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Havdalah Home Ritual

See also:
Shabbat
Shabbat Evening Home Ritual

Please note that this page contain the name of God.
If you print it out, please treat it with appropriate respect.

If you do not have experience reading transliteration
please see the Guide to Transliteration.

The Havdalah service marks the end of Shabbat. It should be performed no earlier than nightfall on Saturday night. Nightfall is the time when three stars can be seen in the sky. It is normally about 45 minutes to an hour after sundown, depending on your latitude. For the precise time when Shabbat ends in your area, consult the list of candle lighting times provided by the Orthodox Union.

You will need three things for this ritual: a glass of wine or other liquid, some fragrant spices, and a special Havdalah candle.

P'ri Hagafen: Wine 

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The first of the four havdalah blessings is made over wine or another liquid. If wine or grape juice is not used, you should substitute shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (by whose will all things come to be) for borei p'ri hagafen (who creates the fruit of the vine).

Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
(if using wine or grape juice)

Hebrew
borei p'ri hagafen (Amein)
Who creates the fruit of the vine (Amen)

(if using other liquids)

Hebrew
shehakol nih'yeh bid'varo (Amein)
Who made all things exist through His word (Amen)

B'samim: Spices 

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The second blessing is recited over fragrant spices. The spices represent a compensation for the loss of the special sabbath spirit. The spices commonly used are cloves, cinnamon or bay leaves. They are commonly kept in a special decorated holder called a b'samim box.

Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe,
Hebrew
borei minei v'samim (Amein)
Who creates varieties of spices (Amen)

Eish: Fire 

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The third blessing is recited over the special, multi-wicked Havdalah candle. Havdalah candles can be obtained from Jewish gift stores. If you cannot obtain a Havdalah candle, you can hold two candles close together, so their flames overlap. I have also used party candles (long, very thin candles) that I warmed up and twisted together.

Lighting a flame is a vivid way of marking the distinction between the sabbath and the weekday, because we cannot kindle a flame on the sabbath.

After the blessing is recited, hold your hands up to the flame with curved fingers, so you can see the shadow of your fingers on your palms. This is done because it would be improper to recite a blessing for something and then not use the thing.

Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
borei m'orei ha'eish (Amein)
Who creates the light of the fire (Amen)

Havdalah: Separation 

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The final blessing is the havdalah blessing itself, the blessing over the separation of different things. The blessing is recited over the wine. After the blessing is complete, drink the wine. A few drops of wine are used to extinguish the flame from the candle.

Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha'olam
Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe
Hebrew
hamav'dil bein kodesh l'chol
Who separates between sacred and secular
Hebrew
bein or l'choshekh bein Yis'ra'eil la'amim
between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations
Hebrew
bein yom hash'vi'i l'sheishet y'mei hama'aseh
between the seventh day and the six days of labor
Hebrew
Barukh atah Adonai
Blessed are You, Lord
Hebrew
hamav'dil bein kodesh l'chol (Amein).
who separates between sacred and secular. (Amen)

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