SHABBAT is a unique time of the week. For many Jewish families struggling to balance school, work and extracurricular activities, Shabbat may be the only time during the week everyone can sit down together for a meal.
On Friday night the table is set with a white cloth, flowers, a challah and candlesticks, creating a sense of anticipation that the evening will hold something special.
Traditionally, the lighting of Shabbat candles is a woman’s domain and two candles represent the commandments to remember (zakor) and keep (shamor) the Sabbath. In some homes today, both men and women light candles together and additional candles for each child adorn the table.
When my family first began to observe Shabbat, I treasured more than anything that moment when I would light my grandmother’s brass candlesticks, brought over in the lining of her coat from Russia.