Detail from a 14th-century Spanish manuscript that shows a Havdallah celebration.

Havdalah is the celebration at the end of shabbat. It celebrates the break in week that the sabbath gave us and serves to separate the holiness of shabbat from the ordinary days of the week.

The Havdalah service is generally short. It starts at nightfall, approximately 1 hour after the sun sets on Saturday evening. It consists of prayers over wine (grape juice or another drink may be used), a Havdalah candle, a spice box, and sometimes a prayer specifically for Havdalah or the separation. Wine and spices are reminders of joy and sweet things in life. The Havdalah candle can be lit because the sabbath is now over. The celebration may also include singing and dancing.

What parts of the Havdalah celebrations do you like best?

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