On Tishah B'Av that falls out on Motzaei Shabbos, one only makes a bracha on the fire in Havdalah. The bracha on the wine and the bracha of "Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol etc." is pushed off to Sunday night (SA OC 556:1).

I understand why we don't drink the wine Motzaei Shabbos; it's already Tishah B'Av and we can't drink anything. I also understand why we don't have the spices; they're said only on the conclusion of Shabbos, to gladden the Neshamah on the departure of the Neshamah Yeseirah (MB 556:5, from SA OC 299:5) and we want to be sad on Tishah B'Av (I'm assuming). But why don't we make the final bracha of Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lachol? We are, indeed, separating between the holy and the less holy, as indicated by our recital of Baruch Hamavdil and Atah Chonantanu during Maariv, so why do we omit the bracha in the process of makin Havdalah?

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    We do make a Berakha on separating the holy from the profane, in Shmoneh Esrei. Why would we make the wine version if we aren't drinking wine? This is basically already dealt with at judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/75332/…
    – Double AA
    Aug 14, 2016 at 19:07
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    Note Besamim and Eish aren't part of Havdala. We just do them then because we're doing stuff anyway. The entire Havdala al HaKos is pushed off to sunday night because it can't be done on Saturday night.
    – Double AA
    Aug 14, 2016 at 19:10
  • I understand all of that. My question is why we ignore all of Havdalah instead of just the parts not applicable for Motzaei Shabbos Tishah B'Av.
    – DonielF
    Aug 14, 2016 at 20:06
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    What #DoubleAA already said - the brachah is to be said over wine (just like kiddush is said over wine and there is already a version of kiddush without wine in the Friday night prayers, and on Yom Kippur is the only one since we can't make kiddush on wine). Since we can't drink the wine, it is pushed off to Sunday night.
    – Miriam
    Aug 14, 2016 at 21:14
  • @DonielF You clearly don't understand all that or you wouldn't still have a question. We push off Havdala Al HaKos because it can't be done on Tisha Bav. That's all there is to it.
    – Double AA
    Aug 14, 2016 at 22:32

1 Answer 1


The final bracha of havdala must be recited with the cup of wine. The original institution of havdalah was with a cup of wine and therefore the bracha after the wine was invalid without it. However, should it be impossible to get a cup of wine, then one can bediavad rely on the bracha from shmone esrai that was said motzaei Shabbat (ata chonantanu). If one can obtain a kos, then he is required to make havdalah al hakos.

As a result, saying havdallah on motzai shabbos without wine is not allowed. That is why one who is sick and must eat on tisha b'av must first make havdallah (with a kos) before eating.

Rambam Hilchos Shabbas Chapter 29 Halacha 6

6 It is a mitzvah [instituted by] our Sages to recite kiddush over [a cup of] wine22 and to recite havdalah over [a cup of] wine.

Although one recites havdalah in one's [evening] prayers, one is required to recite [this blessing] over a cup [of wine].(23) [Nevertheless,] once a person has said "[Blessed is He] who distinguishes between the holy and the mundane," he is permitted to perform labor even though he has not recited havdalah over a cup [of wine].

23 In Hilchot Tefillah 2:12, the Rambam mentions the inclusion of havdalah in our evening prayers by the addition of the passage Attah Chonantanu to the fourth blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh.

When the Men of the Great Assembly ordained the prayers and blessings for the Jewish people, the Jewish people were needy and could not afford wine. Therefore, these Sages ordained the recitation of havdalah in prayer. Afterwards, when the fortunes of the people improved, the Sages ordained that they should recite this blessing over a cup of wine, like kiddush.

Subsequently, our people's prosperity suffered and the Sages reinstituted the blessing into the prayer service. Nevertheless, in order to prevent the matter from being totally dependent on socio-economic factors, they established the following guidelines: A person should recite the havdalah prayers in the Shemoneh Esreh of the evening service. Afterwards, he should try to obtain wine in order to fulfill the mitzvah as the Sages prescribed. If, however, this is not possible, his recitation of the prayer in the evening service is sufficient to fulfill his obligation.

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    "should it be impossible to get a cup of wine, then one can bediavad rely on the bracha from shmone esrai." What?
    – Double AA
    Aug 15, 2016 at 0:01
  • @DoubleAA From the last line in the Rambam Aug 15, 2016 at 1:40
  • That's talking about the deoraisa obligation. Your answer sounds like its talking even derabanan that bedieved its ok
    – Double AA
    Aug 15, 2016 at 4:13
  • The rambam in the last paragraph says that the method of havdalah is miderabanan. See the first sentence in the last paragraph. Aug 15, 2016 at 13:41
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    +1. However, I agree with @DoubleAA about that sentence. The way it's phrased could give the wrong impression that a person is no longer obligated at all in havdala 'al hakos once he recites ata chonantanu. In reality, he still has to recite havdala with a cup if and when the opportunity arises. Moreover, we generally abide by the opinion that, if he anticipates that he'll obtain a cup of wine the next morning, he can't eat until he finally makes havdala on a cup then (unless he is too weak to wait, Mishna B'rura 296:19,21).
    – Fred
    Aug 15, 2016 at 18:57

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