Havdalah is one of the most overlooked Jewish celebrations that should get more attention. It’s short, it has cool props, and it has wine. Havdalah marks the space in time whenis over, which might sound sad at first. Havdalah (from the Hebrew word for separation) occurs on Saturday evening when the sun goes down. So, depending on the time of year, because the days are a lot longer in the summer, Havdalah is often done right before people head out to meet friends, go out for ice cream, head to the bar, check email… whatever their plans are. Which makes it not so sad, right?
Havdalah. Sort of like Burning Man without the dust.
In the days before people had Apple watches, Havdalah took place when people could see three stars in the night sky. These days people generally celebrate Havdalah about an hour after sundown. The idea is that you’re spiritual during Shabbat. If you’re observant, you might not use electricity and refrain from lots of mundane tasks… no shopping, no driving, no use of money, etc. When done according to tradition, Shabbat really is a totally restful day. But it’s so restful we need Havdalah to help us ease out of it and get us back to the real world. We use all five of our senses to help bring us back. We taste the wine, smell the spices, see and feel the candle flame, and hear the blessings.
Havdalah has helped more people transition than the gender assignment team at The Cleveland Clinic.
If you like big flames get yourself a Havdalah candle!
The blessing recited over wine or grape juice. Some families just do the first line (up to “Amen”) and others do the full blessing. As always, do whatever feels right to you!
First line: Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p’ree hagafen. Amen. Last line: Blessed are You, God, Spirit of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. Amen…
First line: Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei minei v’samim. Last line: You just take a sniff and pass it to the next person…
First line: Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei m’orei ha-eish. Last line: Seriously, don’t burn yourself…
The shortest Jewish service of the year! And it happens every week.
Havdalah, which comes at the end of Shabbat, is a time to bask in the beauty of renewal, and a reminder to take the peaceful feeling into the week we are about to begin.
First line: The sun slides from the sky as the sparks of the day are tamped out. Last line: Let us take it home to shine in our daily lives…
It's a little sad to say goodbye to Shabbat, but who doesn't like Saturday night?
Why make an account and save your favorite JewBelong stuff? Because someday Jack is going to get off his ass and pop the question and you’re going to get to plan that wedding you've been thinking about since third grade.
Because why use any of your precious brain cells to remember where you kept those great readings that you’ll use someday at Jeffrey’s B Mitzvah? Make an account, keep the readings there. Easy peasy. The only thing you’ll need to remember is your password, and from personal experience that’s hard enough.
Hey, can you watch the phones on Friday? We have a thing.