As I light my Shabbos candles each week, I mention the Hebrew names of each of my children, my children-in-law, my husband and myself. The flame of each individual candle represents the soul of each family member. "The flame of Hashem, is the soul of a person." (Mishlei 20:27) Just like a soul, the flame burns bright, independent and strong. Just like a soul, the flame is mesmerising, always reaching upwards, as high as it can. Just like the pure and holy soul within each person in my home. And, very quickly, with the light, warmth and energy of the Shabbos candles, I am reminded of what I sometimes forget. As a Jewish mother, it is my mission to ignite the souls within my home, that they should shine and burn bright! When we are all switched on, when we are transcendent, when we defy the confines of our own limitations, when we feel passion and closeness to Hashem, when we crave meaning and search for destiny, when we seek truth, we are drawing from the energy of our burning soul! Our greatest achievements, our most noble acts and deepest loves arise from our soul's passionate fire! All the hard work of my week supports this holy mission. All the energy and effort is worthy. I know why I do what I do!
Rebbetzin Gina Goldstein - Johannesburg, South Africa