At Havdalah, I've seen a number of individuals smell the smoke from the extinguished Havdalah candle, sometimes reciting the posuk "Zichru Torah Moshe avdi" as they do so. Curious if anyone can verify and explain this custom for me.

  • 1
    See 34 books.google.com/…
    – sam
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 23:28
  • could you please summarize? my hebrew is pretty poor, so I'm not sure i got the explanation. thanks!
    – Ian Taylor
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 23:33
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    Hey there, Ian, welcome to Mi Yodeya! Thanks for bringing your interesting question here. I've personally never heard of this custom; I hope you find a satisfying answer :)
    – MTL
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 0:14
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    @Ian - you have to @-tag sam for him to see your question. Anyways, there it says that it's good for one's memory to smell the extinguished candle. ומריחין את העשן של הנר שהוא טוב זכרון ואומרים זכרו תורת משה. No explanation and no primary source provided. Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 11:46
  • @DannySchoemann sam probably saw it anyway, because he was the only commenter, besides for Ian :P
    – MTL
    Commented Jan 4, 2015 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


Rabbi Shmuel Pinchas Gelbard says this is done for the love of the Mitzva

כמו כן יש נוהגים להריח את השעווה לאחר כיבוי הנר, וזאת משום חיבוב מצווה

  • This doesn't answer the q fully ,what abut zicru Toras Moshe?
    – sam
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 1:20

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