The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 30 June 2012 / 9 Tammuz 5772

The Candle Cure

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

In our "Generation of Return" it often happens that one spouse becomes committed to the observance of mitzvot while the other lags behind.

One such case involved a woman who had become Shabbat observant and came to complain to her local rabbi that her still irreligious husband smokes on Shabbat and ruins the atmosphere of holiness which she tries to maintain in their home.

His advice to her was to ask her husband to refrain from smoking as long as the Shabbat candles burned. When she reported that her husband had agreed to this compromise and actually refrained from smoking as long as the candles burned, the rabbi advised her to use thicker candles the next Shabbat. Once again the husband was faithful to his commitment. After a few weeks she lit even larger candles until she finally started lighting those "Yahrzeit candles" which burned throughout the Shabbat and kept her home cigarette smoke-free throughout the Holy Day of Rest.

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