"Light The Candles And Then Recite The Blessing." I Stare.....
By Kari Hofmaister
Light the candles and then recite the blessing I stare at the book for some time reading the instruction over and over. The blessing is written in Hebrew and English, and in syllable-by-syllable transliteration. Any one of them read once through would do. Light the candles and then recite the blessing. Why is this so hard?
It's Friday night and I'm home by myself and I amshyly trying to light the candles for the first time. I read it again:"Light the candles and then recite the blessing." I strike the match, light the first one and then the second. I watch the flame burn for a while, the wax drip. A fear wells up in my chest: fear that this will never work, that this act will never have meaning. Self-consciousness then takes over: just who am I trying to fool anyway? Light the candles and then recite the blessing. It's a simple act. Why does it mean so much? I close my eyes for a moment to gather my thoughts. And then, quietly, I start to read: "Baruch atah Adonai" Blessed is the Lord, our God, Ruler of the universe, who hallows us with His Mitzvot, and commands us to kindle the lights of Shabbat.