Shabbat Laws

Translated/adapted from "A Summary of the Shabbat Laws" (published by Machon Ohaley Shem)

Laws 1-21

Laws 22-53

Laws 54-103

Laws 104-149

Laws 150-195

Laws 196-237


Laws #238- 307: Saturday night

Law #238

Shabbat is over after three small and adjacent stars appear in the sky (medium sized and/or dispersed stars do not count). By waiting for these stars, we fulfill our obligation to add minutes from the holy Shabbat to the mundane week. Once three stars appear, it is permitted to perform havdala and do labors (which are forbidden on Shabbat), even if one has not yet prayed the ma'ariv evening prayers. Nevertheless, it is customary to pray ma'ariv even later than when three stars appear, since it is proper to add from the holy to the mundane even more than what is required. It is permitted to do so even for many hours into the night.

Law #239

In some places it is customary to chant at length "V'hu Rachum" and "Barchu" so as to add from the holy Shabbat to the mundane week. We add a portion of havdala to the blessing "Ata Chonen" in Shemonah Esray. After Shemonah Esray we recite "Vayehi Noam" (some recite it standing) which is the praise with which Moses blessed the Jewish people upon their completing construction of the Sanctuary. The verse "Orech Yamim…" is repeated since this causes the number of words in the prayer to add up to 130, which is also the numerical value of one of G-d's names written in its full form.

Law #240

Ma'ariv prayers for Saturday night (continued): It is customary to say the 'seder kedusha' and begin with 'V'ata kadosh' (and not begin with U'va l'Tzion since this is about the redemption which can not begin at night). Whatever extra time is spent lengthening the prayers after Ma'ariv of Saturday night is so that the souls of the wicked will not yet have to return to Gehenom, since the souls wait until the latest congregation completes its prayers.

Law #241

If a holiday or Yom Kippur falls sometime in the coming week, even if it falls on Thursday night and Friday, then the prayer "Vayehi noam" is omitted. The reason is that the verse "The work of our hands was made" is said twice in this prayer, and labor will not be permitted on ALL of the coming six weekdays (labor on a holiday is forbidden). Yet, if the holiday falls on the coming Shabbat, "Vayehi noam" is recited. On those occasions upon which "Vayehi noam" is omitted, "V'Ata kadosh" and 'seder kedusha' are also not recited. The reason is that "Vayehi noam" is about the completion of the Sanctuary's construction. Through the Sanctuary, G-d's Presence came to rest with the Jewish people, as is mentioned in "V'Ata kadosh"-'And You Who are holy, dwell with the praises of Israel'. For this reason, these two prayers are always recited or omitted together.

Law #242

There are Rabbis who rule that the obligation to make havdala (the prayer with which we end Shabbat) is part of the Torah commandment, "Remember the day of Shabbat". This commandment includes kiddush with which we commence Shabbat, and havdala with which we conclude Shabbat. Other Rabbis rule that havdala is Rabbinic in origin, and the "Remember…" only relates to reciting kiddush.

Law #243

One must make the effort to obtain wine for havdala just as one goes to lengths to perform other required mitzvahs. If after making all the necessary effort, wine is unobtainable, then one may fulfill his obligation through the havdala recited in the Saturday night prayers. This is because the Sages of the Great Assembly originally established havdala as part of the prayers when the Jewish people returned from the Babylonian exile.

Law #244

If someone forgot to mention the verses of havdala recited in the blessing 'Chonen hada'at' in the Saturday night prayer, but he remembered before saying G-d's name at the end of the blessing, then he should go back and recite the verses for havdala ('Ata chonantanu…'), and then complete the blessing as usual from the words, 'V'chanaynu m'itcha… '. Bu if he only remembered after saying G-d's name at the end of the blessing, he should not repeat the blessing at all, but should complete the shmoneh esray prayer as usual, since he will mention the havdala verses later over a cup of wine and thereby fulfill his obligation. In such a case, even if someone wishes to go back and start again from 'Ata chonantanu' without mentioning G-d's name again at the end of the blessing, he should not do so, since this causes a break in the prayer and is forbidden. Also, he should not say the havdala verses as part of the blessing "Shma kolaynu" because making havdala between Shabbat and the week, and G-d's hearing out prayers are unrelated. (Only someone who does not have wine for havdala and will not have wine even the next day, can say havdala in 'Shma kolaynu.)

