By the Grace of G‑d

3 Cheshvan, 5719


Blessings and Greetings!

In answer to your letter from 29 Tishrei, in which you inquire about the obligation of lighting candles on Erev Shabbos and Erev Yom Tov, before marriage.

Generally speaking, there are different customs regarding candle lighting. There are communities whose custom is that a girl begins to light candles on Erev Shabbos and Erev Yom Tov at a very young age, even starting from several years prior to reaching the age of Bas Mitzvah, and there are communities whose custom is to begin lighting only after marriage.

The custom in the Rebbe's family is that we start lighting at a very young age, as mentioned.

At least, concerning yourself, since you have already reached Bas Mitzvah age and you are able to fulfil this great Mitzvah, [you should] as mentioned, light candles on Erev Shabbos and Erev Yom Tov.

When you say the Bracha it would be proper to do it without promising to do so every week.

The reward is explained in the Midrashim of our Rabbis, may their memory be blessed, that lighting the candle in the literal sense adds light to 'the candle of G‑d - the soul of man' which is the holy soul that is inside every single one of the Jewish people, and through this there will be an increase in all areas in your fulfilment of Mitzvos, which will lead to a blessing in an increase in material matters as well.

I hope that you are involved in spreading Judaism through arranging Shabbos gatherings, etc., and also with the gatherings that you are trying to influence those in your surroundings, to bring their hearts closer to our Father in Heaven through fulfilling G‑d's Mitzvot, and G‑d will grant you success.

With blessing,

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. 18, p. 35)