Jewish sages teach that the day of Shabbos (Sabbath) is a source of blessing. I’ve been reflecting on this recently and thinking about different ways that I could value and honor this special day more, to feel and receive more of the blessing in my life.
There are some things I’d like to change about how I approach Shabbos, and one of those things is what I use for candle lighting. My mother-in-law generously bought me a lovely pair of candlesticks when I got married and I supplemented with tea lights as each child was born. During an international move fifteen years ago, the candlesticks were badly damaged and couldn’t be repaired. Since then I’ve used only tea lights in simple glass holders, and when I moved I didn’t bring the holders so for almost 4 years it’s been just tea lights.
It’s not that I wouldn’t have wanted something nicer. But there’s always something more pressing that needs to be purchased. While expensive silver candlesticks aren’t my choice for a couple of reasons even though I love how they look, I’ve been thinking that getting nicer candle holders for the candles that I light for Shabbos would be more honoring of this special day.
Yesterday morning I was walking through the industrial zone. I had several errands there and since I wasn’t on a tight schedule, decided to look into each storefront as I passed in order to familiarize myself with the area.
I noticed a flyer on a storefront window about a sale they were having on crystal candelabras and went inside. It was a strange store, no lights on, a huge area with boxes and just a couple of bookshelves displaying various items. I had to actively get the attention of the man who was in charge and he seemed reluctant to answer my question about prices.
When I pressed him for the price, I learned he sells to stores in addition to his own six retail stores but he doesn’t sell to private individuals. Hence the strange storefront – it’s his warehouse. He happened to be there for just a half hour loading merchandise to take to the stores when I came in. He told me even though this wasn’t a storefront, since I was there he was willing to sell to me at the same price he sells to stores (where the prices are then marked up 200 – 400%).
I’m so happy with them. They’re beautiful but not overdone or something that would make anyone jealous – just the balance that I wanted. (The picture above really doesn’t do them justice – I love how the light sparkles through the prisms but you can’t see that here.)
I had such a strong feeling that G-d had led me right into this store at just this time, because I had so much wanted to do something to honor Shabbos. This ‘coincidence’ made it possible for me to buy lovely crystal candle holders at a price that was affordable for us; I wouldn’t have considered them at the typical retail price.
As our sages have said, “In the way that a man wants to go, so he is led!”
Edited to add – I wrote this post in the morning and later that night went to a lecture run by Arachim. I attended a lecture of theirs in the past and wanted to give a donation to support their work but it was given on Shabbos. This time I was able to donate and they gave each person who donated a gift – mine was a kiddush fountain!
Another way to beautify one of the mitzvos of Shabbos!