Rabbi Abraham Twerski: Candle Lighting and a Child’s Self Worth

Rabbi Abraham Twerski: Candle Lighting and a Child’s Self Worth

In this short post, Rabbi Abraham Twerski relays his childhood memories of his mother lighting the Shabbat candles, focusing on the powerful message they sent about his own inherent self worth. Rabbi Abraham Twerski is an American Hasidic rabbi and psychiatrist. This excerpt is from the manual of The Shabbat Project, a movement which encourages Jews of all backgrounds and levels of observance to celebrate one Shabbat together each year. 

Rabbi Abraham Twerski: On Candle Lighting

Rabbi Abraham Twerski remembers his mother’s six Shabbat candles glowing when he was a child.

In many families, the wife begins lighting two candles once she is married, one for her husband and one for herself. She then adds an additional candle for each child .

“One of the lights my mother kindled each Friday night was for me,” Rabbi Twerski recalls.“I remember how much this had meant to me as a child,” he continues, “when I would watch the flames flicker, I would realise that our home, and that the world, was a brighter place because of my existence.”

As a psychiatrist, Rabbi Twerski has seen many patients who suffer from deep-rooted emotional and psychological symptoms that are a result of feelings of inadequacy that stem from childhood

The power of a single flame, a single soul, in this world is immeasurable. Each child needs to know that they brighten up the world; they offer something unique and rare. They have a gift to give that enhances the world.

Shabbat candles are a weekly message to children, reminding them that without them, this world would not shine as brightly.

The entire 64 page Shabbat Project Manual can be viewed below.

Shabbat Project Manual