Shabbat Candles Across History

The following video offers a wordless demonstration of women lighting the Shabbat candles from Canaan (the biblical reference for Ancient Israel) 2200 BCE to the present day. Created by Rabbi Eitan and Gitty Webb, founders of the Scharf Family Chabad House at Princeton University, viewers can watch and enjoy the tradition of the Shabbat candle lighting unfold. The unique costumes and music add to the overall ambiance of the video and contribute to the special nature of this ritual. As shown here, some Orthodox Jews choose to pronounce a euphemism of God’s name when demonstrating the recitation of a blessing in order not to violate the Biblical prohibition of uttering God’s name in vain. The creators of the video ascribe to the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement of Judaism, which runs a global campaign to encourage Jewish women and girls from the age of three to light Shabbat candles, due to the perceived spiritual power of this commandment.