Havdalah Made Easy

ShabbatAvailable in on-screen reading friendly (PDF) and printer-friendly, downloadable (PDF) versions.For more booklets, visit our Booklets for People in Interfaith Relationships page.

Abraham Joshua Heschel called Shabbat a cathedral in time. While in that “cathedral,” we live as if the world were perfect, needing no change. We may close our computers and leave our work selves behind, to relish our family and friends, our beautiful world and to express our gratitude. We open the door to that cathedral as the sun sets on Friday evening and we sadly close the door twenty-five hours later with the Havdalah ritual.

Havdalah is Hebrew for separation. As we metaphorically close the door on Shabbat, we remind ourselves of the differing qualities of time that we have experienced. Just as we mark the end of childhood with bar/bat mitzvah, the end of high school and college with graduation ceremonies, Jews around the world mark the end of the special time of Shabbat and our reluctant move back to the world and all its demands with Havdalah.

This dramatic ritual is a favorite of both children and adults. It uses all five senses in the goodbye to the Sabbath. It can be the small, intimate ending note of a visit with friends that began on Shabbat afternoon or it can be a theatrical start to a big party on a Saturday night.

To help you conduct this ritual, 18Doors brings you Havdalah Made Easy.

This colorful booklet explains all that you need for the brief, but memorable, ritual. Included are the four blessings over wine, fragrant spices, fire and distinctions, as well as the items that are needed for the rituals. Included are traditional songs to complete your ceremony.

This handy booklet is perfect for:

  • individuals and couples taking a class on the Sabbath;
  • parents, as they register their children for preschool or religious school;
  • new members of your community, given out in a welcome packet;
  • bar/bat mitzvah students looking for a way to transition into their Saturday night festivities.

Author: 18Doors


18Doors is here to support interfaith couples and families exploring Jewish life. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship provides offerings for couples in cities nationwide. If you have questions, please contact info@18doors.org.