|Tractate Berachot, Chapter 5
Tosefta 321[A person] who comes home on Motzaei Shabbat (Saturday night)2 says a Beracha (blessing) on the wine,3 and on [seeing] the light [of fire],4 and on [smelling] the spices,5 and [then] he says [the Beracha] of Havdalah6 [itself, as a part of the Havdalah procedure]. And if he only has one cup of wine, he should leave it for after the [end of] the meal, and he says all of the [four Berachot of Havdalah] in order after [he finishes saying Birkat Hamazon (Grace after Meals)].7 And [in general] he says Havdalah [on the following days:]8 on Motzaei Shabbat (Saturday night),9 on Motzaei Yom Tov (Evening at the conclusion of Yom Tov),10 Motzaei Yom Kippur (Evening at the conclusion of Yom Kippur),11 on Motzaei Shabbat which falls out on Yom Tov,12 and on Motzaei Yom Tov which falls out on Chol Hamoed.13 [A person] who is used to [saying Havdalah]14 says many proclamations of separation [in the final Beracha of Havdalah itself] and [a person] who is not used to [saying Havdalah] says [only] one or two [proclamations of separation in the final Beracha of Havdalah itself].15, 16
מסכת ברכות פרק ה
הנכנס לביתו במוצאי שבת מברך על היין ועל המאור ועל הבשמים ואומר הבדלה. ואם אין לו אלא כוס אחד מניחו אחר המזון ומשלשלן כולן אחריו. ואומר הבדלה במוצאי שבת ובמוצאי יום טוב ובמוצאי יום הכפורים ובמוצאי שבת ליום טוב ובמוצאי יום טוב לחולו של מועד. הרגיל אומר הבדלות הרבה ושאינו רגיל אומר אחת או שתים.
- The Tosefta continues with the discussion of Havdalah from the previous Tosefta. It is a little strange that this Tosefta comes after the previous one. Their order should have been reversed since this Tosefta introduces the procedure of Havdalah, where as the previous Tosefta mentioned details about it.
- When the person comes home from praying Maariv (the Evening Prayer) in the synagogue on Saturday night he is supposed to say the Havdalah procedure which consists out of 4 Berachot.
- The Beracha on the wine is Borei Pri Hagafen, as was mentioned previously in chapter 4, Tosefta 2, note 6.
- Mishna 5 of chapter 8 mentions an argument between Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel about what the Beracha on seeing the fire is. Bet Shammai say that the Beracha is ברוך אתה ה’ אלוהינו מלך העולם שברא מאור האש – Blessed You Hashem, our God, King of the world, Who created the light of fire. And Bet Hillel say that the Beracha ends on the words בורא מאורי האש – Who creates the lights of fire. The reason for their argument is explained in Talmud Bavli (Berachot 52b). Bet Shammai hold that the candle over which he makes this Beracha needs to consist only of one wick and therefore the wording of Beracha is in the singular form – “the light of fire”, where as Bet Hillel hold that the candle must consist of at least two wicks so it looks like a torch and therefore the wording of the Beracha is in the plural form – “the lights of fire”. The Talmud Bavli downplays the fact that they also use the words “who created” in either present tense or past tense, and says that either wording refers to the past tense and is equivalent. Talmud Yerushalmi (Berachot 8:5, Daf 60a) adds that Bet Shammai use the expression of Asher Bara instead of Borei in all Berachot that have the language of creation in them, such as the Berachot over the wine, fruits, vegetables, and cookies.
The reason for making this Beracha altogether after Shabbat is explained in Talmud Bavli (Pesachim 53b) and in Talmud Yerushalmi (Berachot 8:5, Daf 60b), that since God began to create light at night of the first day of creation, (see Bereishit 1: 3) which is Saturday night, we commemorate that event by making a Beracha on the fire. Pnei Moshe (Talmud Yerushalmi, Berachot 60b, Shekvar) adds that what the Talmud might mean by the statement that “on Saturday night is the beginning of the light’s creation” is that the light simply has not been lit for the whole day of Shabbat (and Yom Kippur as well) and therefore since after it is over we can light fire once again it is as if it was created all over again, thus this Beracha on the light of the fire is not simply made as a commemoration, but rather as a reminder that we can do work once again.
- There are a few different types of Berachot on smelling different types of spices and other good smelling things. Theoretically any one of them can be said during Havdalah depending what kind of an object the person is using to smell. The most common Beracha that is made is the generic Beracha on smelling spices, which is ברוך אתה ה’ אלוהינו מלך העולם בורא מיני בשמים – Blessed You Hashem, our God, King of the world, Who creates different kinds of spices.
The reason that the spices are smelled during Havdalah is explained by the Rambam (Hilchot Shabbat 29:29) is that on Saturday night people are sad about the fact that Shabbat is over and that now he has to go back to work, so in order to uplift our spirit we smell something that smells good.
