Jewish Holiday Candles Buying Guide
Jewish holiday candles are a huge part of Judaism, as they are necessary for Shabbat and almost every holiday. We begin Shabbat and major holidays by lighting candles and we end it with by saying Havdallah over a candle. Over the holiday of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, we light a growing number of candles for eight nights to remember the miracle of Hanukkah. Just like there are different pieces of Judaica for every holiday, there are different candles for each occasion and it is important to know why a Hanukkah candle cannot be used for Havdallah. Discover the spiritual world of Judaism through its use of candles.
Shabbat candles are used every Friday night and on the eve of major Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippor, Passover, Sukkot and Shavuot.Traditionally, a married woman lights two candles to bring in Shabbat or the holiday, sometimes also lighting an additional candle for each child she has. The origin of lighting Shabbat candles comes from a time before electricity, when people would have no light on Friday night as Shabbat began and would become upset because they couldn't see in front of them. The Safed Candle Factory hand-crafts their candles, dipping them into a variety of colors for a unique look. There are also classic tea lights for when you are traveling for Shabbat and candle holders to prevent the wax from dripping.
Havdalah candles are used at the end of Shabbat and are different from all other candles. Rather than just having one wick like normal candles do, Havdalah candles have multiple wicks. The reason behind this is because the blessing said over the fire during Havdalah says, "He who created the illuminations of fire", implying there is more than one fire, equaling more than one wick. These candles are also made by the Safed Candle Factory and come in the most incredible styles. Aside from the traditional braided candles, there are also colorful pillar candles and those adorned with cloves to use as bisamim, the spice smelled to resemble having a pleasant week.
Hanukkah candles are the star of the show over the Festival of Lights! On the first night of Hanukkah we light one candle, aside from the Shamesh- the helper candle- and add an additional candle until the eighth night when we have eight candles and one Shamesh lit. Candles make lighting the Hanukkah menorah easier in general but also specifically with children and come in a range of incredible colors! If you light Hanukkah candles, according to Jewish tradition, they should burn for at least half an hour and have a single wick.
Olive Oil Cups
Pre-filled olive oil cups are the best option for when you want to follow through with the Hanukkah tradition of using olive oil. The miracle of Hanukkah was that even after the Temple was ransacked and almost destroyed, a small jug of olive oil was found and used to light the Temple menorah, that of course lasted a miraculous eight days. Many say that olive oil is the preferred method of lighting the Hanukkah menorah but either option is good, as long as you're lighting!
Yahrzeit candles, or memorial candles are lit in memory of those who passed away. In Judaism, when a sibling, parent, child or spouse passes away, we take the time to remember their souls and spirits by lighting a candle on the anniversary of their passing, as well as on the last days of Passover and Sukkot, Shavuot and Yom Kippur. On Holocaust Memorial Day, a candle is also lit to remember the victims. A Yahrzeit candle lasts for about 24 hours and is lit at the beginning of the Hebrew day of the anniversary or holiday, which is right after sunset. It is said that when a soul leaves this world, it leaves a dark void, so a candle is lit to bring their light back. During these days, we make sure to bring their light and memory into the world.