Havdalah

June 20, 2006

[pl. “Havdalot”]; Separation; the prayer recited at the end of Shabbat or a Holiday, the opposite, in a sense, of the Kiddush Recitation. It praises G-d, the Creator of Time, as the One Who separates, or distinguishes between the two kinds of time; namely, the holy time and the mundane time. At the end of Shabbat, fragrant spices are used; they are smelled, and a blessing is recited, to arouse the soul from its sadness at the departure of the “neshama yetera,” the enhanced soul, which, according to Jewish tradition, couples with the “regular” neshama on Shabbat, and is part of the delight. A blessing is also recited on a candle on the night of the departure of Shabbat, “Motzaei Shabbat,” because it was that night that fire, that great gift, the foundation of all technological progress, was discovered/given to the human being.