When should a little girl start lighting a Shabbat candle? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 02-01-2009, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm hoping someone with knowledge of Judaism can help me: I'm looking for the proper/traditional age for a little girl to start lighting a Shabbat candle, and any minhag that would be relevant to her lighting her first. My daughter turns 3 this March, and I'm thinking this might be a good time to start, but I'd like to know if there is a minhag that we should be following. Thank you!
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#2 of 5 Old 02-01-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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We usually start at 3, with one candle (you only start with two candles once you're married, in our community -- and add one for each kid).

We got both dd's a little ceramic candlestick. They do theirs (with supervision) first, then I do mine, and they make the bracha with me.

 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#3 of 5 Old 02-02-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickarolaberry View Post
We usually start at 3, with one candle (you only start with two candles once you're married, in our community -- and add one for each kid).
Same here!

In some communities, the women don't light until marriage or until they live on their own. Personally, I LOVE the idea of little girls lighting, and the whole concept of bringing more light to the world.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-02-2009, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I had a feeling 3 was the right age, but couldn't remember when my mom had me start lighting. Our family also follows the "1 candle until marriage" tradition. (Is it an Ashkenazi thing?) I didn't realize how meaningful it was until I got married and lit 2 candles for the first time It was a very pure symbol of the new life my husband and I were embarking on. I can't wait to see my daughter's candle added to the mix.
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#5 of 5 Old 02-05-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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There are several different traditions. Some start at age 3. Others start at Bat Mitzvah. Some start at some random age in between for no significant spiritual reason, but because the Mom feels she can trust her DD with matches. Others don't have girls light at all until marriage (except that she'll probably light one candle on weeks she's not home for Shabbos, such as while living in a dorm room at college.)

I didn't light Shabbos candles at all until I was 18 and in college- I grew up in a non-observant home and learned about Torah via Chabbad House. I had my daughters begin lighting when they turned 3.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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