About Our Candles

 

As you might have read over on my food and lifestyle blog, ToriAvey.com, I am a big fan of natural products. Over the past few years, I have been working to find more natural, chemical-free products for my home. I spent a great deal of time looking into candles with a cleaner burn for our weekly Shabbat celebration. Most Shabbat and Jewish holiday candles on the market today are made from paraffin wax, which comes from petroleum-- not the healthiest choice for our health and the environment. There had to be a better way!

Then I discovered pure beeswax, which burns 99% clean and does not accumulate the black soot you often see with standard candles. I was very impressed by the health and environmental advantages of beeswax, but I wanted to make sure that it was the best and safest alternative to paraffin. I looked at both palm and soy wax, but they weren't suitable -- soy wax is too soft for making tapers, and there is a lot of ongoing debate about the sustainability of palm wax and its negative impact on rainforests. Pure beeswax proved to be the very best option for healthy, clean-burning sustainable candles.

While some Shabbat candles are marketed as beeswax, most contain a percentage of paraffin; it is difficult to find pure 100% beeswax candles. The cost of beeswax candles is higher than that of most other candles, but it is important to understand their value. In addition to the benefits I mentioned above, to make one pound of beeswax it takes about 8.5 lbs of honey. That’s a lot of work to keep the bees busy! I have done my best to keep costs low and have passed those savings on to you, especially through our subscription option. 

After a great deal of research, I feel confident that beeswax candles are the absolute best option for making my holiday taper candles. Their natural golden color is quite pretty, and they have a very faint, honey-like scent that I find homey and welcoming. My high quality candles are made right here in the United States from pure beeswax - no paraffin or additives. Most importantly, every single purchase helps to support bee research at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Bees are in trouble worldwide, and Hebrew University is on the cutting edge of researching ways to prevent colony collapse disorder and promote bee health.

Humans have been lighting candles for more than 5,000 years. Ancient Romans are believed to have developed the first wicked candle by dipping thick paper made from the pulp of the papyrus plant into tallow made from animal fat. When beeswax candles were introduced to Europe during the Middle Ages, they were favored by those who could afford them for their cleaner burn and pleasant smell.

Candles have a special significance in the Jewish faith. We light two each Friday evening to welcome the Sabbath. During Hanukkah, candles represent the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days in the Holy Temple. I will be adding more candle options to this market soon to fulfill every holiday need!