Law #245

If one forgot to mention the verses of havdala recited in the Saturday night prayer, he should be careful not to perform any of the labors which are prohibited on Shabbat until he recites havdala over wine, or at least until after he says the words "Baruch hamavdil bayn kodesh l'chol", without G-d's name ("Blessed is He Who separates between holy and mundane"). If one forgot to say havdala in the prayers or even "Baruch hamavdil", and he already performed a labor, or if he ate something before havdala over wine, then he must repeat both Shmoneh esray with the havdala prayer, as well as say (or hear) havdala over wine. Making (or hearing) havdala over wine does not suffice since he acted in an improper way by performing labor or eating before any havdala.

Law #246

It is customary for the congregation's representative to recite havdala over wine for those present following the Saturday night prayers, so that whomever does not have wine at home may be released of his obligation.

Law #247

If the person reciting havdala in the synagogue intends to fulfill his obligation through that havdala, then he must be the one to drink the wine. He may not drink the wine if he is not intending to fulfill his obligation for havdala, since it is forbidden to drink anything before havdala. In such a case, someone else who intends to fulfill his obligation with the synagogue havdala should drink the wine. The person drinking the wine may even be a child below Bar Mitzvah age (13 years), but, if possible, must be a child old enough to understand the mitzvah of havdala.

Law #248

The Rabbis established that the order for making havdala should be 1. blessing over the wine 2. blessing over the spices 3. blessing over the candle 4. blessing over havdala (separating the holy from the mundane). The initials for this order is 'YaVNeH'-yayin (wine), b'samim (spices), ner (candle), havdala (separation). The same rules apply to the havdala cup of wine as to those of Kiddush and Grace. Namely, the cup should be whole (not broken or cracked), washed with water and the inside wiped out, filled to the brim, and the wine should not be pagum (blemished; refers to wine that has already been blessed upon. It needs to be "rectified" by adding some drops of wine before it can be used for a mitzvah again.); the blesser picks up the cup with two hands and holds it in his right hand at least 8 cm. (3+ in.) above the table; he should keep his eye on the cup so that he does not stop thinking about it during havdala.

Law #249

It is customary to spill a little of the wine from the havdala cup onto the ground as a good sign, since a home where some wine is not spilled like water does not have blessing, and we want to start out the week with blessings. The customary time for spilling out the wine is when the cup is filled preceding havdala. One should over-fill the cup so that a little bit of wine will spill onto the ground. According to Kabbala and to custom, one should not spill the wine onto the ground, but rather onto the plate on the table upon which the cup sits. One should not spill out wine from the filled cup since then the cup will not be properly filled to the brim.

Law #250

Before reciting havdala, it is customary to recite the verses "Hinay E-l yishuati…" and "L'yehudim heita ora…" These verses are for added blessings and are not obligatory. It is customary in some communities to recite these verses at havdala upon the conclusion of a holiday as well, and even at the post-holiday havdala recited in the synagogue.

Law #251

It is customary to recite havdala while standing, in order to honor the King whom we are accompanying, and one stands to accompany someone. While blessing upon an object, one should hold it in his right hand. For this reason, when blessing upon the havdala wine, the cup should be held in his right hand. (And when blessing over the spices, he should hold the spices in his right hand and the cup of wine in his left. When blessing over the candle, however, he should still hold the cup in his right hand. After saying the blessing, he then gazes at his fingernails in the candle light, and then returns the cup to his right hand. While gazing at his fingernails, he may either transfer the cup to his left hand and then back to the right, or he may place the cup down onto the table.)

Law #252

The rule about any blessings recited over a cup of wine is that the cup should be held high enough above the table top for everyone participating in the mitzvah to see. The candle should be looked at since it, too, is part of the mitzvah of havdala. During havdala, those that are fulfilling their obligation through listening should also look at the cup and the candle. The person reciting havdala should keep his eyes focused on the cup of wine so as not to be distracted from it. (Also, one who recites Kiddush on Friday night should look at the Shabbat candles just at the outset of Kiddush and then only look at the cup of wine.)

Law #253

After completing the recital of havdala, one should sit and drink the wine, since a Torah scholar (and anyone else) should not eat or drink while standing. The suggested reason for sitting is that since drinking the wine is part of the mitzvah of havdala, it should be done in the best manner possible according to Torah.

