The Havdalah Celebration

havdalah

It’s been a long week, the house is cleaned, everyone is resting, reading Scripture, enjoying fellowship. Sometimes it seems like one week you worked harder than other weeks, or everything just didn’t go as planned. There are some weeks when a day of rest of so greatly needed. But all good things must come to an end. Shabbat is ending, day is coming to its closing. Is there a special way to end the Shabbat, a way to celebrate the closing of an awesome day of rest?  Those in practice of Judaism end Shabbat with a ritual called, the Havdalah.

200px-Havdalah

The Havdalah braided candle, representing dark and light, the wine and the spices.

What is a Havdalah? The Havdalah is a Jewish religious ceremony, considered a Mitzvah (Hebrew for “Command”) that is performed at the end of every Shabbat. It is a Hebrew word, it means “division” or “separation”. Havdalah is the ritual that formally ends the weekly Shabbat and thus separating it from the beginning of the new week. At the closing of the Shabbat, a special Havdalah braided candle is lit with several wicks, blessing a cup of wine or grape juice and the of smelling sweet spices. h1How is the Havdalah done? A special blessing is recited over Kosher wine or grape juice, there is a specially decorated box of spices such as whole cloves, cinnamon pieces, allspice, orange zest, crushed bay leaf and myrtle leaf. This spice box is called ‘besamim’ and is passed around the room for all to smell. The special braided candle is then lit. If a braided candle is not available, two candles, or matches are acceptable and the two flames are to be joined together during the reciting of the blessing. The blessing goes this way, “Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam, bo’re m’orei ha’esh,” translated as, “Blessed are You, Adonai, our Elohim, King of the universe, Who creates the fruit of the vine.” As this blessing is being recited, those participating in it are encouraged to hold their hands up to flame of the candle(s), gazing at the light glowing into their fingers. After the wine is passed around the room, the leftover wine is poured into a small dish, saucer, plate or bowl and the candle is extinguished in it. Some actually place their fingers into the leftover wine after it extinguishes the candle and touch their eyelids or pockets. The song “Eliyahu Hanavi” is then sung.

<<HEBREW>>
Eliyahu hanavi,
Eliyahu hatishbi,
Eliyahu hagiladi.

Bimheirah b’yameinu,
yavo eileinu,
im Mashiach ben David

<<ENGLISH>>
Elijah the prophet
Elijah the returning,
Elijah the giladi –

May he soon come to us,
with the messiah son of David.

Havdalah is a Mitzvah? A Command? Havdalah is known as a Mitzvah, meaning, it is a Command. So the Rabbi’s say. Havdalah is not found anywhere in the Scriptures.The slightest hint of Havdalah can be found in the following excerpts.

havdalah1

… … … “Remember the Shabbat to sanctify if.” … … … “At the beginning with Kiddush and at the end with Havdalah.”

havdalah4

“It is a Rabbinic command…”

havdalah2

What is that? …. Havdalah. … obligation by an existing oath from Mount Sinai…”

havdalah3 http://www.rabbisedley.com/halacha/shabpos/kiddush1.pdf Clearly one can see, the Havdalah is not a Biblical Command, but a tradition and a Rabbinical command. Read your Scriptures and see if any of the mighty men of Yahuwah performed these rituals. Not even at Mount Sinai as it is claimed to be. It is nothing more than a Tradition of men. In fact, Yahushua spoke against the “traditions of men” (Mark 7:8)

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/practices/Ritual/Shabbat_The_Sabbath/At_Home/Havdalah.shtml

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/practices/Ritual/Shabbat_The_Sabbath/At_Home/Havdalah.shtml

“Our rabbis teach that on Shabbat, we are given an extra soul. At Havdalah, we relinquish that soul.” We are given an extra soul on Shabbat? Woah, and the Havdalah gathering is supposed to release this second soul? Singing a song to invoke the prophet Elijah? The only spirit or thing we should be invoking is Yahuwah’s Ruach upon us, to teach and guide us in His truths, not men’s. We should not be singing to dead men either. MyJewishLearning also goes on: “To make Havdalah, a braided candle, a spice box filled with spices, and a kiddush cup for wine or grape juice are needed. Form a circle in a fairly dark room and have different people hold the candle, the spice box, and the kiddush cup. The Havdalah blessings are recited in Hebrew or English, either by one person or all together. As each blessing is said, the relevant item is made accessible to the group: The kiddush cup is held up for all to see, but the wine is not sipped yet. The spices are passed around, and each person takes a moment to smell their sweetness. The candle is held high, and every person puts a hand up into the candle’s light, turning the hands over, palms in, and bending the fingers. Some people look into the eyes of those near them to see the light reflected there.”

   We can see the mysticism of this ritual and the commands of men that is performed by the believers of the Havdalah at every Shabbat ending. There is nothing wrong with gathering at the end of Shabbat, but these rituals (candle lighting, letting the glow from the candles shine through your fingernails, smelling spices, dipping the candle in wine, gathering in a circle etc, etc) that originate from Talmudic Kabbalistic, Jewish Mysticism. The Havdalah is not Scriptural.

This entry was posted in Currently uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Havdalah Celebration

  1. Tom Schattke says:

    I believe it is good to mark the close of Sabbath and return to the days of working. But I agree that it should be scriptural and none of the man-made rules are important to us. We are ruled by Yahweh and His Torah. Make the little ceremony whatever helps your family to value the Sabbath command more. We praise Yahweh for ALL of the Sabbath command – The six days of work and the seventh day of rest and closer relationship with Yahweh and Messiah, the Master of Sabbath. Brother Tom

  2. Mark Rounds says:

    We have been meeting with a small fellowship the past 4 months and they perform a Havdalah each Shabbat. I didn’t know what the words we sang in Hebrew but it all seemed a bit too “man-made/Rabbinic”. I will still fellowship with them but my wife and I will pass on this tradition. Thanks for your help understanding this Hebrew custom.
    Shalom

  3. Judi says:

    Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing

  4. Leo says:

    The soul is not something that you have, it what you are. you are a living soul.

Comments are closed.