In the midst of a global pandemic, as we sat at home on Friday nights (and all nights actually) we missed the joy and community we felt in our old regular days. We wanted to find a way to bring a feeling of peace, calm, and reflection to people in a time where so many of us were feeling isolated and alone. With some extra time on our hands and the desire to stay focused on something positive, we formed Shabbat Candle Club to send strength, healing, beauty, celebration, connection and light into our community and the world.
The inspiration for Shabbat Candle Club actually came about in March of 2019. Aaron Atwell married Karli and was inspired by her deep commitment to Judaism. After his daughters’ Bat Mitzvahs Aaron was compelled to travel his own Jewish journey. As a 50 year-old, Aaron chose to be called to the Torah to become Bar Mitzvah with 15 others in an adult B’nai Mitzvah. Vayakhel was the Torah portion for that week which included instructions to bring gifts to the Temple made of gold, silver, and copper; blue, purple, and crimson yarns, fine linen, and acacia wood. Aaron made yaads (ceremonial sticks used to follow along while reading from the Torah) from a fallen blaze maple tree in his yard to give as gifts to his cohorts and decorated the yaads accordingly with many beautiful colors.
As non-Jewish, long time friends, Kyle and Mara wanted to give Aaron a meaningful gift to recognize his Bar Mitzvah that incorporated these special colors as well as recognizing Aaron’s calling to join the Jewish faith. This is where the Shabbat Candle Club was born. Kyle created and gave Aaron the first three-month Shabbat Candle Club subscription with candles in crimson and blue with a golden flame, the specific Torah readings for each Shabbat, candle lighting times and a personalized letter. On the inside of the box they included the hand made sealed “A” that you will still find inside our boxes today- as a nod to the past, the origin of the Shabbat Candle Club, and the lasting strength of life-long, interfaith friendships.