I was, recently, staying with a group of Sefardim on Shabbat. During the havdallah service, after saying the bracha on the wine, the leader bent over, looked at the cup of wine for a few seconds and laughed.

Note: - This related question explains the reason for laughing in order to confuse the Satan. I am asking, here, specifically, about the order of the procedure which includes staring for a few seconds at the cup of wine, prior to laughing.


1 Answer 1


R. Shemtob Gaguine (Keter Shem Tob vol. 1 pg. 477) gives the order, done in Israel, as follows: pronounce the 'ha'gefen' blessing, gaze into the cup to see reflection, chuckle and afterwards look at fingernails.

This is indeed the order followed which I've observed in most (IIRC, all) Sephardic synagogues I've been to where Havdalah is made in the synagogue, although looking at the fingernails is done by the blessing in the fire. (Note: it could be RSG also meant there's a timed sequence when the gestures are done and not one immediately following the next.)

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