Lighting the Candles

We rejoice in the warm light and rich blessings of this season. The celebration of Passover represents the perennial rebirth and survival of humanity and the world of nature. The light of these candles symbolizes a renewal of life and a reaffirmation of our freedom.

Let us appreciate the existence we share with all living things in this world, from the ground below to the sky above. Let us always try to enjoy the good that each year brings, and be thankful for each new day we have to experience the people we love and things we are able do in our daily lives.

Passover holiday candles are lit by the (traditionally, the eldest) woman of the house no later than 18 minutes before sundown. After kindling the candles, she waves her hands over the flames three times (as if welcoming in the holiday), and, covering her eyes with her hands (so as to not see the candles burning), says the following blessing (if Passover occurs on Shabbat, insert "Shabbat v'shel" before "yom tov"):

Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, asher kideshanu bemitzvotav ve-tsivanu lehadlik ner shel (shabbat v'shel) yom tov.

Blessed is the force of the universe that gave us purpose and allows us to light the candles of (Shabbat and) the holiday.

Following the lighting of the candles, she recites the Shehecheyanu Blessing:

Baruch atah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, she-hecheyanu v'ki-yemanu vehigiyanyu​ lazeman hazeh.

Blessed is the force of the universe that has kept us alive, sustained us and brought us to this special moment.

haggadah Section: Introduction
Source: Image by Mel. Text adapted from Dinah Winnick and