In this week’s Torah portion, we read about Eliezer, Abraham’s trusted servant, bringing Rivkah (Rebecca) from the country Aram for a wife for Abraham’s son Yitzchok (Isaac). The verse then states: “Yitzchok brought Rivkah into his mother’s tent and then he married her.”
The midrash deduces from the wording of the above mentioned verse, that when Yitzchok brought Rivkah into his late mother’s tent, the characteristic of his mother’s tent came back to life and that is when he made the final decision to marry Rivkah since he now knew that the spirit of his mother would continue with Rivkah. One of these characteristics was that when Sarah would light Shabbat candles they would miraculously continue to burn until the next Shabbat.
The commentaries teach us that the fact that the candles remained burning symbolizes the special mission of Sarah and Rivkah. A woman is endowed with the spiritual inherent qualities of warmth, love and gentleness. These qualities enable her to set the tone for a home filled with love and joy. This then is the reason the candles Sarah and Rivkah lit remained burning an entire week, since on the spiritual level they were continuously bringing light into their homes.
Although when the Jewish women today light candles they don’t remain burning until the next Shabbat, we are taught that this mitzvah has the ability to bring a spiritual light into the home that continues to illuminate the home until the next Shabbat. Therefore, this mitzvah is so important that even young girls should participate in this mitzvah and light their own Shabbos Candles. (Based on the teaching of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.)