A Song of Fire: Light and Ritual on Friday Night

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה׳ אֱלֹקינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם

אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ

לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת.

Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam

Blessed are You, Infinite One,

asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu

Who makes us holy through commandments and commands us

l’hadlik ner shel Shabbat.

to kindle the light of Shabbat.

(ח) זָכ֛וֹר֩ אֶת־י֥֨וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖֜ת לְקַדְּשֽׁ֗וֹ
(8) Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.
(יב) שָׁמ֣֛וֹר אֶת־י֥וֹם֩ הַשַׁבָּ֖֨ת לְקַדְּשׁ֑֜וֹ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוְּךָ֖֣ ׀ ה' אֱלֹקֶֽ֗יךָ
(12) Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you.
(ט) אָ֤ז תִּקְרָא֙ וַה' יַעֲנֶ֔ה תְּשַׁוַּ֖ע וְיֹאמַ֣ר הִנֵּ֑נִי אִם־תָּסִ֤יר מִתּֽוֹכְךָ֙ מוֹטָ֔ה שְׁלַ֥ח אֶצְבַּ֖ע וְדַבֶּר־אָֽוֶן׃ (י) וְתָפֵ֤ק לָֽרָעֵב֙ נַפְשֶׁ֔ךָ וְנֶ֥פֶשׁ נַעֲנָ֖ה תַּשְׂבִּ֑יעַ וְזָרַ֤ח בַּחֹ֙שֶׁךְ֙ אוֹרֶ֔ךָ וַאֲפֵלָתְךָ֖ כַּֽצָּהֳרָֽיִם׃ (יא) וְנָחֲךָ֣ ה' תָּמִיד֒ וְהִשְׂבִּ֤יעַ בְּצַחְצָחוֹת֙ נַפְשֶׁ֔ךָ וְעַצְמֹתֶ֖יךָ יַחֲלִ֑יץ וְהָיִ֙יתָ֙ כְּגַ֣ן רָוֶ֔ה וּכְמוֹצָ֣א מַ֔יִם אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹא־יְכַזְּב֖וּ מֵימָֽיו׃ (יב) וּבָנ֤וּ מִמְּךָ֙ חָרְב֣וֹת עוֹלָ֔ם מוֹסְדֵ֥י דוֹר־וָד֖וֹר תְּקוֹמֵ֑ם וְקֹרָ֤א לְךָ֙ גֹּדֵ֣ר פֶּ֔רֶץ מְשֹׁבֵ֥ב נְתִיב֖וֹת לָשָֽׁבֶת׃ (יג) אִם־תָּשִׁ֤יב מִשַּׁבָּת֙ רַגְלֶ֔ךָ עֲשׂ֥וֹת חֲפָצֶ֖יךָ בְּי֣וֹם קָדְשִׁ֑י וְקָרָ֨אתָ לַשַּׁבָּ֜ת עֹ֗נֶג לִקְד֤וֹשׁ ה' מְכֻבָּ֔ד וְכִבַּדְתּוֹ֙ מֵעֲשׂ֣וֹת דְּרָכֶ֔יךָ מִמְּצ֥וֹא חֶפְצְךָ֖ וְדַבֵּ֥ר דָּבָֽר׃ (יד) אָ֗ז תִּתְעַנַּג֙ עַל־ה' וְהִרְכַּבְתִּ֖יךָ עַל־בָּ֣מֳותֵי אָ֑רֶץ וְהַאֲכַלְתִּ֗יךָ נַחֲלַת֙ יַעֲקֹ֣ב אָבִ֔יךָ כִּ֛י פִּ֥י ה' דִּבֵּֽר׃ (ס)
(9) Then, when you call, the LORD will answer; When you cry, He will say: Here I am. If you banish the yoke from your midst, The menacing hand, and evil speech, (10) And you offer your compassion to the hungry And satisfy the famished creature— Then shall your light shine in darkness, And your gloom shall be like noonday. (11) The LORD will guide you always; He will slake your thirst in parched places And give strength to your bones. You shall be like a watered garden, Like a spring whose waters do not fail. (12) Men from your midst shall rebuild ancient ruins, You shall restore foundations laid long ago. And you shall be called “Repairer of fallen walls, Restorer of lanes for habitation.” (13) If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, From pursuing your affairs on My holy day; If you call the sabbath “delight,” The LORD’s holy day “honored”; And if you honor it and go not your ways Nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains— (14) Then you can seek the favor of the LORD. I will set you astride the heights of the earth, And let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob— For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

