Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print

How You Can End Shabbat: Havdalah

A beautiful ceremony marks the end of ShabbatHavdalah, or "separation." It's a lovely way to greet the new week. You can say Havdalah as part of the evening service after Shabbat in synagogue, or recite the blessings over the multi-flame candle, the spices, and the wine at home. It's nice to look into the eyes of the people in your family and see the candle flame reflected in them.

The short ceremony comprises four blessings. At the end, it is customary to sing songs or greet each other with wishes for a good week.

First Blessing

Light the braided Havdalah candle, but don’t say a blessing yet.

The first blessing that we say is over the wine. Lift the cup of wine and say:


Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-gafen.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

Second Blessing

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


Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei minei v'samim.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of many kinds of spices.

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

Third Blessing

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


Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei m'orei ha-eish.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the lights of fire.

After the blessing, hold up your hands to feel the warmth of the braided candle. To make use of the light, some people look for the reflection of the candle light in their fingernails. Another custom has people start with fingers cupped toward their palms and slowly opening them to see the light on their palms.

Fourth Blessing

The last blessing is the Havdalah, separation, blessing:


Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, ha-mavdil bein kodesh l'chol,
bein or le'choshekh, bein Yisrael la-amim,
bein yom ha-shevi'i l'sheshet y'mai ha-ma'aseh.
Barukh ata Adonai, ha-mavdil bein kodesh l'chol.


Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who distinguishes between the sacred and the profane,
between light and darkness, between Israel and other people of the world,
between the seventh day and the six days of the week.
Blessed are You, Who distinguishes between the sacred and the profane.

We then sip the wine and sing Eliyahu HaNavi while slowly lowering the Havdalah candle into the wine so that the candle is extinguished as the song ends.

Eliyahu ha’Navi, Eliyahu ha’Tishbi, Eliyahu ha-Giladi. Bim’heira v'yameinu yavo eleinu, im Mashiach ben David.

May Elijah the Prophet come to us, heralding the Messiah, soon and in our days!

Conclusion

It is customary, at the ritual's conclusion, to sing "Shavua Tov" (a good week) and turn on the room's lights as it ends.

Shavua tov (8x)
A good week, a week of peace, may gladness reign and joy increase. (2x)


 

Return to the Guide to Shabbat and Havdalah for Interfaith Families Resource Guide.

Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." Hebrew for "separation" or "distinction," the ceremony marking the end of the Sabbath on Saturday evenings. The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday.
InterfaithFamily

InterfaithFamily is the premier resource supporting interfaith couples exploring Jewish life and inclusive Jewish communities. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our new InterfaithFamily/Your Community initiative providing coordinated comprehensive offerings in local communities.

If you have suggestions, please contact network@interfaithfamily.com.

Send to Friend  Bookmark  Print

Welcome to InterfaithFamily!

We want to know what you think of our resources. Take our User Survey now through November 22, 2013 and enter to win a $500 American Express gift card!