Shabbat Candlesticks

Bronze, tall, and heavy candlesticks
Bronze, tall, and heavy candlesticks

Lighting candles on Friday night to bring in the Sabbath is a Jewish ritual which women have been doing for thousands of years. These candlesticks have been being lit by women in my family almost every week for over 110 years. They were lit by my great great grandmother Esther, they were lit by my great-grandmother Rana, and now they are lit by mother Eliyana. The candlesticks were a wedding present to my great great grandparents in 1910 in Poland. They have been lit in Probizna, Buenos Aires, Chicago, New Mexico, California, Boston, and Maryland. Every Friday night that I can remember my house has been filled with the smell of soup that my dad is cooking and my mom is neatening the downstairs and my sisters and I are cleaning our rooms and everyone is rushing and yelling. And then my whole family gathers in the dining room and my mother waves her hands three times, says the blessing to bring in the Sabbath and lights these candlesticks. And suddenly a feeling of contentment washes over us and spreads throughout the house as we hug and wish each other a peaceful Sabbath. And then we all sit down for dinner as the candles flicker and the candlesticks stand tall. 

Place(s): Poland
Year: 1910

– Rana Bickel

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more