Judaism with all of our senses

Shalom, I hope that everyone is enjoying a relaxing summer. I look forward to seeing you during our upcoming Havdallah service and schmooze on Saturday, July 25. Thank you so much to our Merkaz President Staci Mayer and her family for hosting.

Havdallah is the separation of the Sabbath–Shabbat from the rest of the week. Our senses are enticed during this short service that begins when three stars appear in the sky. As we sing a campy tune, the simple Havdallah service touches our souls with a romantic charm.

We view the dancing flames that branch out from the wicks of the braided candle. We take in the smell of the spices. Cinnamon, orange peels, or whatever concoction we choose to create for the spices, represent that additional Shabbat soul–that n’shamah. We receive that additional Shabbat n’shamah when we welcome Shabbat into our presence. There is a mystical belief that at the end of Shabbat this additional Shabbat n’shamah, slips out of our fingertips, which we can see through the light of the Havdallah candle. The taste of wine or juice glosses over our lips and tongue. We listen to the sizzle of the candle being extinguished as the flame is placed inside the Kiddush cup.

We come to the conclusion of our prayers with the singing of (Elijah the Prophet) Eliahu haNavi. We sing and wish one another a (good week) shavua tov as the smell of the once burning candle lingers. We play with the melted wax that has dripped off of the braided candle.

May we strive to embrace Judaism with all of our senses just as Havdallah does for us as we bid Shabbat farewell. (May this be G-d’s will.) Cain y’hi rahtzone.


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