Law #254

One should drink (or have one of the listening participants drink) most of the cup of wine, which should be the greater part of a rivi'it (86gr. / 3oz.) for an average sized person. The reason is that the person drinking should benefit from the wine, and drinking less than the majority of the cup is not considered benefit. If, for some reason, he did not drink most of the cup, the havdala is still valid and need not be repeated. It is best to drink at least a rivi'it, so that one can be undoubtedly sure that he is obliged to recite the after-blessing for wine. Listening participants do not need to taste from the havdala wine (as is done with Kiddush), rather the wine is drunk only by the person reciting havdala (or his representative).

Law #255

After drinking the havdala wine, one should spill from the remaining wine onto the plate or table and extinguish the candle in it. This is to make it obvious that this candle was lit solely for the purpose of blessing on the mitzvah of the havdala candle. For this reason, if he used a candle for havdala that was not specially lit for the sake of the mitzvah, he need not extinguish it at all.

Law #256

After finishing to drink the havdala wine, he should recite the appropriate after-blessing. It is best to drink a complete rivi'it (86gr. / 3oz) of wine for havdala so that one will be sure that he must recite the after-blessing for wine. If one drank between a k'zayit (1 oz.) and rivi'it of wine, there is a doubt whether he need recite the after-blessing.

Law #257

Even if one wishes to eat a meal immediately following havdala, he must first say the after-blessing on the havdala wine that he drank, and is not released of this obligation by reciting grace after the meal. The reason is that his drinking the havdala wine was not in order to whet his appetite for a meal, but rather for performing a mitzvah. If he forgot to say the after-blessing for the wine (or whatever beverage he drank for havdala) until he already began eating a meal, he should stop and right then recite the wine's after-blessing before reciting grace. If he forgot the after-blessing and only remembered after completing grace for the meal, he need not recite an after-blessing on the wine, since ex-post-facto, grace released his obligation for the wine's after-blessing.

Law #258

If one plans to drink more wine at a meal that he eats immediately following havdala, he should have the intention that when he recites the blessing over the havdala wine, this will not include the wine that he will soon drink. The reason is that the wine drunk as part of havdala is not to quench one's thirst, but rather as part of the mitzvah, and therefore will not also cover the wine drunk as part of a meal. He is should be careful to recite the after-blessing for the havdala wine before beginning his meal.

Law #259

One may recite havdala over beer or any beverage which is considered a 'respectable beverage of the country' which people there consider an important component of a meal, but not water. However, one should always give preference to wine if it is available in that area because using any other beverage is not considered 'beautifying' the mitzvah. For havdala that comes at the conclusion of Passover, some communities have the custom to recite it over beer, where this is considered to be the 'beverage of the country', and even if he does possess a lot of wine. The reason is that right after Passover, beer is more precious to him than wine. However, one who does not care much for beer should make havdala over wine.

Law #260

One who does not have any wine for havdala at home, but could buy it at the local store, need not do so. Nevertheless, the best way of performing the mitzvah of havdala is over wine. If he has only a partial cup of wine, but does have a full cup of the 'beverage of the nation', it is still better to make havdala over the wine. Unlike Kiddush, havdala may not be recited over bread, even if he has no wine or other beverage. The reason is that kiddush correlates with bread since it precedes a meal, but havdala has no correlation to bread.

Law #261

Anyone (including the one making havdala) who specifically did not intend to fulfill his obligation through the havdala in the synagogue, must repeat havdala at home. The prevalent custom is to recite havdala at home even if all of his family members were present in the synagogue for havdala, since they might not have had the clear intention to fulfill their obligation through the havdala there.

Law #262

Whomever makes or hears havdala in the synagogue, and thereby fulfills his obligation, may still recite havdala for small children (even someone else's children) who were not present in the synagogue, in order to educate them in the mitzvah. However, older children who were not present in the synagogue for havdala, should make havdala for themselves. If one did make havdala for older children who could have done so by themselves, then, after the fact, this releases them from their obligation of havdala.

