How Many Candles?

How many Shabbat candles do you light? I light nine. When I was first married I only lit two, the minimum, in honour of Shabbat. As each child was born I added a candle as was the family custom. So by the time my first marriage ended I lit six candles every Friday night.

Soon after I was looking to do something symbolic to help me look to the future. I decided to start lighting three more candles every Friday night – one for Briut (health), one for Parnassah (livelihood) and another for Shalom (peace). I have a pretty candelabra with nine branches – and every time I light my Shabbat candles I am suffused with warmth and peace. When I light my candles I daven for people near and dear to me.

God works in mysterious ways. There are now nine people in our family. Me and the KoD, and our seven accumulated children. If all of these children had been born to me I would now be lighting nine candles.

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3 responses to “How Many Candles?

  1. so beautiful! I always wanted lots of children but I had one stillborn, two live births and three miscarriages. Enough, since my two children were healthy. This Friday I will see your candelabra with the nine flames glowing.

  2. That’s a beautiful story.

  3. Just two. I have been thinking about adding another.

    This last shabbos I lit candles with my mother for the first time ever (long story there, but I was not raised by her and on the rare occasions that she was present for shabbos dinner in my childhood, I was not allowed to light, she wanted to keep that all to herself) and so that was kind of special for me. I was happy to see three candles and know that we’d observed the mitzvah together, though it was sort of a fight to get her to let me to light my candles – she wanted to do them all herself as when I was a kid. She does not light candles as a rule so I was a little baffled by that, but managed to preserve peace *and* light my candles! I brought her two beautiful tapers to light, but she could only find one candle stick, so I left her the other taper to light next time if she wants. I really hope she starts to light candles again, since we were able to share it.

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