Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb

Doctors and Candles

Last year, I went to the opthamologist to get a baseline because my blood sugar levels were so high and because, well, it was time. Before I left, I made an appointment for this year.

And somehow, we (the receptionist and I) forgot to check for holidays. The appointment is this Thursday. Not going to work - not only can I not go, but the doctor is also religious and the office would be closed. I had to make a new one. I'm double loaded now - eye doctor in the morning, dermatologist in the afternoon.

In other news, I'm feeling slightly freaked out about a change in my life. Now it's not going to sound like much, but it's a huge thing to me.

My entire married life, I've lit two candles every Friday and holiday. In the past few years, I've also lit an occasional yarzheit candle, but that's something different and, as I said, occasional. Two candles are the base number. Some groups have unmarried women (and girls over age three) light one candle on the idea that one lights one candle for each member of one's household. Unmarried men living on their own also light one candle, but two is basic - one for guard and one for keep, to go with the two different versions of the third commandment. In fact, I always lit two candles even before I got married. I never heard about just lighting one until a month before the wedding, when we spent Shabbat with Lubavitch relatives.

The most common reason to add a candle is because one has had a child (this goes with adding members of the household), but while that's common, it's not universal, and many women light just two candles no matter how many children they have. My mother-in-law lights two candles. My mother's grandmother (the last person in that line before me who lit candles, and for whom I was named) lit for everyone.

The other reason? Because one was unable to light on a night when one should light. (This may be the origin of the extra candles for children - one might not be able to light because of childbirth or recovering from it.) And that's what happened this past Friday to me. I was going to a friend's house for Shabbat dinner, and I was to get there before candlelighting, and assumed I'd light there, either on my own or relying on their lighting. But I got there right on the brink and they'd already lit conditionally and without me in mind. So I couldn't light at all.

And I asked my rabbi, and he said, paraphrasing, that we would now have the blessing of extra light in our home. (He's said this before. It does happen.) So, from now on, for the *rest of my life*, I have to light a third candle every Shabbat and yom tov. And without a chid to show for it, either. I resurrected one of the brass candlesticks I started using my first Shabbat home after my wedding, and it's there on my candle tray waiting for tonight to be lit for Yom Tov. And I'm literally freaking out.
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