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Havdalah Made Easy

Shabbat
Available in on-screen reading friendly (PDF) and printer-friendly, downloadable (PDF) versions.

For more booklets, visit our Booklets for People in Interfaith Relationships page.

Abraham Joshua Heschel called Shabbat a cathedral in time. While in that "cathedral," we live as if the world were perfect, needing no change. We may close our computers and leave our work selves behind, to relish our family and friends, our beautiful world and to express our gratitude. We open the door to that cathedral as the sun sets on Friday evening and we sadly close the door twenty-five hours later with the Havdalah ritual.

Havdalah is Hebrew for separation. As we metaphorically close the door on Shabbat, we remind ourselves of the differing qualities of time that we have experienced. Just as we mark the end of childhood with bar/bat mitzvah, the end of high school and college with graduation ceremonies, Jews around the world mark the end of the special time of Shabbat and our reluctant move back to the world and all its demands with Havdalah.

This dramatic ritual is a favorite of both children and adults. It uses all five senses in the goodbye to the Sabbath. It can be the small, intimate ending note of a visit with friends that began on Shabbat afternoon or it can be a theatrical start to a big party on a Saturday night.

To help you conduct this ritual, InterfaithFamily.com brings you

Havdalah Made Easy

This colorful booklet explains all that you need for the brief, but memorable, ritual. Included are the four blessings over wine, fragrant spices, fire and distinctions, as well as the items that are needed for the rituals. Included are traditional songs to complete your ceremony.

This handy booklet is perfect for:

  • individuals and couples taking a class on the Sabbath;
  • parents, as they register their children for preschool or religious school;
  • new members of your community, given out in a welcome packet;
  • bar/bat mitzvah students looking for a way to transition into their Saturday night festivities.

 

 

Hebrew for "daughter of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish girls come of age at 12 or 13. When a girl comes of age, she is officially a bat mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bat mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The male equivalent is "bar mitzvah." A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis.
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