How To Perform Havdalah

The end of Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, and the beginning of the new week are marked by the Havdalah ceremony.The rituals are performed after sundown each Saturday to get you to look both back and ahead.It is a good time to reflect on what made Shabbat special, and to think of loved ones who can’t be with you.

Step 1: The candle, wine, and spices need to be prepared.

The Havdalah candle is braided and has several wicks.A wine glass and a spice box are filled.The ceremony begins by making fire, which is symbolic of civilization, hope, and a way to overcome darkness.Adam and Eve were afraid of the darkness until G-d showed them how to make fire.The memory of the candle’s warmth and light will remain even when it is no longer burning.

Step 2: The prayer needs to be over the wine.

Wine symbolizes hope and joy.The transliteration is “Baruch ata Adonai eloheynu melech ha’olam borei p’ri hagafen.”This is translated as: Blessed are you Adonai our God, the creator of the universe.

Step 3: The prayer should be over the spices.

Transliterate the prayer in this way: Adonai eloheynu melech ha’olam Borei miney b’samim.The English translation is: Blessed are you Adonai our God, ruler of the universe, creator of all the spices.The box can be passed around.It reminds you that the next Shabbat is only six days away.

Step 4: The prayer should be over the candle/light.

You can extend your hands towards the flame to feel its heat and appreciate its beauty while praying.The prayer says that Adonai is the creator of the light of fire.

Step 5: Allow the concluding prayer to be said.

The blessing closes the ceremony and points to the new week that has just begun.The prayer is: Blessed are you Adonai our God, ruler of the universe, who separates the sacred from the profane.

Step 6: To start the new week, Extinguish the candle.

You are left in relative darkness when the candle is put out.It is time to look forward to the new week and what it has to offer.The last sound of the snuffed flame is what distinguishes the holy from the mundane.

Step 7: After sundown on Saturday, start Havdalah.

The traditional timing is to wait until three medium sized stars can be seen in a single glance at the sky, and the service should not begin before sundown.Some people start Havdalah one hour and ten minutes later than others.On Saturday, Havdalah would begin at 7:10 PM on Friday.The start time is based on sunset in their location.If that day’s sunset time is 7:13 PM, Havdalah would begin before 8:00 PM.You can find online and printed guides to help you figure out when to start.You can ask about the traditional start time determination.

Step 8: Pour the wine and give it to yourself.

Many celebrants choose to pour just a bit more wine than the cup or glass can hold, allowing some to spill over onto a plate positioned underneath.The hope for an overflow of blessings is represented by this.Some people at the end of the service rub their eyebrows or ears with spilled wine after dipping their fingers into it.The hope is to hear good things in the coming week.

Step 9: Pick up the key items.

The fine details of holding up the wine, spices, and candle vary from service to service.If you are a left-handed person, you can follow this version: Pick up the wine in your right hand, pray, and move it to your left hand.Pick up the spices in your right hand, pray, smell them, and give them to others to do the same.While another holds the candle, please bless it.All present can extend their hands towards the candle during the blessing.The wine should be moved back to your right hand.

Step 10: Decide how to say the prayers.

There are variations in the wording of the blessings given.You may want to talk to your local community.Here, you can see a more detailed version of the final blessing: Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam.They are between sacred and secular.Amen.

Step 11: The wine should be used to extinguish the candle.

The candle is extinguished after the service is over.The blessed wine can be used to do this.The leader of the service drinks wine after the final prayer.A dish or bowl holds the rest of the wine.The candle is dipped in wine.Wine can be poured onto the empty dish if the candle flame is held over it.