Lighting Candles for Shabbat

Tonight is Shabbat, and I’ve been thinking about how to prepare. I’m not making a big fancy dinner, or going to synagogue. But I want to do something to feel that I am part of this tradition dating back to Genesis.

Every Friday night, Jewish women who observe the Sabbath light two white candles and say a prayer. In Hebrew, they pray to G-d for their family, their house guests, for Shabbat and are given time to silently add anything else on their minds. I remember the first time I tried it on my own. I tried really hard to remember the Hebrew by heart, but couldn’t, so I read it instead. I prayed for a non-Jewish friend who was going through a hard time. Then I stopped and said Amen. The coolest part about it was that it wasn’t about me. I felt I had power to tell G-d what to do and who to look after. I also thought about how if thousands of other women are in their homes saying the same prayer at the same time as me, G-d has to listen. It was amazing to be part of something like that.

Since then, my prayers have gotten longer and longer. One time I prayed for half hour for everyone I could think of. This prayer is typically two minutes in length to start off Shabbat.

In my previous post “Hey G-d, call me,” I wrote about how I couldn’t find inspiration to get back into the flow of growing Jewishly; spiritually. As a writer, sometimes you write when you’re inspired. Other times you write to get inspired. Tonight, I’m going to light candles after not having done so in weeks. I hope, and I almost know, it will be my way of breaking the ice with G-d and saying hey, can we talk? I have spiritual-block. I’m looking to get inspired.

How many of you have a tradition that brings you closer to G-d, even if it‘s yours only? I’d love to know about it. Maybe even try it out myself.

Stay tuned here for my next post where I look to rendezvous with G-d. Shabbat Shalom.