Jewish Tangrams: Shabbat candles

Tangram Shabbat candles

Tangram Shabbat candles

Here’s another printable for Jewish tangrams: Shabbat candles. Fold the sheet to hide the solution or keep it flat for beginners. Click image to print pdf.

What it says:
Nerot Shabbat
 = Shabbat Candles. Ner is one candle, nerot is plural.  My Mac can’t deal with vowels, so you’ll have to pencil them in.
“‘Remember’ + ‘Observe’ = 2 candles” refers to the two different Shabbat commandments in the Torah (Exodus 20.8 and Deut. 5.12), whence comes the custom of lighting two flames to welcome the holiday.*

Why I made it:
This sheet will be “extra work” during my Shabbat Kit unit at school.  We recently made candleholders, so I keep a bunch of different candle types and holders on display to show a variety of ways we can welcome Shabbat, including a couple of Israeli candle boxes that say “nerot Shabbat” in Hebrew right there on the package.

box o' nerot

box o’ nerot

I love those boxes. They were some of the first Hebrew-y things in my house when I started doing all this aeons ago, and I never get tired of seeing the letters that taught me how to read.  (Some boxes also say “bougies,” which is French for candles and which makes me think of boogers.  I never get tired of seeing that, either.)

The candle puzzle is sized to a particular tangram set in order to help students who had trouble with my Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur tangrams.  A handful of kids really needed the tangram pieces and the printed outlines to match exactly—even when looking directly at the solution—so that they could slide the puzzle piece atop the corresponding shape.  Their visual-spatial skills just weren’t ready to translate drawings into 3-D objects a few inches away.  Most kids were fine, and some intuited the whole tangram thing in an instant.  But I want all my students to love tangrams, so I am happy to meet these few where they need to be met: at the most concrete level. Tangram training wheels.

two tangram sets = 2 nerot Shabbat

two tangram sets = 2 nerot Shabbat

Note that each ner / candle requires all 7 pieces of a tangram set.  My students have access to several sets, so they will be able to make both candles at the same time.  But if you only own one set of tangrams, you can only make one candle.  (See my Jewish Tangram Page for advice about printing and making sets for free.)  On my facebook page, I posted a hot tip about cheap, wooden sets available right now at Michaels craft store: 1$ each in the Stocking Stuffer aisle.  The pieces are thick and slick and a pleasure to move.  However, they are a seasonal item and will be gone soon.  Also, the word tangram is nowhere on the packaging or the shelf tag, so if you ask for staff assistance, just say “little wooden puzzles.”

About this pattern:  This is a traditional candle tangram found in any big tangram book, and is an excellent example of how easy it is to convert patterns to Judaism by re-naming them.  See my page about Jewish Tangrams for tangram tips and more printables.

Kashrut: Remember, tangrams are “kosher” play for Shabbat and other holidays.  They doesn’t count as “work” or “creation.”

*Number of flames to ignite Shabbat: minimum of two, but some folks add more. For example, one extra candle per family member.

2 responses to “Jewish Tangrams: Shabbat candles

  1. I like it! I am now halfway through making a pile of Tangram pieces. 🙂
    Are you planning any Chanukah themed patterns?