Law #263

One who heard havdala, but only decided that he wanted to fulfill his obligation through that havdala upon hearing the blessing over "havdala" (the last of the four consecutive blessings), and did not yet have this intent when he heard the blessing over the wine (the first blessing), or even if he did not hear the blessing on the wine at all, still fulfills his obligation for havdala. However, he may not drink the havdala wine since, at the time the blessing over wine was recited, he did not hear, or did not intend to fulfill his obligation for blessing over wine.

Law #264

Women are obliged to do or hear havdala even though this is a time bound mitzvah (from which women are primarily exempt), since they are required to fulfill any mitzvah having to do with the holiness of Shabbat. Havdala is part of remembering and making holy the Shabbat since we mention that G-d makes separate the holy and the mundane. However, there are also Rabbinic opinions which rule that women are exempt from havdala (because it is performed after Shabbat ends, and therefore is separate from the mitzvahs of Shabbat, and so its time-bound status is not overridden), and for this reason, a man who already fulfilled his obligation of havadala, should not make havdala for women if there are no other men also participating. According to this opinion, a man who makes havdala only for women is saying a blessing in vain.

Law #265

Women may make havdala for themselves or for other women. This is true even according to the Rabbinic authorities who rule that women are exempt from havdala, since a woman may bless upon a time-bound mitzvah which she chooses (though is not obliged) to fulfill. A man who hears havdala from a woman is not released of his obligation. This is based upon the opinion that since women are not obligated in the mitzvah of havdala, they therefore cannot release someone who is obligated.

Law #266

The Rabbis established the custom of smelling spices every Saturday night. (If one does not have spices, he is not required to go and find them, since this is a custom. However, if he does have spices, he must smell them, since in some places this is defined as a 'mitzvah' and 'obligation'.) This serves to calm the soul which is troubled at the end of Shabbat and the departure of its extra Shabbat soul. When the conclusion of Shabbat is also the beginning of a holiday, no spices are needed since the joy of celebrating the holiday is enough to make the soul happy. Havdala at the end of a holiday does not require spices since we do not have as high a level of an extra soul on holidays as we do on Shabbat.

Law #267

One who does not have spices for havdala is not required to go and search for them, as he must do with other mitzvahs, since they are only used in order to calm the soul. One may smell anything which people are accustomed to smell, even if it is not an actual spice, such as an edible and fragrant fruit. A fruit which is not fragrant should not be used for havdala. (A spice which is part of an 'eruv tavshilim', such as cinnamon or cloves, which are commonly smelled spices, may be blessed upon in havdala.) The blessing recited upon smelling something during havdala is 'boray minay bsamim'. Other spices such as ground pepper and ground ginger, which are not commonly smelled should not be blessed upon and nor used for havdala.

Law #268

Some Rabbinic authorities rule that it is a mitzvah on Saturday night to make a blessing on the aroma of a myrtle branch that was used for a mitzvah, specifically from the lulav used on Sukkot. Since it was already used for one mitzvah, it is good to do even more mitzvahs with it. Even though the myrtle has dried up and most of its fragrance may no longer exist, it still has some fragrance left upon which to make the blessing (bracha 'boreh mineh bessamim'). Other Rabbinic authorities recommend blessing on other spices whose fragrance is stronger, as opposed to a myrtle whose fragrance is so minor. This is the prevalent custom. In any case, it is good to have some myrtle mixed in with the other spices and to smell them both, so as to fulfill the opinions of all Rabbinic authorities. Nevertheless, on the Saturday night that falls during Sukkot, one is forbidden to smell the myrtle branches which are part of the lulav.

Law #269

For havdala, if one used a spice upon which we do not recite the blessing for spices, such as spices that are not commonly smelled but are rather used in order to get rid of bad odors or for other purposes, then he did not fulfill the custom of smelling spices and he should smell upon a qualified spice.

Law #270

When one blesses on the spices, he should recite the correct blessing depending on the spice. For example, on a fragrant edible fruit he should recite "Asher natan rayach tov ba'payrot"-'Who gave a good fragrance to fruit'. If it is a spice grown on a tree, he should bless, "Boray atzay b'samim"-'Who creates trees for spices'. If it is an herb, he should recite, "Boray isvay b'smamim"-'Who creates herbs for spices'. If it is neither from a tree nor an herb, like myrrh, then he should recite, "Boray minay b'smamim"-'Who creates species of spices.' Nevertheless, for havdala the prevailing custom is to always recite "Boray minay b'samim" for all spices, since not everyone is expert in all the laws of blessing on fragrances, and with this blessing one, ex post facto, fulfills his obligation to bless on a fragrance. In any case, it is good to place some myrrh with the other spices so that one is correctly reciting the blessing, "Boray minay b'samim".

