Havdalah - Separation

(End of Shabbat)


The lighting of fire, is a forbidden act during the Shabbat period. In the Talmud practice explains that light begins with a new week, refer to the  Torah portion Beresheet 1:3-5 "Then Elohim said "Let there be light"; and there was light and Elohim saw the light that it was Tov (good) and Elohim divided the light from the darkness and Elohim called the light (owr) Yom (Day) and Choshek (darkness) He called Layil (night). And Erev (evening, sunset) and  Boker (the morning sunrise) were Ha Yom Rishon (the first day). Therefore we often wish each other "shavuos Tov" In the Brit Hadashah Yochanan 8:12 says " Then spake Yeshua again unto them saying "I AM the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life". As we begin our day of the week may His light guides us through our daily walk.

Havdalah come from the Hebrew word l'havdil meaning to separate and recognise that Almighty has made a separation between the sacred and the secular, between light and darkness and between shabbat and the rest of the days of the weeks. Havdalah is traditionally commence when there are three stars visible in the sky, that is about 20 minutes after nightfall. There is a tradition folk song entitle Birkat Havdalah

The Havdalah candle is lighted up before the Havdalah ceremony begins. A child or an adult would hold the candle, as all present gather around a table. As you notice the Havdalah candle is place on candle holder standing tall and bright. Does this remind me on the crossing of red sea there is this pillar of fire stand tall to guard against the Egyptian's hot pursue against the Yisrael. The Havdalah candle lighting is a picture that teach us that Almighty is our protection that we can seek refuge in Him, His word are a light unto our path. I like this verse from Psalms / Tehillim in which I would like to share with the visitors, He see us through our circumstance and guide us with His eyes.

Ps 119:105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Nathiyb; Derech, trodden with feet).
Ps 139:2-3 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest (sift) my path (orach) and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways (halachot).

We as believer in Moshiach together we stand as ONE (echad) standing gazing at the blazing light. The lesson here is that we are to love one another as the ONE body in Moshiach. May the verse on 1 Yochanan 1:7 remind us "But if we walk in the light as He (Yeshua) is in the light, we have fellowship with one with another and the blood of Yeshua Moshiach (Ha Ben YHVH) cleanseth us from all sin. These studies on the Havdalah service gives a Non-Jewish Believer in Moshiach  an understanding how the Jewish celebrate the Shabbat and end the Shabbat. May be from the service we can see some spiritual significants.

Did the early believer had the havdalah service? or the question when did the Shabbat ended? Our congregation do not follow such traditions that are not scriptural but rather a simple closing prayer.

The early Believer comprises both Jews and Non-Jews believers all practice ONE Torah principle in Moshiach as ONE Covenant people observe same thing, One accord and ONE mind, the Christian understanding of New Testament has not yet fully cannon, all they had was the Torah and they came on every Shabbat to learn the scriptures taught by the Apostles.  The scripture does not tell us exactly how, However this is Rabbinical practice in Jewish tradition. However there are some clue that descibe the nature of ending of Shabbat. Let us see the scripture:

Acts 20:7 On  Ha Yom Rishon (the first day) of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread (lechem) , Shaul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. And there was a young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor and was picked up dead.

Havdalah order of Blessings

Havdalah Blessings (2.4 Mb)

The Order of blessing are remember by the acronym YAVNEH

YA - Yayyin Wine

V (B) - Besamin

NE - Ner Candle

H - Havdalah

Behold, the Eternal is my Yeshua (Saviour), I will trust Him and not be afraid, for my strong

faith and song of praise for the Eternal will be my salvation.

You will draw water joyously from the wellsprings of Yeshua (salvation).

Salvation is Adonai's; may Your blessing rest upon Your people, Selah

Adonai of the heavenly armies is with us; the Eternal of Ya'akov is a fortress protecting us,


Adonai of the heavenly armies, happy is the individual who trusts You.

Mighty One, redeem us! The King will answer us on the day we call Him.

The Jews had light, happiness, joy and honor; may we have the same.

