Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This answer to a question about melacha before havdalah notes that in that situation one should say "baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" first. Does that apply to lighting the havdalah candle? I have never learned that women who don't daven (pray) ma'ariv, but who make havdalah themselves, should do anything special first before lighting the candle, but isn't lighting the candle melacha? Should a woman who makes her own havdalah always say "baruch..." first and then proceed with havdalah? Or does melacha that is required for havdalah have some special status that makes this not a concern?

share|improve this question
2  
This post won weekly topic challenge 5772-16 (week of B'shalach 5772)! Congratulations! –  msh210 Feb 10 '12 at 0:11
    
@msh210, thanks! I hadn't realized you'd be starting this week. –  Monica Cellio Feb 10 '12 at 2:39

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Yes. Women should formally end shabbat before lighting a havdala candle after shabbat has ended, i.e. after nightfall on Saturday.

First of all, women certainly can daven maariv and say attah chonantanu.

Second, the Rama in OC 299:10 quotes an opinion that the only reason labor is forbidden before havdala is lest one forget to say havdala. Accordingly, one could do non-labor intensive work immediately after shabbat, including lighting a candle. The Rama suggests that this opinion is why many are lenient regarding the prohibition on labor before havdalah. However, he and many later poskim hold that the halacha should not be in accordance with this view, and it would thus be proper to recite maariv or 'baruch hamavdil' before lighting the havdala candle.

Additionally, the Be'er Heitiv (on the page there) advocates teaching the women (who at the time were largely uneducated) to refrain from lighting candles until formally ending shabbat.

share|improve this answer
4  
+1. It should also be noted (since the question title doesn't specify that it's limited to women) that Magen Avraham there states that no such leniencies apply to men; they do have to say atah chonantanu, or baruch hamavdil, before performing any kind of melachah. [Indeed, he goes on to say that properly speaking, they should wait until the congregation has said kedushah d'sidra (i.e., the verses kadosh... and baruch... in Uva Letzion).] –  Alex Feb 5 '12 at 17:58
    
@Alex, I've added the "women" tag to the question. (I wasn't sure if there were cases where this would come up for a man -- maybe he missed the time for ma'ariv? -- so I didn't restrict initially.) –  Monica Cellio Feb 6 '12 at 13:50
    
@MonicaCellio It can come up if he is saying havdala before davening maariv (which is still a decently rare occurrence but has happened to me a few times) –  Double AA Feb 6 '12 at 14:11
    
@MonicaCellio BTW the latest time for maariv (dawn) is also the latest time to say the bracha on the candle! –  Double AA Mar 27 '12 at 23:49
    
@DoubleAA, you have until dawn to say maariv? Wow. I would have assumed halachic midnight, though I don't know why. I've been told that you can make havdalah as late as Tuesday; do you mean that from Sunday morning onwards you don't say ha-eish? –  Monica Cellio Mar 28 '12 at 2:17

Say "Baruch HaMavdil bein Kodesh LeChol" -- blessed is He who separates between sacred and ordinary. As long as it's late enough after sunset, one can then do shabbos-prohibited activity, even before Havdalah.

It's believed that Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev composed a Yiddish post-shabbos prayer, "Got fun Avraham", in part to serve this purpose, as it contains the phrase az dir lieber shabbos koidesh get aveck ... ("as the holy Sabbath departs ...")

The Chayei Adam feels it is fitting, even after saying Baruch HaMavdil, that "no man of Israel kindle flame before havdalah"; I think this is a look/feel thing, not a technical halachic obligation.

It's also recommended to do havdalah as soon as possible when you're ready to end shabbos. Firstly we don't delay mitzvahs; more importantly, you're not allowed to eat/drink anything (other than water) once the time for Havdalah has come, until you've made Havdalah. I've seen situations where people waited and waited around for havdalah and started snacking in the meantime (which they really shouldn't do).

share|improve this answer
    
Administrative note: This was posted as an answer to another question and merged hither. –  msh210 Aug 23 '12 at 21:51

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.