Law #271

Whoever does not benefit from smelling things, such as a person who does not have a sense of smell, should not bless on the spices when making havdala. Nor can he bless on spices for adults or older children who smell the spices, even those that do not know how to recite the blessing for themselves. The reason is that the blessing on spices can only be recited by the person benefiting from the fragrance (that his troubled soul may be calmed), and one who does not enjoy the smell cannot bless for someone else who does. Such a person may say the blessing on spices for small children who can smell spices and who are old enough to learn to recite blessings, since this is for the purpose of educating them in mitzvahs.

Law #272

One who already fulfilled his obligation of havdala, and repeats it so as to fulfill the obligation for others who do not know how to make havdala by themselves, should not bless on the spices which only the listeners smell. Rather, he should join them in smelling the spices so that he may personally benefit from the spices' fragrance, so that his blessing is for himself too and not just for others.

Law #273

One person may not exempt another for a "blessing of benefit" unless they are sitting together. Nevertheless, on Saturday night, one person may exempt another for the smelling of the spices even though they are not sitting together. The reason is that the blessing over spices in havdala differs from other "blessings of benefit" in that it is primarily to fulfill an obligation. (This holds true even if the second one is smells the spices after the blesser and even if he does so after havdala is completed.)

Law #274

During havdala on Satuday night, one must bless "Boray m'oray ha'aish"—"Who creates the illuminations of the fire". As lighting a fire was forbidden on Shabbat and becomes permitted upon its conclusion, it is as if fire is re-created, and we bless on the occasion of its creation. This blessing was established to commemorate the first flame which was created on the first Saturday night, when Adam knocked two rocks together, from which a flame was ignited. If one does not have a light upon which to bless, he need not go searching for one, as he needs to do for many other mitzvahs.

Law #275

For havdala following a holiday, one does not bless "Boray m'oray ha'aish"-except for a havdala following Yom Kippur. The reason is that on Shabbat and Yom Kippur, we are forbidden to kindle fire and transfer fire from a pre-existing flame, and upon concluding these days, it becomes permitted once again. On holidays, it is permitted to transfer fire from a pre-existing flame and therefore, this is not a restriction from which we are being released.

Law #276

One who does not have wine upon which to make Havdala should still bless on a flame as soon as he sees one, and on spices if he has.

Law #277

The best possible way of fulfilling the mitzvah of the havdala candle is to bless on a torch of several flames. This is because the blessing states "m'oray"-"illuminations"-in the plural, to signify multiple flames. (There are some Rabbinic authorities who permit blessing on electric incandescent lights [not fluorescents], though there are qualifications for this. In any case, this allowance is only according to the letter of the law. According to the inner aspects of the law, the blessing should be recited on a beeswax candle of many wicks.)

Law #278

Two candles which are close enough together that their flames unite are considered a "torch of many flames". So too, if two wax candles are melted together, one atop the other, making them one candle, they are also considered a "torch of many flames", even though their flames are not united.

Law #279

When making the blessing "boray m'oray ha'aish" on Saturday night, which is also the commencement of a holiday, one should not unite the flames of candles (nor gaze at his fingernails in the candlelight). One should look at the individual candles when reciting the blessing.

Law #280

If one does not have a "multi-flame torch" for havdala, one should at least light a candle specifically for the mitzvah of havdala. This is in addition to the light with which the house is lit. In such an instance, although one is blessing on only a single candle, one should still recite "boray m'oray ha'aish", even though it is in the plural, since within the one flame are many shades of light (red, white, and green).

Law #281

Many have the custom (for Kabbalistic reasons) to use a beeswax candle for havdala, and not other types of candles or wood.

Law #282

The blessing on the candle may only be recited if one can actually see the candle, and is close enough that he would be able to use its light, such as to differentiate between the coin of one country and that of another. Since one is not actually required to use the candle's light, but rather only be able to use it, one need not turn off electric lights while reciting havdala.

