Havdalah (הַבְדָּלָה, “separation”) is our ceremony which marks the end of Shabbat, ushering in the new week. It is a practice common of all denominations and ethnic groups within Judaism.
The ritual involves lighting a special havdalah candle with several wicks, making a brachah over wine or grape juice, and smelling sweet spices. Shabbat ends on Saturday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky.
As this is one of the shortest services in Judaism, many havurot and synagogues find that it is a great occasion to bring members of the community together, or to introduce new folks to a meaningful Jewish tradition. People may gather friends and family at someone’s else, or it could be done at a synagogue, or even at a local park.
What are your favorite havdalah melodies? I really like this one. Sounds like a Jewish summer camp tune: Havdalah blessings with Moishe House and Elana Jagoda. This tune was composed by Debbie Friedman (ז״ל ) What is your favorite melody? Join our conversations here on Coffeehouse Torah Talk, our Facebook discussion group.
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