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What is Havdalah?
Havdalah comes from the Hebrew word “l'havdil,” meaning “to separate.” The mitzvah of havdalah is performed at the conclusion...

In Havdalah, we bless “He who creates the illuminations of fire.” Why is "illuminations" plural?
Actually there is an opinion in the Mishnah, Beit Shammai, that says that the blessing should be “he who created the illumination of fire.”...

Why do we smell fragrant spices during the havdalah ceremony?
At the conclusion of every Sabbath, during the "havdalah" ceremony, we sniff at aromatic herbs or spices (whole cloves are very popular). When...

What's the deal with Havdalah when Shabbat and Yom Tov are consecutive?
When Yom Tov ends on Friday night, Havdalah is not made. Havdalah is only made when entering a day of lesser holiness, and the Shabbat is holier than...

Why do we gaze at our fingernails to the light of the havdalah candle?
We look at our nails during havdalah because1 :a. In order to make the brachah on the candle, it must be close and bright enough for us to be able...

Why do we extinguish the havdalah candle with wine from the havdalah cup?
We extinguish the Havdalah candle with wine to demonstrate that this candle was lit solely for the mitzvah of havdalah. This was especially important...

Why do we dip a finger into the leftover havdalah wine and dab it over the eyes?
King David writes (Psalms 19:9) "the command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes". With the onset of the new week we demonstrate that...

What should I do if I don't have spices for Havdalah?
You make Havdalah without spices, obviously omitting the blessing on the spices. If you can acquire spices afterwards, you can recite the blessing...

Why do havdalah candles have multiple wicks?
The blessing we recite on the candle is addressed to “He who creates the illuminations of fire.” We, therefore, light multiple sources of...

Why do we sing about Elijah after the Havdalah Service?
Rabbi Wagner: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment... Janet: Why is it customary to sing Eliyahu Ha-Navi1 at the end of a Havdalah Service? Rabbi...

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