Law #283

It is customary to gaze at one's fingernails, noting the difference between the nail and the flesh, in order to make use of the havdala candle's light. One should be careful to do so close enough to the candle that he would actually make use of its light, and not rely on an electric light. Another reason for looking at the nails is because nails represent blessing since they never stop growing. One should look at the nails of the right hand. According to some traditions, one should fold his four fingers over his palm and thumb, so that the thumb cannot be seen.

Law #284

A blind person should recite the havdala prayer omitting the blessing on the candle (though he or she should bless on Friday night Shabbat candles). The reason is that unless one can actually make use of the candle light (enough to differentiate between the coin of one country and that of another), then even if he can see the candle he still should not bless upon it. However, a blind person may recite the blessing on the candle if he does so to educate his children in performing havdala.

Law #285

One may not bless upon a light which did not 'rest' on Shabbat (that is, someone performed with it milechet havara, the labor of 'transferring a flame,' which is forbidden on Shabbat). This would include a candle which was lit on Shabbat, or even a candle which a gentile lit for himself on Shabbat. But if a gentile lit a candle to help a sick person who is life is not endangered, or if a Jew lit a candle for a sick person whose life is endangered, this is not considered 'milechet havara' and may therefore be used for havdala. A lamp or lantern which was lit from before Shabbat and remained lit until after Shabbat, may be used for havdala since, even though it burned during Shabbat, it was lit before Shabbat began. One may not use a candle for havdala unless it was lit for the purpose of illuminating. For this reason, one may not bless upon the synagogue's candle, as it is lit to honor G-d's Presence, or a yahrtzeit candle, which is lit in a person's memory.

Law #286

One who has already fulfilled his obligation of 'Boray m'oray ha'esh" in havdala, should not then recite the blessing on the havdala candle for others, since this could be considered a blessing in vain. He may, however, recite the blessing if he makes havdala for children and is thus teaching them the blessing and mitzvah. Though one cannot usually release his fellow from reciting one of the Birkat HaNehenin (blessings recited upon things from which we have benefit, such as food, smell) unless they are sitting together, one may do so with the blessing on the havdala candle even if standing up, and even if they are not in close vacinity. The reason is that everyone benefits from the candle together, and also because the blessing on the havdala candle is one of 'benefit' but is also similar to an obligatory blessing. Likewise, one may recite the blessing over the havdala spices for other people even though they will have to take turns smelling the spices, or if the other person will smell spices only after havdala is completed. So too, with the havdala candle, one may recite the blessing while benefiting from its light, and also release his fellow from the blessing even though the other person will only subsequently come close enough to the candle to benefit from its light.

Law #287

The reason one may recite the blessing on the havdala candle for others who may not be in close vicinity is because everyone benefits from the candle together, and also because the blessing on the havdala candle is also similar to an obligatory blessing. Likewise, one may recite the blessing over the havdala spices for other people even though they will have to take turns smelling the spices, even if the other person will smell spices only after havdala is completed. So too, with the havdala candle, one may recite the blessing while benefiting from its light, and also release his fellow from the blessing even though the other person will only subsequently come close enough to the candle to benefit from its light.

Law #288

The Sages ruled that one may not eat or drink anything at all (the prevalent custom is not to drink even water) from when Shabbat ends until after doing havdala. This applies even if one recited the evening prayer havdala verses. The reason for this law is to ensure that people will make havdala in its proper time which should be as close to the end of Shabbat as possible. By prohibiting food and drink, the Sages ensured that havdala would not be delayed, and thus recited in its proper time.

Law #289

The prohibition not to eat or drink before havdala begins from dusk, since it is unresolved whether to consider this time day or night. Some Rabbinic authorities do permit eating and drinking during dusk, and forbid it only after nightfall, since then havdala may already be recited. Based upon the opinion which allows eating and drinking during dusk, many are accustomed to commence large meals during that time, and one need not warn them against doing so. However, the main way is as the first opinion suggests, that one should refrain from dusk.

Law #290

If one began eating or drinkingexcept for a meal with breadhe must stop once the prohibited time arrivesthat is, at dusk (or dark, depending on which opinion one follows). However, if one was in the midst of a meal including bread, he need not stop eating at dusk (or dark), and may continue eating even into the night, since he began this official Shabbat meal at a permitted time. If one began eating after the prohibited time arrived, he must immediately stop once he remembers his mistake.

