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Op-Ed: Shmiras Shabbos – Shabbat Candlelighting Times

We stand at a time in preparation for Moshiach, readying ourselves for the advent of welcoming Moshiach momentarily.

Rising to the occasion, we are focused on the initiation of keeping two Shabbasos, אם אתם משמרים נרות של שבת אני אראה לכם ,נרות של ציון as a key factor in changing the course of history. At the same time, we each seek to beautify our Shabbos experience and to share it with others. What a beautiful credit it is to Jewish women and families globally, who prepare lavish tables full of delectable home-made foods- the very best for Shabbos! And the numbers on our guest list are astounding!

This year, due to Covid restrictions, Shabbat gift packages have taken the place of at-the-table Shabbos guests. Shabbat- in-a-box is being distributed throughout the world, bringing Shabbat festivity to so many. Shabbat candles, Challah, foods, cookbooks and beautiful table settings adorn these packages as is fit for a king’s table.

Truly all of the above is to the great credit of so many, all the Jewish people in the diaspora awaiting Moshiach. With so many Mitzvos being done, there are perhaps the forces of darkness that play a role when light is expanding, and klipah aims to dim that light.

There is a concerning issue that should be brought to everyone’s attention. At the Jewish New Year, calendars are mailed or distributed by hand to friends and family and to all members of the Jewish community. Promotional calendars arrive from various organizations (and from your own children who are Chabad Shluchim around the globe) too many to name, very often with their locale’s particular candle lighting times. Not all calendars are your own local Shabbat candle lighting times!

We must be vigilant to check and re-check that throughout the year we are using our local calendars. It can become very confusing if we mistakenly use a stored calendar that could be, even a few minutes off schedule. This is a Shabbos concern for all G-d fearing individuals to heed accurate times for lighting Shabbos candles.

Additionally, when traveling, too often we take chances on arriving to our destination, whether on Mivtzaim routes or as guests, within minutes of Shabbos-18 minutes to Shkiah!

I urge each and everyone to renew their commitment to the punctilious adherence of Shabbos from the get-go. Every minute is crucial and our Geulah is waiting to happen, ברגעא חדא – ומיד הן נגאלין.

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