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introduction
Source : InterfaithFamily
A beautiful ceremony marks the end of Shabbat on Saturday evening. This ending ritual is called Havdalah, which means separationor distinction in Hebrew. The Torah teaches that God created the world by making distinctions, first between light anddarkness, next between water and empty space, then between earth and water. The final distinction made in that week of creation was between regular time and holy time. Just as candles, wine and challah begin Shabbat, a braided candle, wine and spices mark the end of Shabbat. We use all five of our senses ina short ritual. Even if you haven’t spent the day celebrating Shabbat, Havdalah is a lovely time to gather family and friends together before you move into the week of errands, chores and work. The Havdalah ceremony consists of blessings over wine, fragrant spices, the braided candle and, lastly, acknowledging distinctions. There are also two simple songs that conclude the ceremony.

The Four Blessings: Background

Shabbat officially ends when you can see three stars in the night sky. Inorder to watch the light fade from the sky, turn off your lights. You may wish to hold your Havdalah ritual by the fading light shining through your windows.You will need a braided candle, a full cup of wine and a container of fragrant spices.

Why a braided candle? The blessing refers to “lights of fire.” The braided candle gives us several wicks to represent those lights. Braided candles can be purchased at Jewish bookstores where you will find many variations, from two candles twisted together to multiple, multicolored braids. In a pinch, you can hold two Shabbat candles together or even two matches. Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin interprets the braiding of the candles saying,

"We tend to enter Shabbat with our souls unraveling, pulled as we are in so many directions by the demands of the week and the many roles we play. On Shabbat, we have time to weave together those disparate strands of our lives. We may begin the day like the Shabbat candles, apart, pieces of ourselves separated from one another. But through the peace of Shabbat,we emerge whole once again, woven together like the wicks of the Havdalah candle.

[From The Tapestry of Jewish Time: A Spiritual Guide to Holidays andLife-Cycle Events, Behrman House, 2000, page 44.]

Why A Full Cup Of Wine?

Wine is a symbol of the sweetness of Shabbat. The full glass of wine that we use symbolizes our wish for the blessings of Shabbat to overflow into the coming week.

Why Spices?

We are thought to have a second soul on Shabbat that leaves us when Shabbat ends. The sweet smell of the spices reduces our sadness at the departure of Shabbat. There is only one rule about the fragrant spices: that there should be more than one. You may use cloves and cinnamon from your baking cupboard or any other sweet smelling herbs, flowers or fragrant fruit.

It is easy to make your own spice container or use any open dish or container. If you insert whole cloves into an orange, you will have a “spice box.” You may also purchase elegant silver or pottery versions tohold your spices.

Wine
Source : InterfaithFamily

Light the braided Havdalah candle, but don’t say a blessing yet.Thefirst blessing that we say is over the wine. Lift the cup of wine and say:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּֽפֶן

Baruch atah, Adonai, Elohaynu melech ha'olam, boray pri hagafen.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
[A traditional translation.]

-

Holy One of Blessing,Your Presence fills creation,forming the fruit of the vine.

[An alternative translationfrom Vetaher Libenu, a prayerbook created byCongregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley.]

Spices
Source : InterfaithFamily

The second blessing is over the spices. Lift the spices and say:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי בְשָׂמִים

Baruch atah, Adonai, Elohaynu melech ha'olam, boray minay vesamim.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe,who creates species of fragrance.

[A traditional translation.]

After saying the blessing, inhale the sweet smell. Pass around the spicebox so that everybody can inhale the scent deeply.

Fire
Source : InterfaithFamily

The third blessing is over the lights of the candle, which we havealready lit. We say:

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ

Baruch atah, Adonai, Elohaynu melech ha'olam, boray me'oray ha'aysh.

-

Blessed are You, Lord our God, ruler of the universe, whocreates the lights of fire.

[A traditional translation.]

-

Blessed are you, THE RADIANCE,our God, the sovereign of all worlds,who creates the light of fire.

[An alternative translation from KolHaneshamah, the Reconstructionist siddur.]

-

After the blessing, hold up your hands tofeel the warmth of the braided candle. Tomake use of the light, some people look forthe reflection of the candle light in theirfingernails. Another custom has people startwith fingers cupped toward their palms andslowly opening them to see the light ontheir palms.

Havdalah Blessing
Source : InterfaithFamily

The last blessing marks the separation of Shabbat from the rest of the week. We say:

,בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹֽדֶשׁ לְחוֹל, בֵּין אוֹר לְחֹֽשֶׁךְ
.בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים, בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵֽׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹֽדֶשׁ לְחוֹל

Baruch atah, Adonai, Elohaynu melech ha'olam, hamavdil bayn kodesh lechol bayn or lechoshech
bayn Yisrael la'amim bayn yom hashevi'i leshayshet yemay hama'aseh.
Baruch atah, Adonai, hamavdil bayn kodesh lechol.

-

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who separates
between holy and secular, between light and darkness, between Israel
and other peoples, between the seventh day and the six days of work.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, who separates between holy and secular.

[A traditional translation.]

-

Blessed are you, The Many-Named, our God, the sovereign of all worlds,
who separates between holy and ordinary, light and dark,
the seventh day and the six days of work.
Blessed are you, The Invisible who separates the holy from the ordinary.

[An alternative translation from Kol Haneshamah, the Reconstructionist siddur.]

We then sip the wine and extinguish the candle in the remaining wine. Many have the custom of singing “Eliyahu Ha’Navi” while slowly lowering the Havdalah candle into the wine so that the candle is extinguished as the song ends.

Songs
Source : InterfaithFamily

El-i-ya-hu ha’Na-vi
El-i-ya-hu ha’Tish-bi
El-i-ya-hu ha-Gi-la-di
bim’hey-ra, v'ya-mey-nu,
ya-vo El-ey-nu
im Mash-i-ach ben Dav-id

The song is translated as,
“Elijah the Prophet, Elijah of Tishbe in Gilead, come to us speedily,in our days, with the Messiah, son of David.”

Songs
Source : Moishe House & G-dcast

Come learn the Havdalah blessings with Moishe House and Elana Jagoda! With a little help from our karaoke style video, you can practice blessing the wine, spices, fire and ending of Shabbat. Get familiar with the ceremony on your own, then try it out at Moishe House or *your* house.