Law #292

If someone does not have wine or one of the other permitted beverages upon which Havdala may be recited, but he expects to obtain one of these drinks the next day, he should refrain from eating until after reciting havdala the next day. If he is weak and it is hard for him to fast, or if he does not expect to obtain one of these drinks the next day, then he may eat as long as he recited Havdala in the evening prayers. If he does NOT expect to have one of these beverages even the next day, he may eat. There is also an opinion that from mid-day Sunday he may eat in any case.

Law #292

If someone prayed the evening prayers in the midst of eating a meal, he becomes obligated to make havdala, and may not continue eating the meal until he makes havdala. When he recites Grace after completing that meal, he should not recite the verses for Shabbat. (This is because he prayed the evening prayers for a weeknight, and mentioning Shabbat in Grace would then seem to be contradictory.)

Law #293

If someone said havdala in the midst of eating a Saturday evening meal, it is as if he prayed the Saturday night prayers. Therefore, when he recites Grace after completing that meal, he should not recite the verses for Shabbat. If only said the words 'Baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol' (without havdala over wine) so he could initiate weekday permitted labors, then he should also not recite the Shabbat verses in Grace.

Law #294

If someone said havdala in the midst of eating a Saturday late afternoon meal (with bread), and wishes to make havdala over a cup of wine, he need not say the blessing 'borei pri hagafen' if he already did so sometime during the meal. In any case, since there are differing opinions about whether to bless on the wine again or not, it is best not to make havdala until after reciting Grace. If making havdala over one of the other accepted beverages while in the midst of a meal, one also need not recite a blessings of 'shehakol,' since having washed over bread releases him from blessing on such a beverage.

Law #295

If one began a Saturday late afternoon meal which continued until night time, and he chose to say Grace over a cup of wine, he may not drink the wine until after reciting havdala. Nor may he recite havdala over the wine from Grace, since you cannot use the same cup of wine for two holy purposes, since we do not 'bundle mitzvahs'. Rather, he should pour a different cup of wine for havdala. He should make havdala immediately after Grace and then drink also the cup of wine from Grace right after drinking the cup of havdala. The prevailing custom, though (especially in synagogues), is that one make havdala with the cup of wine over which Grace was recited, even when more wine is readily available.

Law #296

If one plans to eat immediately following havdala, he should be careful not to set bread on the table before making havdala. If bread was placed on the table, then it should be covered during havdala, so as not to 'embarrass' the bread. The reason for this is that the blessing over bread would usually precede the blessing over the wine. If he does not plan to eat right away, there is no need to cover bread on the table.

Law #297

Though Shabbat ended-and has even been well extended into the Saturday weeknight-one may not begin doing his various weekday activities until he "accompanies the King" via making havdala over wine or praying the Saturday night prayers. Until after havdala or this prayer, one may not even do weekday labors that are halachic decrees from the Sages. However, a prohibition from the Sages which does not appear to be laborious, and is only prohibited because it is a weekday type of activity (such as measuring something or blowing a shofar), is permitted by some Rabbinic authorities. Also, prohibitions from the Sages that are speech related are permitted before havdala, with the exception of asking our needs from G-d, which may not be requested before reciting the havdala verses in the night prayers. Therefore, someone who delays praying the Saturday night prayers, may ask a Jewish person who did recite the havdala verses in the prayers, to do a weekday labor on his behalf, and may then make use of, or eat from, the result of this request.

Law #298

Once someone recited the havdala verses in the Saturday night prayers (or said 'Baruch hamavdil bayn kodesh l'chol'), he is permitted to do any of the 'labors' that were prohibited on Shabbat. However, if he has not yet heard havdala recited over a cup of wine, it is proper to be stringent and refrain from kindling a flame or doing any other 'labor' before the community has finished the 'seder kedusha' prayers which follow shmonah esray. One who does a labor before the community said 'seder kedusha', will not find any blessing resulting from that act. One may carry a flame or perform some other act that was prohibited on Shabbat for halachic restrictions of 'resting on Shabbat', immediately after reciting the havdala in the prayers or 'Baruch hamavdil'.

