. But once it has already bloomed, it needs to be harvested, and the thorns are a needless hazard. The same is true regarding Rebecca. The day Eliezer came for her, she had turned 3—the age when the education of a Jewish child begins. Until then, being among her family didn’t affect her negatively. However, now that she had reached the age of education, it was necessary to remove her from her thorny circumstances.

The Torah tells us that Eliezer asked G‑d for a sign to show him who was the right girl for Isaac. He would stand by the spring when the maidens would go out to draw water. He would ask one for a drink. Now, if she says, “Drink, and I will also give water to your camels,” then he would know that he has the right girl.

Even before he finished talking to G‑d, his attention was drawn to Rebecca, who the Torah tells us was very beautiful, coming with her pitcher to draw water.

Here we are told of a second miracle: Eliezer noticed that as Rebecca approached the well, the water level rose up, making it easier for her to fill her pitcher. This miracle is attributed to her purity, innocence and righteousness.

Excitedly, he ran towards her and asked her for a drink. She responded, “Drink . . . and I will also draw for your camels.”

When she finished watering the camels, he asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” To his amazement, she was Abraham and Sarah’s great-niece, and she invited him to stay at her parents’ home. This told him that hospitality was a part of her upbringing.

When her family heard Eliezer recount these miraculous events, they readily agreed to the match. But Betuel, Rebecca’s father, had second thoughts. Before he could stop the match, G‑d sent an angel, which killed him.

The next morning, Eliezer wanted to take his leave with Rebecca. Her brother, Laban, and her mother protested, as it is a tradition for girls to have a year to prepare for their weddings. “Let the girl remain with us for a year,” they said. However, Eliezer was adamant and insisted on taking her with him immediately. When they saw that he wasn’t going to adhere to common custom, they began to question his whole story of Divine providence, which was the reason they readily agreed to the match without even asking her opinion. They felt that it was out of their power to refuse, being that G‑d’s hand was moving the events. But because of this new turn of events, they reneged on the original deal.

They said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her opinion.” Rashi tells us that from here we learn that a woman cannot be engaged to someone without her consent. Since Rashi uses the word “woman,” we know that 3-year-old Rebecca was mature like a grown woman. Obviously, her family thought so as well, as they respected her opinion.

Rebecca chose to go with Eliezer, and the match was settled. They blessed her with the blessing that we now commonly bless brides with at their wedding: “May you grow to thousands of myriads!”

As Eliezer and Rebecca approached Isaac’s home, Rebecca saw him in the field, and she was so taken by his holiness that she nearly fell off her camel. We see from here that she had an innate ability to sense holiness.

Eliezer recounted to Isaac the miraculous events of his trip. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. Rashi explains that she was just like Sarah. When Sarah was alive, there were three miracles that would regularly occur. When Rebecca came, they resumed.

First, the candles that she lit before every Shabbat burned until the next Shabbat. Second, there was a blessing in her dough, meaning that even a small amount of her bread satisfied hunger. Third, a cloud hovered above her tent.

Yet it seems that the order should be reversed. First, when she came into the tent, Isaac would have seen the cloud hovering above the tent. Then he would have experienced her bread. And finally, would take an entire week for him to know that her Shabbat candles would burn all week. Why does Rashi reverse the order?

In the next parshah, we will learn that our forefathers kept all the mitzvahs, even the rabbinically ordained precepts. The law is that if there is no woman to light the Shabbat candles, then a man should light them. This being the case, it would make sense that since Sarah passed away, Abraham would have been lighting candles. And when Abraham was away, Isaac would have lit them. So why did Rebecca—who was not married and not even obligated to light them (since she was a minor)—make a point to light Shabbat candles? And why don’t we hear of Abraham’s and Isaac’s candles burning all week?

At this point, we learn the value of Shabbat candles lit by women, even unmarried women, and even before the age of bat mitzvah. They bring light and blessing into the home all week. Even if you can’t see the physical candles burning, there is a spiritual light that burns all week an account of mothers and girls lighting candles.

When young children say words of Torah, there a purity that make them very powerful. The same is true when a young girl lights a Shabbat candle. It is so pure and holy that it fills the home and the world with spiritual light.

It is more powerful than that of any man. A man can build or buy a house, but it takes a woman to turn it into a home. This is because G‑d imbued women with the ability to affect the home beyond what any man can do. The same is true when it comes to affecting the home spiritually, through lighting Shabbat candles.

Now we can understand why Rashi reversed the order: because the first of the three miracles that a young woman encounters is lighting Shabbat candles, which starts at the age of 3. This then brings her to the next blessing. As she gets older and starts organizing the home—symbolized by making dough and bread—the work of her hands is blessed. And these bring to the third blessing, which comes with marriage, when she makes her own home, bringing to it a cloud of the Shechina, the Divine Presence itself, through keeping the laws of family purity.

It all begins with lighting Shabbat candles, bringing G‑dly light into the home all week long. Every daughter of Sarah and Rebecca has it in her to do the same. This great power of Jewish women is a gift and an inheritance from the mothers, all the way back to Sarah and Rebecca.

It is also this light that brings the light of Moshiach. It is therefore so important for every Jewish woman and girl from the age of 3 to light Shabbat candles.

May the light of the Shabbat candles fill your home and the world with G‑d’s presence and usher in Moshiach. May he come soon.