The Sabbath candle lighting is the deed due to the Jewish woman to honor the Sabbath by its lighting. Its timing is before sunset. The candles must be lit before the official starting time of Shabbat, which varies from place to place, but is generally 18 or 20 minutes before sunset. In some places the customary time is earlier: 30 minutes before sunset in Haifa and 40 minutes in Jerusalem, perhaps because the mountains in those cities obstructed the horizon and once made it difficult to know if sunset had arrived. The lighting of the candles, declares to the entire family that the Sabbath has started . From now and until the end of the Sabbath, refrain doing any of the 39 rules prohibited by the sages. The husband can light, in the absence of his wife.
In ancient times, the candles were oil lamps and the use of olive oil was the most honorable for its beautiful clean flame.
By time the candles became more usable and easy to obtain, and silversmiths all over the world used their imagination to create more and more different styles and designs. In Israel museum , you can see the different cultures fingerprints in making these beautiful candle sticks.
The minimum of Sabbath candles are two. One for the Keeping of Sabbath and the second is for remember Shabbat.