I am always fascinated by gender roles in Judaism. Why is it that women are the ones to light Shabbos candles?
Male and female down here on earth are a reflection of male and female up there in heaven. Just as humans come in two forms, so too G-d, in whose image we were created, has two ways to interact with the world. G-d is of course one, but G-d's presence expresses itself in two distinct ways, male and female.
During the working week, the divine male energy dominates. On Shabbos, the divine feminine element emerges.
The working week is a time of tension, when the demands of a material existence encroach on our spiritual life. And so it is the male aspect of the divine, an energy that is competitive and forceful, that is needed to face the challenges of the mundane week.
Shabbos is when we step out of the material world and enjoy a more peaceful existence. Here is where the feminine divine side takes over, an energy that is nurturing and tranquil, soothing and at peace with the world.
The human soul is described as the candle of G-d, for the soul was sent to this world to bring light. On Friday evening, the Shechina - the feminine aspect of the divine - descends to light up our souls and give them the light and warmth they need to illuminate the world in the coming week.
The light of our soul may have dimmed during the week, when the pull of materialism clouds our spiritual flame. But the arrival of Shabbos brings us an increased energy and brightness. Our souls vibrate on a higher frequency on Friday nights, we are more alive and spiritually open, thanks to the closeness of the Shechina, G-d's feminine presence.
When a woman lights Shabbos candles, she is emulating the Shechina. Just as she lights her candles, so the Shechina is lighting her candles, the souls of Israel. And so, the Zohar says, a woman should light candles with joy and deep intention, for at that moment she reflects her divine source, and she too lights up the world.
6:30pm - 7:15pm Shabbos Service followed by Kiddush celebrating the Bat Mitzvah of Samantha Rubenstein- Mazel Tov!
9am Class on Weekly Parsha
10am -12:15pm Morning Service with kids' program followed by Kiddush in honour of the upcoming wedding of Warren Minde and Sarah Friedgood - and the birth and naming of Lindy & Gavin Wertheim's baby daughter- Mazel Tov!
Annual Daniel's Shabbos Lunch sponsored by Daniels: Doctor, Harkham, Lowinger, Lutman,Meguedeche, Miller and Stein.
Shiur 6:40pm- Understanding Rashi
Mincha 7:40pm followed by Seudah Shlishis and Maariv
Shabbos ends 8:41pm
8am Shachris followed by breakfast and beginners' Talmud 9:00-9:45am