Can you feel it? Can you tell, just by looking at the photo, that something shifted inside of our bodies when we saw the נרות (nerot–candles) in a quiet, dark room?
In Nitzanim, we’ve been trying to feel Shabbat. In past weeks, we’ve tried to feel the chaos of getting ready for Shabbat, or the calm of the darkness that signals the beginning of Shabbat. This week, we took a deep breath and lit the נרות (nerot–candles). And something shifted as children’s bodies slowed and quieted. Even long after I blew out the candles and turned on the lights to signal the beginning of זמן עברית (zeman Ivrit–Hebrew time), children continued to whisper as they played together. They spread out around the room working with a sense of purpose and also kindness and gentleness toward each other.
So what is this magic of the Shabbat candles? Here’s what the children say:
- “The light around is the force that makes everybody calm.” (Age 7)
- “Every Shabbat I usually sometimes feel rested or like wounded up. It shows that I was rested and like tired.” (Age 8)
- “I feel peaceful because the candles make light and it makes me feel very peaceful and calm like I’m supposed to rest on Shabbat.” (Age 6)
- “It’s swirly. I think happy is so many colors.” (Age 6)