For some months now we've been working closely with a Rabbi from the Kashrut Authority on getting Queen B candles kosher certified. Many of my friends are Jewish and I've been blessed to be a part of plenty of their celebrations. All of which seem to feature candles. All of which (without exception) were lit by paraffin candles - unless I provided the beeswax ones!
It seems a travesty to bring your loved ones together to breathe in the fumes from petroleum by-product candles.
I figured there was no point in whingeing about it. So we've done something about it. We're delighted to now have Kosher Certification for our entire range of candles.
So what, you may ask, makes a candle kosher?
'Kosher' means 'fit to use'. It is a term most commonly applied to food that meets certain requirements, but can also be applied to other products the meet the requirements of being fit for use.
From a candle perspective there are 3 relevant considerations:
1. the fuel must be from a kosher source - pure, unadulterated, natural beeswax gets a tick. Since it is not a food (ma'achal) its status as a product secreted from bees (yotzei min hatamei) does not make it non-kosher. Beeswax is considered kosher provided that no non-kosher solvents are used in its processing (at Queen B we use water), and it contains no non-kosher additives (we use no additives at all).
2. the wick must be pure - cotton wick gets a tick
3. the candlemakers - we got a tick there too.
Whilst our tealights, tapers, solid pillars and Bee Lights are all perfect for Shabbat candles, the Rabbi has also been advising me on the requirements for specific occasions. Some of those are taking a little longer in testing than others! First to be ready are our Chanukah candles.
Our bundle of 45, Kosher Certified, pure beeswax Hanukkah candles come in a 1.5 hour burn time option
And just in case you think I'm being tricky and these are just Bee Lights by another name, they're actually not. They are slightly fatter (to fit in the standard Menorahs in which they were tested) and slightly shorter to meet the burn time requirements.
We look forward to adding new products to our range for specific occasions or specific requirements. Stay tuned.