The candlesticks wait there on the freshly set Shabbat table. The aroma of cooked food fills the air as the most amazing moment of the entire week approaches. My hand grasps the match and I swiftly give a strike, creating a force of empowering brightness. The penetrating light eradicates the darkness engulfing it and then subsides to a peaceful flame.

We, as Jewish women, have the power to usher in the holiness of Shabbat and embrace that time of tranquility, granting us a moment to breathe in the midst of our crazy weekly routines. I watch as my mother uses the three hand gestures to invite the Shabbat angels into our home and she covers her eyes with me. These are the few seconds I look forward to each week: moments to reflect on the past and pray to G-d for the awaiting steps of the future, and an auspicious time to connect to our Creator.

My hands slowly unfold to embrace my mother. I then gaze at the gentle glowing flames which always spread their warmth as the radiant candles seem to dance in their wicks. Happiness seeps through my body as the clocks of stress, errands, and work all seem to pause. The whole world joins to take a moment to appreciate the holiness of Shabbat. The creatures sing praises to G-d and throughout the streets, thousands of flames glow in unison.

Every week, regardless of what occurred or what will happen, we have an opportunity to perform a small but powerful action.

The legacy of our foremother, Sarah, continues to blaze through history as women worldwide light their special Friday night candle, all taking advantage of the incredible and uplifting opportunity we are blessed with.


— Brocha Chaya Jacks, Age 15
Beth Rivkah Ladies College
Melbourne, Australia