Havdalah means separation (division, differentiation) and is an important idea in Shabbat. Because God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, Shabbat is considered to be completely separate or divided from the rest of the week.

When Shabbat 'goes out' on Saturday evening, Jews hold a havdalah ceremony to mark the occasion. A blessing is said over wine, a symbol of joy; then over sweet spices, to comfort the soul at the loss of Shabbat; and finally a multi-wicked candle is lit, to show that Shabbat has ended and fire may be created again.

The spices are smelled and the cup of wine is filled until it overflows signifying the sweetness of Shabbat flowing into the ordinary week to come. The candle is then extiguished in the wine.

            © Mr.B at Woodford County High School

Havdalah spice box

Havdalah candle