This year in the diaspora, Shemini Atzeret is on Shabbat, and Simchat Torah begins as Shabbat ends. My understanding is that we light candles to usher in Simchat Torah, so I was wondering if we did both havdalah and other candles. I see on www.hebcal.com only candle lighting and not havdalah for Saturday night. If that is correct, it raises the general question of why? Do we skip havdalah any time the end of Shabbat is the beginning of a yom tov?
Good question. Anytime a holiday starts on a Saturday night (whether Shabbat was itself a holiday or not), there are a few things that go on:
No prep for the holiday begins until Shabbat is fully done and over. (Call it an hour after sunset, give or take, depending on who you ask and where you live.)
Then, candles are lit, as they would be for any Shabbat or holiday.
Havdalah to end Shabbat gets folded into the Kiddush to welcome the holiday. This goes by the acronym YKNHZ (pronounced "YAHKneHahz.")
- Yayin -- Borei pri hagafen on a cup of wine.
- Kiddush -- the blessing concluding *Who sanctifies Israel and the times"
- Ner -- the Havdalah candle. Instead of lighting a big, twisted one and then leaving it to burn out after an hour or more, or blowing it out on the holiday for no particular need ... there are a couple of solutions. I recommend putting two birthday candles together with a piece of foil, lighting that (so you have a multi-wick flame), saying borei me'orei ha'esh, and then just letting it burn out on its own.
- Havdalah -- the havdalah blessing. Instead of concluding hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol, "Who separates between holy and ordinary", it goes *hamavdil bein kodesh l'kodesh" -- separating between two different holy days (Shabbat vs. holiday).
- Zman, "the time." Shehechiyanu, thank you G-d for bringing us to this special time.