Watch Rabbanith Ruth Menashe's Shi'ur in Hebrew מעלת התהלים
Watch her weekly Shi'ur in English, on the depth and holiness of Shabbath candles
The holy day of Shabbath is intrinsically connected with light. On the first Shabbath, following the six days of Creation, after Adam and Eve sinned, G-d wanted to conceal the spiritual light from the world. Nevertheless, in honor of the holy Shabbath, he left this light to illuminate the world for that entire Shabbath, a total of thirty six hours, (including the twelve hours of Friday).
When we light the Shabbath candles we must be cognizant of the fact that the there is much more to the Shabbath candles than creating a warm and "cozy" atmosphere. There are many women who may not be observant, but still regularly light candles on 'Ereb Shabbath. I believe that they somehow sense the holiness attached to the Shabbath candles and their Neshama (soul) searches for a taste of spirituality.
The holy Zohar states that when we light the Shabbath candles we merit to receive a special illumination to our soul, which elevates us spiritually. There is a deep connection between the Shabbath candles and our soul. Through them we are able to connect and tune in to our soul. Who remembers that we even own a soul during the rest of the week? When we stand in front of the Shabbath candles and experience the incredible transition from the mundane to the heavenly, from the earthly to the holy, we feel the presence of G-d. "For the spirit of man is the candle of G-d" (Proverbs 20:27).
This is a marvelous way and opportunity to connect with our Creator and a special moment to cherish and appreciate.