In this poem, the modern Hebrew poet, Zelda, describes the meaning of Shabbat candles. Her understanding of the Shabbat candles as a reminder of the redemptive power of light reflects our tradition’s understanding of our responsibility to literally and metaphorically spread the light in this world. Zelda, born Zelda Schneurson Mishkovsky (June 20, 1914 – April 30, 1984) was thought to be the first female orthodox Jewish poet to delve into the rich corpus of Jewish mystical writings.
To Light Candles in All the Worlds
To light candles in all the worlds this is Shabbat.
To light Shabbat candles is the leap of a soul pregnant with secrets,
to a magnificent sea, filled with the mysteries of the fire of sunset.
As I light the candles, my room turns to a River of Fire, my heart sinks in emerald waterfalls.
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