Jul 26, 2013
Our Mother's Shabbos Custom

The family of Bracha Finkelstein OBM is asking the public to join them in emulating one of her Shabbos customs.

by Sarah Goldberg

This coming Shabbos, Chof Menachem Av, marks the Shloshim - 30 days since the passing of our mother, Bracha Finkelstein, a wellness professional and member of the Chabad community in Los Angeles.

In her honor we want to share with you that which she instilled within my sister and I, the power of Jewish women and their Shabbos candles.

Back in the late 70's, a brief and special moment took place in Kings Plaza in Brooklyn which created a great ripple effect. It was a fall day, right around Thanksgiving. My mother was there, a fresh new baalas teshuva, and she spotted a young woman whom she quickly approached.

"Are you Jewish?" she asked.

The bewildered young woman responded coldly, "Yes?"

To which my mother handed her a candle lighting packet which the Rebbe has encouraged to give out as part of the Neshek Campaign.

"Oh, I'm not interested in this," the woman responded abruptly and uninterested.

Not deterred, my mother pulled out a pamphlet about Bais Chana Women International in Minnesota. "Well, maybe you'll be interested in a Jewish woma's learning institute."

The young woman took the pamphlet and on it she found a list of questions she was having herself, such as what it means to be Jewish.

Let's fast forward to the present time: In the merit of this brief incident, this searching young woman became Lubavitch, married and today Baruch Hashem has 7 children and 18 grandchildren, some of whom are Shluchim.

But it is another custom our mother had connected to Shabbos candles that we wold like to highlight.

Our mother always made a special effort to light Shabbos candles on time. She felt strongly about doing the mitzvah that we women were uniquely given, the right way, by lighting on time.

We ask you to join us in honoring Brocha Leah Chava bas Shmuel this Shabbos Parshas Ekev by taking on lighting Shabbos candles 5 minutes early or before the 18 minutes.

In a sicha (Likutei Sichos Vol. 15 pg 173), the Rebbe emphasizes the midrash in Yalkut Shimoni. There it says that through lighting Shabbos candles we will merit that Hashem will show us the lights of Zion and usher in the redemption. May it be speedily now!

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Opinions and Comments
may she have a lichtige Gan Eden
and be a gute beter for you
You are blessed to call her mother
(7/26/2013 10:44:22 AM)
Beautiful but...
this is an amazing article and it sounds like she was an amazing person.

i just have one problem with this article.

"some of whom are Shluchim" this notion has to stop. in today's day and age where finding shlichus is impossible unless you have connections or are a relative, when we still speak about shlichus as the ultimate for a lubavitcher we accomplish a lot of people falling away because they feel like they can never make it.

We have to emphasize chassidishkayt, being mukusher, having yiddishe chassidishe nachas from our kids.

Disclaimer: i am a shliach and i am not from the US so excuse my English.
(7/26/2013 10:48:19 AM)
What a lovely story and I will bli neder think of your mother, Brocha Leah Chava bas Shmuel, as I make the effort to light candles before the 18 minutes.
(7/26/2013 11:09:24 AM)
that is a beautiful minhag. May her Neshama have an Aliya. May we see her with Moshiach now!
(7/26/2013 11:17:45 AM)
So beautiful. Will really try to participate and get threat of my family to do so also!! Such alot of true Naches for your mother!!
(7/26/2013 12:00:26 PM)
to #2
I agree with your comment:
""some of whom are Shluchim" this notion has to stop."

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember about shlichus is that you ARE a shliach of the Rebbe if you do what the Rebbe wants.
You don't have to be invited to the kinnus to be a shliach or work in a Chabad House.
See Hayom Yom for more info about what the Rebbe himself says about this.
A businessman, for example, can be an unbelievable shliach. So is a Rebbi, and and a Morah and any chosid that is doing what the Rebbe wants. It is not a title, or just an amazing privilege, but a huge responsiblity.
(7/26/2013 2:08:38 PM)
To #2
I don't think that the author's intention or point was to say that the pinnacle of being a Lubavitcher is going on shlichus. It was merely something she mentioned in passing because it IS something beautiful that her mother started a ripple effect, that eventually caused and is causing many, many people to learn about Yiddishkeit and do more mitzvos. In short, I think you missed the point of the article. What you're saying might be true, but here is not the time and place for it.
(7/26/2013 7:27:53 PM)
im so happy im seeing this right before shabbos so i can be a part of it! may her neshama have an aliyah!
(7/26/2013 7:34:18 PM)
to #2
Every Chossid and Chassidiste is a Shliach! This article testifies to that!
(7/27/2013 6:24:42 AM)
B'n, I'll try
My friend's mother is very sick, and we have been attempting to light 10 minutes early. I have managed two weeks in a row to light a few minutes before lichtsen. I'll try really, really hard this week to make it the full ten minutes, l'iluey nishmas your mother. ~ Leah in VA.
(7/28/2013 4:00:58 PM)
at the 8th day concert
I lived in LA for over 2 years of which I would see brocha almost every sunday and rebetzin raichiks sunday tehillim group. and on shabos in shul brocha ah was always with a smile a good word and actually I went back to visit and got such a warm hug at the concert, may her memory be a blessing and Moshiach right Now, which im sure shes rooting for in gan eden. clb
(7/29/2013 2:02:19 PM)
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