I will raise the cup of salvation and call out in the name of Adonai.

First Blessing over the wine

Tehillim 23:5b, Yeshayahu 12:2,3, Esther 8:16

Kos y'shuot esa, u'v'sheim Adonai ekra.

I lift the cup of deliverance and call upon Adonai.(Psalm 116:13 )

Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melekh ha'olam, boray pri hagafen.

Blessed are You, Adonai our Eternal, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

Drink the cup of wine.

Kos y'shuot esa, u'v'sheim Adonai ekra.

I lift the cup of deliverance and call upon Adonai.Havdalah order of service

Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melekh ha'olam, boray pri hagafen.

Blessed are You, Adonay our Eternal, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

Drink the cup of wine.

Article related to wine: http://www.jhom.com/topics/havdalah/wine.html

Second Blessing over the Spices (b'sameem)

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam, borei minei vesamim

Blessed are You, Adonai our Eternal, King of the universe, Creator of the different spices.

[Pass the spices around for all to smell.]

Traditional Significant:

This is a Jewish ritual tradition taken from the Talmud probably around the 3rd century. The reason for the smelling of spices are:

1.  It reminds us again of the joy of the Holy Yom Shabbat, bidding farewell to Shabbat fondly remember the fragrance of Elohim's shabbat. May we bring the fragrance of Shabbat to the people around us where the Almighty has place us.

2. Another reason is the finding comfort for the loss of one's extra soul ("Neshamah Yetayrah") acquired on Shabbat, base on the teaching from ***Tractate Baytzah (p. 16a) In the Jewish heritage Online  said that In addition the use of spices at the Havdalah service is explained as the way to strenghten the soul that becomes faith with the departure of the neshamah yeterah at the end of the Shabbat.

Note: When Rosh Shana fall on Shabbat / Havdalah No spices are used. (Rosh HaShanah Machzor)

The significant of the fragrance of spices.

As a Non-Jews, I do not know when this type of traditional ritual practice began, I could not find in the scripture that direct supports or any commandment given concerning the smelling of Spices both the Tenakh and Brit Hadashah. It is probably the concept of fragrance of spices that is applied here for the Shabbat. It is a Hebraic expression of longing and appreciation. The scripture verse that speaks of the Sweet incense are mention in Shemot 30:1-10 see diagram. Then in the book of Song of Songs 4:14, 16; 5:13; 6:2; 8:14. Mention about the seven Chief spices Spikenard, saffron, calmus cinnamon frankincense, myrrh and aloes . In Yochanan 19:38 - 39. Both Yosef of Ramatayim and Nakdimon came to claim the body of Moshiach Yeshua, we see that Nikdimon first came to Yeshua by night and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes. Moshiach's love poured out in a bitter but fragrance of His death is the type of pre-messianic symbol of the myrrh. The bitterness of the myrrh is the reality of the sufferings of Moshiach and thereafter produces the fragrance that remains. In the Brit Hadashah Rav Shaul tells us that we are to walk in love just as Moshiach also love us (2 Corinthians 2:15; Ephesians 5:2) However we are warn in Shemot 30:9"You shall not offer any strange incense on this altar, or burnt offering or meal offering; and you shall not pour out a drink offering on it.

Third Blessing over the fire

In a parallel midrash, Elohim sent Adam a pillar of fire to illuminate and protect him. Rejoicing, Adam put forth his hands to the lights of the fire and recited,"Blessed are You, O our Elohim, Melech Ha Olam, who creates the lights of the fire." the phrase Borei M'orrei Ha Eish is a plural expression.

Barukh atah Adonai Elohaynu melekh ha-olam, borei m'orei ha-eish.

Blessed are You, Adonai our Eternal, King of the universe, Creator of the illumination of the fire.