(א) בַּמֶּה מַדְלִיקִין וּבַמָּה אֵין מַדְלִיקִין. אֵין מַדְלִיקִין לֹא בְלֶכֶשׁ, וְלֹא בְחֹסֶן, וְלֹא בְכָלָךְ, וְלֹא בִפְתִילַת הָאִידָן, וְלֹא בִפְתִילַת הַמִּדְבָּר, וְלֹא בִירוֹקָה שֶׁעַל פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם. וְלֹא בְזֶפֶת, וְלֹא בְשַׁעֲוָה, וְלֹא בְשֶׁמֶן קִיק, וְלֹא בְשֶׁמֶן שְׂרֵפָה, וְלֹא בְאַלְיָה, וְלֹא בְחֵלֶב. נַחוּם הַמָּדִי אוֹמֵר, מַדְלִיקִין בְּחֵלֶב מְבֻשָּׁל. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֶחָד מְבֻשָּׁל וְאֶחָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְבֻשָּׁל, אֵין מַדְלִיקִין בּוֹ:

(1) With what [wicks] may one light [Shabbat lamps], and with what [wicks] may one not light? One may not light with moss [that grows in] cedars, nor with uncombed flax, nor with raw silk, nor with willow bast, nor with desert fiber, nor with weeds [growing] on water. Nor [may one light] with pitch, nor with wax, nor with castor oil, nor oil set for burning [consecrated oil that has become impure], nor with [the fat from] sheeps' tails, nor with forbidden fat. Nachum HaMadi says: One may light with boiled forbidden fat; but the Sages say: One may not light with forbidden fat whether it's boiled or not boiled.

אמר רבא פשיטא לי נר ביתו ונר חנוכה נר ביתו עדיף משום שלום ביתו נר ביתו וקידוש היום נר ביתו עדיף משום שלום ביתו בעי רבא נר חנוכה וקידוש היום מהו קידוש היום עדיף דתדיר או דילמא נר חנוכה עדיף משום פרסומי ניסא בתר דאבעיא הדר פשטה נר חנוכה עדיף משום פרסומי ניסא:
Rava said: It is obvious to me that there is a fixed list of priorities. When a person is poor and must choose between purchasing oil to light a Shabbat lamp for his home or purchasing oil to light a Hanukkah lamp, the Shabbat lamp for his home takes precedence. That is due to peace in his home; without the light of that lamp, his family would be sitting and eating their meal in the dark. Similarly, if there is a conflict between acquiring oil to light a lamp for his home and wine for the sanctification [kiddush] of Shabbat day, the lamp for his home takes precedence due to peace in his home. However, Rava raised a dilemma: When the conflict is between oil for a Hanukkah lamp or wine for kiddush of Shabbat day, what is the ruling in that case? Does kiddush of Shabbat day take priority because it is frequent, i.e., it is performed every week, and there is a principle: When there is a conflict between a frequent practice and an infrequent practice, the frequent practice takes precedence? Or, perhaps the Hanukkah lamp takes precedence due to publicity of the miracle? After he raised the dilemma, he then resolved it on his own and he ruled that, in that case, the Hanukkah lamp takes precedence due to publicity of the miracle.

(א) הַדְלָ [קַ] ת נֵר בְּשַׁבָּת אֵינָהּ רְשׁוּת אִם רָצָה מַדְלִיק וְאִם רָצָה אֵינוֹ מַדְלִיק. וְלֹא מִצְוָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִרְדֹּף אַחֲרֶיהָ עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂנָה כְּגוֹן עֵרוּבֵי חֲצֵרוֹת אוֹ נְטִילַת יָדַיִם לַאֲכִילָה אֶלָּא זֶה חוֹבָה. וְאֶחָד אֲנָשִׁים וְאֶחָד נָשִׁים חַיָּבִין לִהְיוֹת בְּבָתֵּיהֶן נֵר דָּלוּק בְּשַׁבָּת. אֲפִלּוּ אֵין לוֹ מַה יֹּאכַל שׁוֹאֵל עַל הַפְּתָחִים וְלוֹקֵחַ שֶׁמֶן וּמַדְלִיק אֶת הַנֵּר שֶׁזֶּה בִּכְלַל עֹנֶג שַׁבָּת. וְחַיָּב לְבָרֵךְ קֹדֶם הַדְלָקָה בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר שֶׁל שַׁבָּת. כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמְּבָרֵךְ עַל כָּל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב בָּהֶם מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:

(1) The lighting of Sabbath lights is not of free choice, to light or not to light as one chooses, nor is it the kind of religious performance that an individual is not called upon to make a special effort to render, such as preparing an eruv in courtyards or washing the hands before eating. It is rather a duty, binding on men and women alike; they are obligated to have lamps burning in their homes on Sabbath eve. Even if one has nothing to eat, let him go begging at the doors, buy oil, and light a lamp, forming an integral part of Sabbath delight (oneg shabbath). Before lighting, one should recite a blessing: "Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us with thy commandments, and commanded us to light the Sabbath lights." This is on the same principle that one recites a benediction over all duties introduced by the sages.

(א) אמר רבי יוחנן משום רבי יוסי כל המענג את השבת נותנין לו נחלה בלא מצרים.

Rabbi Yochanan said: All who find joy in Shabbat will be given inheritance without limit.