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An Havdallah Service

With Lawrence Joseph Kirchheimer

Part of the Friday night service is the Leh Chad Dodi prayer, Go forth my beloved. We turn around and recite the last stanza Bo Ee Kallah, Enter, O Bride! We welcome the Sabbath Queen. In the days of mystics in a city called Safed in Israel Jews would journey outside the city to recite this prayer. Why? Kabbalists would go out in the fields the place of work and escort the bride as she returns back to G-d, her “Husband”

As the sun sets and darkness descends on Saturday night the Sabbath Queen departs. The Havdallah service fills us with hope and courage for the next 6 days. Day 1,2,3,4,5,6 then Shabbat. No Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. In Israel they follow day 1 thru 6-then Shabbat. What is Havdallah? Havdallah means separation. Between Light and Darkness – between Holy and mundane. Havdallah service begins when 3 stars are out on Saturday night. What do I need? A prayer book/card, a cup and Kosher wine, spice and a 6 wicks torch or two candles to hold in the same hand.

The candle is lit from another candle that was lit on Friday before the Sabbath began. The spice is made ready and the cup of wine is filled/overflowing.

Pick up the cup with your right hand and pass it to your left hand then set it into the palm of you right hand. Then light the torch or two candles.

One should be standing while one recites the prayers, you will need a seat for the part where you drink the wine.

Havdallah consists of 9 joyful biblical versus, this places us in the spiritual mindset for a hopeful and joyous week to come.

  1. Indeed G-d is my deliverance; I am confident and shall not fear,
  2. For G-d the L-rd is my strength and song, and He has been a help to me.
  3. You shall draw water with joy from the wellsprings of deliverance.
  4. Deliverance is the L-rd’s: may Your blessing be upon Your people forever.
  5. The L-rd of hosts is with us; the G-d of Jacob is our everlasting stronghold.
  6. L-rd of host, happy is the man who trusts in You.
  7. L-rd, deliver us; may the King answer us on the day we call.
  8. The following line is said first by those listening to Havdallah and then by the leader.
  9. For the Jews there was light and joy, gladness and honor-so let it be with us!

The leader recites, Attention Gentlemen!
I will raise the cup of deliverance and invoke the name of the L-rd.

Blessing over wine

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Everyone says Amen – Sabbath starts with wine and ends with wine.

Blessing over the spice

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who creates various kinds of spices.
Everyone says Amen – All sniff the aromatic spices. Spices are for a sweet week and comfort us that our 3rd soul depart, obtained during the Sabbath.

Blessing over the fire

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who creates the lights of fire.
Everyone says Amen – Look at the flame and enjoy the light, lift one’s fingertips so the flames glow falls on them. Adam on Saturday night banged two rocks together and created fire for the first time.

The main Havdallah text

Lift the wine cup and say the following:

Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who makes a distinction between sacred and mundane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, between the Seventh Day and the six work days. Blessed are you, L-rd, who makes a distinction between sacred and mundane.

Have a seat, drink 1.5 ozs. Of wine, then extinguish the flame with the remaining wine. Dip your fingertips in the wine on the plate and wish everyone, Shanuah Tov “A good week.”

Song: Eliyahu Hahnahve

Moshe Storch


Eliyahu           Hahnahve

Eliyahu           Hatish’bi

Eliyahu           Eliyahu

Eliyahu           Hagiil’adi

Bim’Herah       Beyameinu

Yavo                  Eleinu

Im Mashi’ach       Ben David

Im Mashi’ach       Ben David

Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Giladite, May he soon come to us, with Mashiach the son of David.

Song: - Kol Ha’Olam Kulo

Ofra Haza

Avraham Fried

Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tsar meh ode
gesher tsar meh ode

Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tsar meh ode
gesher tsar meh ode

Ve’ha’ikar – ve’ha’ikar
Lo le’fah’ched
Lo le’fah’ched klal.

Ve’ha’ikar – ve’ha’ikar
Lo le’fah’ched
Lo le’fah’ched klal.

In all the world there is a very narrow bridge and when you come upon it? The main point is not to be afraid at all!

The first time hearing this song was in Israel and translated word by word, ah a driver education song. Then I realize it is a spiritual song, we have the strength to rise up and face what HaShem puts in front of us. If it is something not positive then view it as a challenge just like a diving board, why?

The farther one goes down the higher one goes up, meaning look at where you start before you jump on the diving, you are level and then go down and you rise above the levelness. An opportunity for you by choice to grow.

I'd like to thank Rabbi Shlomo for the opportunity to present this explanation of Havdallah.
         Lawrence Joseph Kirchheimer B”H

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