There is a Shabbat prayer for lighting candles. And so I heard that it is incorrect, because allegedly the Almighty did not command to light candles on Shabbat. I want to know your opinion – is it worth using it, and where did this tradition come from? (Alina)
Dmitry Yu., a messianic teacher, answers:
Let’s try to answer what the Almighty commanded on Shabbat.
There are five mitzvahs (commandments) that are prescribed by tradition for the Jew. Two positive and three prohibitive.
Rest on Saturday. “On the seventh day, rest” (Shemot (Exodus) 23:12)
Make the Sabbath holy. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
Well, it is clear that there is a reason for creativity here – how to consecrate it and how to relax.
I think a much greater reason for creativity is the following commandments:
It is forbidden to work on Saturday. “Do no work on the Sabbath” (Shemot 20:10).
Well, on the topic – what is work and what is not – here those who create it, our tradition, do not get tired of working until today and continue to discuss about what is work and what is not.
It is forbidden to go beyond the permitted distance from the city limits on Saturday. Shemot 16:29 “Let no one leave this place on the seventh day”
Again, they were in the desert, not in the city and it is clear that the distance of the Sabbath path was not indicated and 2000 cubits, so to speak, is the work of the sages.
Well, actually we got to the fire.
It is forbidden to light a fire on Saturday. Shemot 35:3 “Do not light a fire in your settlements on the Sabbath”
So we can see the prohibition against kindling a fire.
Shemot 16:23 He told them, “This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow will be a day of complete rest, a holy Sabbath day set apart for the Lord. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow.”
Well, of course and cooking, as it was associated with kindling a fire. So, these are the five main mitzvahs, it doesn’t end there.
So, where can we see the commandment to light candles, well we see the commandment not to light a fire and where did the tradition come when there is a prohibition not to light? :)
I think that everything is quite simple. The whole family gathers for a festive dinner, which will be held in the dark, due to the ban on lighting a fire. Wouldn’t it be easier to prepare for this and light a fire when it is still possible to do this before Shabbat? So, the tradition of lighting Sabbath candles so as not to eat in the dark, I think, arose from the ban of lighting a fire on Shabbat.
Let’s return to one of the commandments to keep Shabbat holy. To sanctify, separate it from all other days – hence the tradition of separation (sanctification) when we meet and see off Shabbat. Before Shabbat, we light candles and pray, after Shabbat has come to an end, we also pray and light candles.
Thus, we not only meet Saturday, but also see it off, separating it from two sides from the whole week.
People have heard about meeting Saturday, but most have not heard about avdalu (seeing it off).
So, if you separate the days for the Lord, you can say a prayer at the beginning of the Sabbath and at its end, well, in order to separate the Sabbath.
You can also pray every morning and every evening – also, it seems to me, a good practice :), it may not be accompanied by lighting candles.
Well, if you like it, you can lit candles.
So, we live in the New Testament and to us the believers of the New Testament are told:
Rom.14:6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
So, if you decide to light candles on Shabbat and pray, you do not sin, if you do not do this, you do not sin either, act according to the conviction of your mind.
In general, as I understand it, the Almighty is pleased when the whole family gathers at the festive table, thanks Him for what He has given, blesses the Creator, the father blesses his children and wife. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with this – the family is together, the children see the correct order of things in the house. I think it’s a good tradition.
So, I think that if someone considers such a tradition incorrect, I personally like it and my family too. If someone thinks otherwise, they may not do it.
Personally, I don’t see anything incorrect if my family and my friends, or just guests, sit down at the table at the end of the week, light candles (well, at least for romance), and thank the Creator together for HE spent this week with us and ask Him to bless this weekend and be in this place with us.
I hope that in this answer you will find what you were looking for.