What is the reason that havdalah can be performed until Tuesday in the evening at sundown? Why did chazal choose that specific day?

  • Half way thru the week
    – Joel K
    Nov 8, 2021 at 19:55
  • The first three days of the week are considered attached to the shabbos prior, while the second three days are attached to the coming shabbos. This has practical ramifications in a case of a divorce that was conditioned on happening “after shabbos”, it is a reason given by some for not allowing to board a ship from Wednesday on. The precise reason why the week is split this way isn’t clear. In kabbala it is said that it’s because shabbos is the middle of the week with 3 days on each side. See sefaria.org/HaGra_on_Sefer_Yetzirah_Gra_Version.4.15.10?lang=bi
    – Chatzkel
    Nov 9, 2021 at 4:50
  • @Chatzkel is your case of divorce not just based on local speech patterns?
    – Double AA
    Nov 9, 2021 at 13:40
  • @double AA the Gemara in Gitten definitely sounds like that’s the basis, however, if that’s all it is, then the Gemara in Pesachim that extrapolates from this to the Halacha of havdala is hard to understand. How would local speech have any bearing on Halacha of havdala? So it seems that it’s something deeper, and the local speech is derived from that as well.
    – Chatzkel
    Nov 9, 2021 at 14:35

2 Answers 2


Rabbi Eli’ezer Melamed writes:

If one did not make havdala over a kos on Saturday night, whether due to circumstances beyond his control such as a soldier on a mission, forgetfulness, or even on purpose, according to the majority of Rishonim (Rambam, Tosafot, Rosh), he may make havdala until the end of Tuesday, since the first three days of the week are linked to the previous Shabbat.

  • In what other way are they connected? If there is no other way then this just seems circular.
    – Double AA
    Nov 8, 2021 at 21:14
  • @DoubleAA I recall the halacha about going on a long boat ride that would continue on Shabbos. I'm sure you remember that though.
    – robev
    Nov 8, 2021 at 21:55
  • @DoubleAA This is lifted straight out of the Gemara. I don’t think it’s circular. It just kicks the can down the road to: “why are the first three days of the week connected to the previous Shabbat”?
    – Lee
    Nov 8, 2021 at 22:12
  • Whatever logical fallacy you want to name it, seems not so helpful to someone trying to understand a reason behind the halacha. "Because the gemara said so" is only a good answer to specific kinds of Why questions.
    – Double AA
    Nov 8, 2021 at 22:13
  • 3
    @DoubleAA Probably because it is a matter of half the week belonging to the previous Shabbas and half to the next Shabbos Nov 9, 2021 at 3:44

It is explained in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 96:15:

If you forgot, were unable, or purposefully failed to recite Havdalah on Shabbos night, you may do so until the end of Tuesday. However, do not recite the berachah over the besamim or the candle, only the berachah, "borei peri hagafen" and the berachah, "Hamavdil." Once Tuesday has past, Havdalah can no longer be recited, because the first three days of the week are called "the days after Shabbos" and are considered the end of Shabbos, whereas the last three days are called "the days before the coming Shabbos" and have no relationship to the Shabbos past.

It seems to me that Rabbi Ganzfried is saying that we tend to refer to Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as “the days after Shabbos” in our everyday speech and this is the reason why we are still able to recite Havdalah until then.

  • Rules based on everyday speech (like nedarim or conditions) generally change with local speech patterns. Is that true here as well?
    – Double AA
    Nov 9, 2021 at 13:33
  • @DoubleAA It would seem to me as such, but I don’t know for certain…
    – ezra
    Nov 9, 2021 at 23:20

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