Join Jewish News and ShabbatUK in marking the Great Friday Night Light on 11 November, which will see around 50,000 candlesticks distributed across the country to encourage people to bring
in Shabbat together.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis:   

“Separation from mundane work and empty distraction is necessary to reinvigorate one’s soul; to find space for meaningful engagement with our friends and families in a noisy world of media and communications which constantly demand our attention.

“Shabbat bonds families together, it bonds communities together and it reminds us that we must have control over our environments and not the other way around.”

Chief Rabbi Mirvis (© Blake Ezra Photography)

Chief Rabbi Mirvis (© Blake Ezra Photography)

Rabbi Bentzi Sudak, CEO, Chabad Lubavitch UK:   

“The holiness of Shabbat is ushered in especially by the Jewish woman through her lighting of the Shabbat candles. Each light adds another element of holiness and peace to one’s home and, collectively, to the entire world. This symbolises how each one of us plays a crucial and irreplaceable role in God’s world, bringing it to its perfection.”

Bentzi Sudak

Bentzi Sudak

Rebbetzin Joanne Dove, SEED:  

“Candle-lighting time is a special time I look forward to. At that moment when I light the first of my 10 candles, a custom of lighting an extra candle for each child, I leave behind the rush, the cooking, the mobile phone and the front door, and all goes quiet for a short while. There is an immediate change of the week going into Shabbat and, as I kindle each light, a special prayer goes to our children, to our home, to our extended family and to all the Jewish people trusting that they will be looked after by the One above.”

Joanne Dove

Joanne Dove

Rebbetzin Abi Kurzer, Edgware United Synagogue:  

“Lighting Shabbat candles is a sigh of relief – it is knowing I can do no more and a symbol of my time just to be. It focuses me to stop running around and get on the floor to play hungry hippos with my three-year-old. It is warmth, it is light, it is the start of my quality time with Hashem, my family and myself.”

Abi Kurzer

Abi Kurzer

Alex Fenton, Youth director, Cockfosters & North Southgate and Muswell Hill synagogues:  

“Shabbat candle lighting is a special time for me, because it means that I am disconnecting from the physical world to reconnect to the spiritual world.”

Rabbi Alan Garber, Shenley United Synagogue:   

“The significance of the Shabbat candles for me is moving towards a sense of calm, peace and purpose. They signal a destination in closeness to family, community and Hashem.”

Rebbetzin Ilana Epstein of Cockfosters & North Southgate Synagogue:

“When I light the Shabbat candles each Friday, the work week falls away and, for 25 hours, the world outside is put on hold and a sense of inner peace lights up my home, family and community.”

Ilana Epstein

Ilana Epstein

Madeline Gottlieb, publisher, HGS:  

“When I light my Shabbat candles, I savour the feeling of switching off from the daily bustle of life. Cooking and preparations are over. I smile and look forward to precious time with my family and friends.”

Madeleine

Madeleine

Daniel Eder, content manager, Stanmore:   

“Shabbat is the one time of the week to stop, pause everyday stresses and reflect on the past week. Lighting Shabbat candles starts this process, bringing light into our lives, allowing an opportunity to pray for good health and blessings. Growing up watching my mother light shabbat candles every week, for me, it’s not Shabbat without lighting the candles.”

daniel-eder

Anthony Renton, account executive, HGS:  

“Lighting candles for Shabbat is special because it signifies the separation from the working week to a time of self-reflection and time to spend with family and my community.”

Emma Allweis, Teacher, Borehamwood: 

“Lighting Shabbat candles signals the opportunity to switch off from the daily grind of the working week and a chance to spend family time with my husband and two lovely daughters.”