Tradition practice [Look at the fire through your finger nails (It is written in In Shulchan Aruch 298;3 explained in Mishna Brura ibid 9)  and also in Habakkuk chapter 3 vs 3-4 mention the "rays come forth from his hand", feel the warm of the fire, we will not fully see the light until Moshiach comes. Yes there are many things in Scriptures that we may not fully understand but we trust that when Moshiach comes again to take us home, He will reveal all things ]

Extinguish the Havdalah candles

Then extinguish the  Havdalah candle in the spilled wine on the saucer. In one of the Jewish Jewel site explains that the entire service of the havdalah has cover the five followings:
  1. We have seen  all the symbols of Erev Shabbat to Havdalah
  2. We have tasted the wine, bread - fellowship, communion, tasted the goodness of Adonay
  3. We have smelled the fragrant spices - presence of fragrant of Moshiach
  4. We have felt the warm of the Flame. - felt His presence.
  5. We have heard the Word of YHVH Elohim through the reading of scriptures.

All these five followings we have consecrated our five senses unto  before we return to our workforce and attend to the events to coming week.

Ha Mavdil - the final Blessing

Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam,

Blessed are You Adonai our Eternal, King of the universe,

ha-mavdil bein kodesh lechol

who separates between the holy and the secular;

bein or lechoshech

between the light and dark;

bein Yisra'el la'amim

between Israel and the other nations;

bein yom ha'shevi'i leshayshet yemei ha ma'aseh.

between the seventh day and the six days of the week.

Baruch atah Adonay ha mavdil bein Kodesh lechol.

Blessed are You Adonay, who separates between the holy and the profane.


Ruler of the universe, Father of mercy and forgiveness, we ask that You allow us to begin the

working days which are drawing near to us, in peace; released from all sin and transgression;

cleansed from all iniquity, trespass and wickedness; and clinging to the study of Your Torah,

and to the performance of good works.

In the coming week, allow us to hear only tidings of joy and gladness. May there not arise in

the heart of any man envy of us, or in us envy of any man.

O, our King, our Eternal, Father of mercy, bless and prosper the works of our hands.

And all who love us have thoughts of good to us and Your people Israel. Lift them up and

prosper them, and fulfill their objective.

But all who conceive against us and your people Yisrael, plans which are not good, frustrate

them, and cause their plans to fail; as it is written, "Take counsel together, but it will come to

nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For the Eternal is with us."

Open to us, Father of mercies and Adonai who forgives, in this week and the weeks to come,

the gates of light and blessing, redemption and salvation, of heavenly help and celebration, of

holiness and of peace, of the study of Your Torah and of Prayer.

And also let this Scripture be fulfilled in us: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of

him who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, " Your

Eternal reigns!"


As we close, we wish everyone

Shavua Tov! [Have a great week!]


AL TIRA (Fear Not)


This is a song lyrices an acrostic, 22 lines long, each line beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

1. Who can count the dust of Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
2. Adonai said to Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
3. Adonai chose Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
4. A star will emerge from Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
5. In time to come Yaakov will strike roots - fear not, My servant Yaakov
6. A ruler will arise from Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
7. Remember this for Yaakov's sake - fear not, My servant Yaakov
8. Delight will come with Yaakov's salvation - fear not, My servant Yaakov
9. Your tents are goodly, Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
10. They shall teach your ordinances to Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
11. For there is no sorcery in Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
12. He perceives no wrong in Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
13. Who can count the dust of Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
14. Adonai swore to Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
15. Please forgive the sin of Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
16. Bring back, now, the captivity of Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
17. The Mighty One will redeem Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
18. Command salvation for Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
19. The voice is the voice of Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
20. Bring song and gladness for Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
21. Adonai will return the captivity of Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov
22. Your will grant truth to Yaakov - fear not, My servant Yaakov

Related studies on Havdalah

A Picture of the Messiah in the Havdalah Service by Hatikva Ministries



What is the Extra Soul about? ("Neshamah Yetayrah")

***"An extra soul ("Neshamah Yetayrah")." An expanded "heart" for rest and joy, open to comfort, to eat and drink without the soul bothering him.

La Ner veLivSamin (To be candle spices) sung by traditional Yemenite Jews as part of the Havdalah ceremony in the 16th Century.

Creator of the Different Spices

Bread & Cup - MalkiTzedek

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