If the purpose of the Torah is to bring light to the world, perhaps no Mitzvah illustrates this as literally as the weekly lighting of the Shabbos candles.
A Time to Shine
This special Living Torah presentation explores the Rebbe’s campaign for all Jewish women and girls to light Shabbos candles, showcasing the far-reaching effect these lights would bring.
Begun in 1975, the Rebbe’s message was simple yet profound: The best way to combat darkness is by adding light.
In producing the film, the JEM team uncovered the Rebbe’s personal involvement with the design for the candlestick developed for the campaign, along with the manufacturing drive to create a do-it-yourself kit to be handed out to those in need.
Of additional note was the Rebbe’s stance that Shabbos candles be lit by girls as young as three years of age, insisting, as Pittsburgh Shlucha Mrs. Miriam Rosenbloom recalled, that three was already old enough to light.
A Shine For The Times
After the Rebbetzin’s passing in 1988, the campaign took on renewed efforts to commemorate her legacy. According to Mrs. Esther Sternberg, who was closely involved with the campaign since its inception, a weekly front-page ad was then taken out in the New York Times encouraging Jewish women and girls to light, with a number to call for local lighting times. The ad, which ran for over 10 years, was so impactful that it was even included in a millennial mock cover page for the year 2100. “We don’t know for certain what will be a hundred years from now,” the editors confessed upon inquiry, “what we do know is that Jewish women and girls will still be lighting Shabbat candles.”
In highlighting the parallel between one’s personal welfare and the Mitzvah of candle lighting, the film serves to underscore another revolutionary theme central to the Rebbe’s teachings: Even the smallest corporeal luminary can produce the greatest spiritual illumination.