On a road trip this week, we listened to a children's CD - Uncle Reuvain (not the Simcha Train, but I'm sorry I don't know the name). It was full of fun kid's songs that delighted our passengers.
We sang and laughed throughout our long trip. Then suddenly one song brought great tears to my eyes, and I noticed that those old enough to understand were teary-eyed, as well.
The song told a little boy's memories of the Friday night candles in his home.
It is the warmest and most loving Friday night song I have heard in a long time. And perhaps it was more meaningful to me, because it described Friday night in the eyes of a child.
This little boy explains that throughout his entire life, he will never forget how his mother lit her candles - her quiet tuneless hum, her embracing of the Shabbat, her lingering by the lights (in prayer).
It made me think, "What do my children and grandchildren see? What memory will they hold in their hearts from my Friday night 'licht bentschen'?"
And what will my grandchildren remember from their mothers?
I am decades older than the little boy in the song. My children are older as well. But I still hold on my own heart the sight of the Friday might lighting by my forever-beloved grandmother, of blessed memory. The same memory is reenacted every Shabbat by my own dearest mother, may she live and be well until 120.
Their candle lighting was no match, match, wave, wave, wave, Shabbat shalom.
Even today, although standing is difficult for her, my Mother takes every moment of her special hi/gh with G-d and shares her every thought and wish and worry. As with her mother before her, I watch her lips move as she prays for every loved one and Am Yisrael. I watch as her burdens (at least temporarily) go up in the flames of the Friday night lights, and the Shabbat serenity that envelopes her with love.
Every Friday night we pray, "...bless us with great blessings; make our household complete, crowning our home with the feeling of Your Divine Presence dwelling among us."
The little boy in the saw did not call the Friday night candles, Shabbat candles. He called them, "my mother's lights"
IY"H, as I light my Candles on this first Friday night of the new Torah cycle, I will try to make the candles my own, and bring my personal heartfelt prayer and love to my lights, so they can be remembered with happy warm tears by my own children and grandchildren for years to come.
This Shabbat, you can do the same.
Become your child's Friday night memory. It will hold him for his entire life.