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I've seen in the past that it is proper to look at the candles when saying "yom hashishi" during Friday night Kiddush. I think it is a Sefardi thing, but I can't find any reference to it in Yalkut Yosef, so could be wrong about that.

What's the reason for this?

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The Rama (OC 271:10) cites this practice from the Maharil. It is intended to heal the eyes from damage caused by taking large steps (Brachot 43b).

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