Candle-Lighting Blessings

Found In: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah, Passover, Shavuot

Tags: candle lighting

Prayer

Begin your seder by lighting the candles with one of the following blessings over the candles, followed by the shehechiyanu prayer for special occasions and a techine, a private prayer to be recited after lighting the candles or a poem by Hannah Senesh (Senesz).

1. Traditional Blessing for Lighting Holiday Candles

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-Olam asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu l'hadlik neir shel (Shabbat v'shel) Yom Tov.

You are Blessed, O God, Spirit of the World, who makes us holy with mitzvot and commands us to kindle the light of (Shabbat and of) the festival day.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-Olam shehecheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

You are Blessed, Our God, Spirit of the World, who keeps us in life, who sustains us and who enables us to reach this season.

2. Candle Lighting Blessing Using Feminine God-Language

B'rucha At Ya Eloheinu Ruach ha-Olam asher kid'shatnu b'mitzvoteha v'tzivatnu l'hadlik neir shel (Shabbat v'shel) Yom Tov.

You are Blessed, O God, Spirit of the World, who makes us holy with mitzvot and commands us to kindle the light of (Shabbat and of) the festival day.

B'rucha At Ya Eloheinu Ruach ha-Olam shehecheyatnu v'kiy'matnu v'higiatnu laz'man hazeh.

You are Blessed, Our God, Spirit of the World, who keeps us in life, who sustains us and who enables us to reach this season.

3. Techine/ Private Woman's Prayer for Candle Lighting

Techines are women's Yiddish prayers written in the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, in Eastern and Central Europe. Techines (from the Hebrew word le-hit'hanen, to supplicate) were used by women for prayer at home or in the synagogue. They often refer to specific women's commandments like candle-lighting and contain references to the Matriarchs and other biblical women. For more on techines see Chava Weissler, Voices of the Matriarchs. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998.

May it be Your will, my God and God of my ancestors, to be gracious to me and to all my family and to give us, and all Israel, a good and long life. Remember us with goodness and blessing, and grant us salvation and mercy. Grant us abundant blessing, and fortify the places we call home. May Your Presence dwell among us as we gather here tonight. May we be blessed with wise and learned disciples and children, lovers of God who stand in awe of You, people who speak truth and spread holiness. May those we nurture light the world with Torah and good deeds. Hear the prayers I utter now in the name of our mothers Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah. May Your light, reflected in these candles, surround us always. And let us say, Amen.

Adapted by Nurit Shein and Sue Levi Elwell from a traditional Sephardic techine found in Cohen, Jonathon, ed. The Sephardi Haggadah. Jerusalem: Feldheim Publishers, 1988.

4. Blessed is the Match, by Hannah Senesh

Blessed is the match that is consumed in kindling the flame.
Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart.
Blessed is the heart strong enough to stop beating in dignity.
Blessed is the match that is consumed in kindling the flame.