How to Say the Havdalah Blessing

Havdalah is a ritual that marks the end of Shabbat. It is usually performed before nightfall. It is celebrated at home with family and friends.

  • Havdalah starts with the recitation of Biblical verses talking about God’s salvation (verses from the Book of Isaiah and Psalms).
  • Fill a Kiddush cup with wine. Fill the cup until it overflows and some of the liquid spills into the plate beneath the cup. This is to symbolize the blessing of Shabbat that will overflow in the days to come.
  • Raise the cup and say the following blessing: Baruch atah  Adonai Elohaynu meleck ha’olam boray pri hagafen. (Blessed are you our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit on the vine.)
  • Prepare a spice box (a box with fragrant spices, usually composed of cloves and allspice).  Raise the spice box and recite this blessing: Baruch atah Adonai Elohaynu melech ha’olam, boray minay vesamim. (Blessed are you, our Lord, Ruler of the universe, creator of the different spices.)
  • Light the Havdalah candles. A Havdalah candle is a braided candle which is usually one foot long. Say the following blessing: Baruch, atah Adonai, Elohaynu Melech ha’olam, boray me’oray ha’aysh. (Blessed are our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fire’s light.)
  • Finally, say the Havdalah blessing. Pick the wine and say, “Baruch,atah Adonai, Elohaynu melech ha’olam hamavdil bayn kodesh lechol, bayn or lechoshech, bayn yom ha’shevi’i leshayshet yemay hama’aseh. Baruch atah, Adonai hamavdil bayn kodesh lechol.” (Blessed are you, our God, Ruler of the universe, who separates the holy and the profane, the light and dark, Israel and other nations, the seventh day and the six days of the week.  Blessed are you Adonai, who separates between the holy and the profane.)
  • Drink the wine.
  • Greet everyone with “Gut Voch” (Hebrew)  or ” Shavua Tov” (Yiddish), which means “May you have a good week,” in English.

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