End Shabbat as a Family

Havdalah, Judaism’s ceremony for parting with Shabbat.HAVDALAH IS JUDAISM’S SPECIAL WAY to say "goodbye" to Shabbat. We welcome Shabbat in with three ritual items: candles, wine, and challah. We depart Shabbat with candle, wine, and spices.

Who doesn’t love Shabbat? It is our weekly day of rest. As, Kveller.com points out, however, the end of Shabbat can also mean the return to a stressful work routine.

“As the sky gets dark on Saturday evening,” the parenting website writes, “it can be hard to let go of this restful oasis.”

To help us part with Shabbat is the farewell ceremony of havdalah. Kveller calls the ceremony a “special ceremony that allows you to officially part with Shabbat, while expressing the hope that some of the restorative power of this special day will remain throughout the work week.”

With a braided candle, a spice box (filled with spices), and a kiddush cup for wine (or grape juice!), your family can make havdalah. (Note: If you don't have a spicebox, you can improvise -- some families will mix cloves and oranges, for example).

At the end of Shabbat, when the first three stars are seen, form a circle as a group. Have each of the three havdalah items held by a different person. Recite the havdalah blessings -- one person can lead, or it can be done as a group.

The website, MyJewishLearning.com explains the process:
“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.”

For a handy run-down of the havdalah blessings, Kveller.com has a Havdalah Blessings page on its parenting website.

Children can learn a lot from the videos of Shalom Sesame. For a great video that teaches about Shabbat and includes havdalah, watch, “My Shabbat” on the Shalom Sesame website.


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