Chapter: 08 – Havdala and Saturday Night

01. The Basic Principles of Havdala

It is a mitzva to conclude Shabbat with havdala, in which we give verbal expression to the difference between the sanctity of Shabbat and the ordinary weekdays. The laws pertaining to havdala are similar to those pertaining to kiddush. Just … Continue reading

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02. Havdala over Wine

The procedure for making havdala over wine is as follows. It is customary to begin with a series of verses from the Prophets and Writings to serve as good omens and start the week off on a positive note. This … Continue reading

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03. Customs Related to Havdala

Since the Sages ordained that havdala be recited over wine, the cup should be held during havdala. It is held in the right hand, as it is the more important one. This preference for the right hand is true for … Continue reading

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04. Using Beverages Other Than Wine

Ideally one should make havdala over wine, which is the most dignified beverage, as it nourishes and gladdens, so when it is enjoyed in the service of a mitzva, it has the unique capability to reveal the inner goodness of … Continue reading

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05. Besamim (Fragrance)

The Sages enacted the recitation of a berakha on smelling fragrance on Saturday night, because after Shabbat our spirits are despondent over the departure of the neshama yeteira. In order to revive them, we smell fragrance, which, according to the … Continue reading

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06. The Candle

The Sages instituted making a berakha over a candle on Saturday night, to commemorate God’s granting Adam the insight to strike two stones together to produce fire. Ideally, one makes the berakha over an avuka (lit., “torch”), that is, a … Continue reading

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07. The Latest Time to Make Havdala

If one did not make havdala over a kos on Saturday night, whether due to circumstances beyond his control such as a soldier on a mission, forgetfulness, or even on purpose, according to the majority of Rishonim (Rambam, Tosafot, Rosh), … Continue reading

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08. The Prohibition of Eating and Doing Melakha before Havdala

Just as there is a mitzva to extend the sanctity of Shabbat into Friday, there is a mitzva to extend it into Saturday night. Therefore, one must be careful not to perform any melakha until several minutes after tzeit. After … Continue reading

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