What is the written Torah source requiring Jews (and/or specifically Jewish women) to light Shabbat candles just before Shabbat begins?

My understanding is that mitzvot may only come from the written Torah, but I've also heard that there are 'Rabbinical mitzvot.' Is this Rabbinic or is there a written Torah source?

  • 1
    It is one of the seven rabbinic mitzvot. Feb 18 at 2:48
  • 1
    The Torah also commands us to listen to the decrees of the Sages. In this case, they commanded that one have light for the night of Shabbos.
    – N.T.
    Feb 18 at 3:07
  • 1
    @N.T. Ok. I knew the concept of listening to the sages, but I thought that was for the derivative portions, that 'fence' put up around mitzvot. Like not boiling a kid in it's mother's milk becomes no cheese on a chicken sandwich. Or pre-tear the toilet paper before Shabbos. I did not know some of the mitzvot were like this. Being a Noahide, I learn something new everyday.
    – user34203
    Feb 18 at 3:23

1 Answer 1


This is one of the so-called seven Rabbinic mitzvot, together with e.g., saying Hallel, washing hands before eating and reading the Megillah on Purim.

chabad.org gives background (here)

G‑d gave the Jewish nation 613 mitzvahs in the Torah. There are seven additional mitzvahs that the prophets and rabbis of the ancient judicial courts initiated during the first millennium after the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. The rabbis also instituted many additional decrees for the purpose of preserving the original 613 commandments.

When a rabbinical court institutes a new mitzvah or decree, and it is accepted among the Jewish nation, it becomes a part of Torah and Judaism. In fact, the Torah states, “According to the law they [the rabbinical courts] instruct you and according to the judgment they say to you, you shall do; you shall not divert from the word they tell you, either right or left.” Thus the Torah commands us to heed the instructions of the great rabbinical courts.

  • 1
    I never understood the insistence by some to perpetuate the myth of seven rabbinic commandments. Hazal never said the rabbinic commandments were restricted to seven and there are clearly more than that. Feb 18 at 11:46

You must log in to answer this question.