If an Israeli attends your 2nd Seder this year, when it's Motzaei Shabbat, how should he behave at your Seder table for the 1st cup of wine?

You will do a combo Kiddush / havdalah. He does no Kiddush but a regular M. Shabbat Havdalah. You and your family are the hosts and he is staying with you. What would be the best protocol?

option 1 - Listen to you make the entire Kiddush and you drink the wine. Then, you listen to him make the havdalah?

option 2 - "Share" the combo. He listens to you make the Kiddush (he will not say the beginning phrases "Hinei El".) He has to make Borei Minei Besamim so you let him. Both of you have to make Borei Me'orei Ha'esh, so he'll listen to you. He will listen to you make the rest of havdalah as the beginning words are identical to the weekday words; the ending is a bit "extra". The final bracha, while you say Ben Kodesh L'kodesh, he says "ben kodesh l'chol"

option 3- He listens to your Kiddush and Havdala and is yotzei through the words you said "Baruch ata Hashem.. Hamavdil Ben Kodesh Lechol..." even though the end of that brocho is "Hamavdil ben Kodesh lekodesh? This would apply to an American who made aliya and can't speak/read Hebrew yet. after Drinking kiddush anyone can make a brocho on Besamim for him.

  • 4
    Option 4: Israeli goes into basement/closet, locks the door, says regular Havdalla quietly to himself, comes back up and, acting like everyone else, listens to you all the way through the seder.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 19:23
  • You haven't specified what opinion the Israeli is holding like. How can we answer the question then??
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 19:25
  • The last b'racha is one that both begins and ends with a b'racha (sometimes called a "long bracha"). I don't think there is a way to "split" saying it, so he should probably recite it all quietly with you. Can probably be covered by your "hagafen" and "ha-eish" though even though you have made a "kiddush" that would be a hefseik for him.
    – CashCow
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


According to the Chacham Tzvi, the guiding principle is always "do as the locals." (Though some question this; just because it applies to non-Israelis visiting Israel doesn't mean the reverse is true; but that's what's generally assumed; it sounds like Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveichik leaned this way, at least in theory.)

Let's figure we follow Rav Moshe Feinstein and many others, though. Rav Moshe has an explicit responsum to a fellow who has 100% picked up and moved to Israel (house, business, everything); and is now visiting family in America. He is not obligated in the second seder because his home is Israel, but he should not be disruptive of what they are observing. Rav Moshe goes through the details of how to sit through a seder in such a situation.

As for havdala, which was not addressed in that responsum: he should not make his own havdala out-loud, as that would be disruptive of the local observance. I agree that Option 4 would work (make havdala in his own room), but I strongly suspect (sources needed, obviously) it's not entirely necessary, and that in fact listening to a "hamavdil bein kodesh l'kodesh" havdala fulfills the same requirement of a "hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" one. As everyone gets up to wash, he can then say, "yum, I just feel like smelling some yummy spices now!" and make a bracha on smelling the spices. There's nothing disruptive about that as plenty of people smell spices 7 days a week.

  • The besamim part sounds (and smells) good. If you can find further support to the notion that "hamavdil ben kodesh l'kodesh" works, that would greatly strengthen your answer. Other than that, it seems that other than the missing phrases of the usual M. Shabbat havdalah, the Yom Tov havdalah - besamim is identical. So, it seems that except, maybe for the end bracha, the Israeli can be yotzei hearing the host.
    – DanF
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 21:33

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