Havdalah marks the end of Shabbat. The word “Havdalah” means separation or distinction. The ceremony reminds us of the separation between Shabbat and the rest of the week.
The Havdalah ceremony is a feast for the senses. We say blessings over wine, spices and light. The wine draws us to taste, the spices draw us to smell and the candlelight draws us to see the remnants of Shabbat.
A glass of wine has been filled to overflowing. It reminds us of our hope that the new week, which begins tonight, will be overflowing with happiness. Tonight's cup also overflows with the joy of celebration for Hannah and with our joy of being together with family and friends who surround us with their love and support.
As we smell the aromas of the spices, we are reminded of the richness of Shabbat and of our traditions. We smell the pleasant fragrance to enliven our spirit and to dispel our sadness over the departure of Shabbat.
At the beginning of Shabbat, we light at least two candles to symbolize "creation” and “redemption”, the two extremes of Shabbat. At the close of Shabbat our essence is unified and becomes whole, symbolized by the multi-wicked, but single flame of the Havdalah candle.
We thank you all for being such a special part of our lives and for sharing in the joy of Hannah's Bat Mitzvah. As we recite the closing Havdalah prayers, let us take a moment to count each other as blessings and to welcome the new week together.