A reading before the kindling of the Shabbat candles

A reading before the kindling of the Shabbat candles

Work is brought to a standstill; the candles are lit.
Just as creation began with the words “Let there be light”,
so does our rest this Shabbat begin with the kindling of these lights.
Some of us have only to rest this Shabbat,
to replenish our souls from a week of day-to-day tasks and
the awareness of our national tragedy.
Some of us here or in another place, will spend this Shabbat
in the holy work of saving lives
in New York, in our nation’s capitol, in hospitals, and in temporary dwellings.

As we give light to these Shabbat candles, may our prayers
express the thanks for all those who will hold high our Jewish value that even
on Shabbat, saving a life is the highest call from God.
As we rest, may our prayers and thoughts bring solace to those in grief,
strength to those waiting, and gratitude to all who strive
to heal the wounded among us.
The world itself needs to rest.
This hour arrives like a guide, and invites us to
contemplate a moment of resurrection;
to bring light to the dormancy of our souls, to bring us peace.
May the light of these Sabbath candles help bring
into our sanctuary a sense of holiness and shalom.

Adapted by Bay Area Jewish Healing Center from With Healing on its Wings (Masorti Publications)