Rebbetzin Kanyevsky’s Shabbat Candles

Rebbetzin Kanyevsky’s Shabbat Candles

I just read this beautiful story in the newly-released, super-inspirational Eishes Chayil Candle Lighting Treasury by Rabbi Dov Weller (Artscroll) (he also wrote the Eishes Chayil Hagaddah which I LOVED, and plan to use again at this year’s seder):

“At one point the Kanievsky home was being repainted and the area where the Rebbetzin’s Shabbos candles were lit required a fresh coat of paint.

“Yet her husband, Rav Chaim, told the Rebbetzin to please tell the painters not to paint the area of her Shabbos candles despite the fact that the wall was black and soot stained.

“Rav Chaim explained that the wall blackened from the special mitzvah of the Rebbetzin’s candle-lighting is a most beautiful adornment and symbol for their home, one to be left by posterity and not removed.” (Rebbetzin Kanievsky, Artscroll)

I have sometimes wondered why, if motherhood is so holy, it often doesn’t feel holy. Dealing with the kids’ bickering, their mess, their lost left sandal and broken glasses (for the second time this month), not to mention the regular blah doldrums of an average mothering day.

And this story about Rebbetzin Kanievsky reminds me that often the holiest things in life look, to our human eyes, like a mess–like the soot-stained wall behind Rebbetzin Kanyevsky’s Shabbat candles.

But in reality, in Hashem’s eyes, these moment spent doing Hashem’s will by caring for our children shine as brightly as the Rebbetzin’s candles, lighting up the darkest corners of the world with holiness and love.


  1. So inspired!thks a loooot

  2. I would paint.
    The holiness won’t leave if you clean up the wall.

  3. sheva lazaros

    after years and years of shabbos candle lighting (and havdallah lighting) my ceiling was almost black with soot. what a pleasure when it was finally painted. my house has so many things that need repairs that i joke that we have a lot of zecher le churbanim. (reminders of the destruction of the beit hamikdash). once in a while we have a painter or plumber come in to make a few repairs. the joy i have when something looks nice and is in good working order….is something i can’t describe. so yes, i would paint too.

  4. I have a cute idea, put a picture frame around the blackened area.

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