Law #299

The synagogue attendant may kindle candles immediately after he finishes the shmoneh esrai prayer (including the havdala verses), or says 'Baruch hamavdil bayn kodesh l'chol'-even though the congregation has yet to say the 'seder kedusha' prayer. He may do so since he kindles the candles for a mitzvah purpose. Nevertheless, he may only do so once the congregation said 'Barchu'.

Law #300

If someone wants to a weekday 'labor' before reciting havdala in the prayers or over wine, then he should say "Baruch hamavdil beyn kodesh l'chol" ('Blessed (is He) Who separates the holy from the mundane'), omitting G-d's Name and Kingship, in order to make a recognizable act of 'escorting out the royal Shabbat', and then he may do any weekday labor. (Nevertheless, one should try to be stringent and not do any labor until the congregation completed the 'seder kedusha' prayer.) [In case of a Yom Tov holiday beginning upon the end of Shabbat, one should recite "Baruch hamavdil beyn kodesh l'kodesh"-'Blessed (is He) Who separates the holy from the holy'.]

Law #301

Women who do not pray the evening ma'ariv prayers (and therefore do not say the havdala verses in ma'ariv), must say 'Baruch hamvdil bayn kodesh l'chol' before doing any weekday labors. It should be publicly emphasized that women should say these words as soon as Shabbat concludes, since women tend to begin performing labor upon Shabbat's conclusion. A woman who cannot recite the words "Baruch hamavdil" must hear them recited by someone else.

Law #302

Havdala should be said at night, but if one forgot or intentionally did not recite it on Saturday night, he may do so the next day. He should not eat (he may drink water) until after making havdala, just as is the rule for Saturday night. If one did not make havdala on Sunday, he may do so on Monday (again, no more eating until afterwards), and up until the end of Tuesday. After Tuesday, one may no longer make havdala (but he can eat). This is because the first three days of the week are called "days after the Shabbat (that was)", whereas the following three days are called "days before the coming Shabbat" and are therefore not connected to the previous Shabbat.

Law #303

If someone makes havdala on Sunday or thereafter (through Tuesday), he should only say the blessing on the wine and on havdala. He does not bless over the flames except on Saturday night since that was when Adam first made a flame, and its recitation after Saturday night would be taking G-d's Name in vain. Nor does he bless over the spices, since the soul only needs to be comforted on Saturday night; reciting the spice blessing during a postponed havdala would constitute a prohibited interruption between the blessing over the wine and its drinking.

Law #304

In our days, since people often have the 'Third Shabbat Meal' so late in the afternoon, and are thus unable to eat again after Shabbat, they may eat baked goods or (less ideal) fruit for the Saturday night meal. There is no need to eat the Third Meal earlier in the afternoon so as to eat a full meal on Saturday night, since the latter is not obligatory, but rather a 'bonus' mitzvah. {In any case, one who has an appetite to wash on bread, should do so.} Some rabbinic authorities rule that eating the Saturday night meal is part of the fulfillment of eating the three Shabbat meals and should be done in the choicest manner-as a full meal with bread.

Law #305

It is customary to light candles on Saturday night, even more than are usually lit on weeknights. It is also customary to recite and sing certain poems and songs after havdala. This is to escort out the Shabbat, as one would escort a king who leaves the city. Many recite the verses of 'Vayiten L'cha' after havdala. Many also mention Elijah the Prophet after havdala-that he should come to announce the arrival of the redemption. The reason to mention Elijah on Saturday night is because he is not expected to come on Erev Shabbat or Shabbat due to various complications of Jewish law. Once Shabbat has ended, we await the news from Elijah.

Law #306

Many of those who have a tallit designated for Shabbat follow the custom of folding it immediately after Shabbat, so as to be involved in a new mitzvah right away. Also, many are accustomed to continue wearing festive Shabbat clothes on Saturday night.

Law #307

There is a custom to draw water from wells or springs on Saturday night. The reason for this is that Miriam's well (located in the Lake Kinneret) flows into all the wells and springs on Saturday night. Those who succeed in drinking from its waters are immediately healed of any ailments. Therefore, people draw water on Saturday night in the hope that they will draw some from Miriam's well. In our days, one may apply this intent to tap water as opposed to drinking water that was stored from before Shabbat. In the Shma prayers before going to sleep on Saturday night, one should not recite the 'Vidu'i' confession prayer, unless it is already after chatzot (midpoint of the night) since the holiness of Shabbat continues until chatzot.


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