- The Beracha of Havdalah (literally: separation) mentions in it different things between which God has made a separation, such as between holy and mundane, between light and darkness (see Bereishit 1:4), between the Jewish people and other nations, and between the day of Shabbat and other 6 days of the weeks.
- This is essentially a repetition of the statement of Rebbi Yehudah in the previous Tosefta that everyone agrees that Birkat Hamazon should be said first. Our Tosefta simply clarifies why someone would be saying Birkat Hamazon right before Havdalah. If a person was eating at the end of Shabbat and only had one cup of wine, he should use that cup of wine for both, to say Birkat Hamazon over it and then immediately for Havdalah.
- The Tosefta now lists all occasions on which Havdalah must be said. All of these days have one thing in common that the day that is over had a higher level of holiness than the day which began and therefore Havdalah is required. However if the day that was over was more mundane than the day which began Havdalah is not required. It should be noted, that the procedure of Havdalah is not the same on these days. For example, the Beracha on seeing the fire is made only at the conclusion of Shabbat and Yom Kippur, but not any other Yom Tov. The Beracha on smelling the spices is only made at the conclusion of Shabbat. And the text of the Beracha of Havdalah itself varies depending if it is said on a mundane day or on Yom Tov at the conclusion of Shabbat. Our Tosefta does not discuss any of these variations; it simply says that the procedure of Havdalah is said in some kind of form on all of the mentioned days.
- This is referring to a regular Saturday night on which the Havdalah is said to separate between the holy day of Shabbat and regular weekday.
- This is referring to the night at the conclusion of any Torah holiday, besides Shabbat and Yom Kippur, such as Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashana, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret.
- Yom Kippur is mentioned separately from all other Yamim Tovim, because the level on which work is prohibited on Yom Kippur is the same as on Shabbat as opposed to all other Yamim Tovim when cooking is permitted. Plus Yom Kippur has additional prohibitions on it such as eating, drinking, wearing leather shoes, anointing the body, and having sexual relations. It is for this reason that the Torah calls Yom Kippur, Shabbat Shabbaton – the Shabbat of all other Shabbatot. See Vayikra 16:31.
- This referring to when Yom Tov falls out to be on Sunday. Since Yom Tov is of a lower level of holiness than Shabbat, because it has less prohibitions of work (cooking and anything related to it is permitted), Havdalah is required to be said.
- Chol Hamoed are the intermediate days of Pesach and Sukkot, on which most work is permitted although there are still some restrictions with regard to work. Since Chol Hamoed is of a lesser level of holiness than Yom Tov Havdalah is required. Yom Tov that concludes on Chol Hamoed, such as the 1st day of Pesach and the 1st day of Sukkot, is mentioned separately than Yom Tov that concludes on a regular weekday, because Chol Hamoed still has some level of holiness to it due to some prohibition of work, where as a regular weekday does not have any holiness to it.
- Meaning a person who is fluent in saying the main Beracha of Havdalah and can say it clearly without stumbling.
- As was mentioned above in note 6, in the main Beracha of Havdalah many different expressions of separation are mentioned. A person who is fluent in saying Havdalah should say many expressions of separation, more than 2. But a person for whom it is difficult to say Havdalah, because he is not used to saying it himself, but rather he always hears from someone else, the Rabbis did not require him to say many such expressions, but only 1 or 2. We find a similar requirement by the Rabbis with regard to the prayer of Shmoneh Esreh. See Berachot, Mishna 4:3, where Rebbi Akiva says that if a person is fluent on praying Shmoneh Esreh he should pray the whole thing, but if it is difficult for him then he should only say a part of it. The reason for different requirements in prayer for people who are fluent and people who are not is explained in Berachot, Mishna 5:5. The Mishna says that if a person makes mistake in prayer it is a bad sign for him, meaning that God does not listen to his prayer. Therefore the Rabbis tried to help people eliminate potential mistakes in prayer, thus requiring those who were not fluent in praying to say the bare minimum and nothing extra. It should be noted that in Talmudic times there were no written prayer books and all prayers were said by heart therefore people were much more prone to making mistakes, where as nowadays when everyone has a printed prayer book people can just read their prayers without memorizing them, thus eliminating most mistakes. For this reason these rules do not apply nowadays and all people regardless of how fluent they are or not in prayers say the standard text for Shmoneh Esreh and Havdalah as printed in the Siddur (the Jewish Prayer Book). It should be noted that Talmud Bavli (Pesachim 104a) mentions a lot more expressions of separation that should be said in Havdalah than the 4 expressions that we are accustomed to saying. There are 4 additional expressions besides the 4 that we are accustomed to saying, mentioned by the Gemara.
- It is always peculiar when the Tosefta uses the expression “one or two”. Obviously if only one is enough, why say “or two”. When this Tosefta is quoted in Talmud Bavli (Pesachim 104a) the words “or two” are missing. I think what the Tosefta is trying to say is that a person who is not fluent in saying Havdalah should say as many expressions of Havdalah as he is possible capable of saying without making a mistake. The bare required minimum is to say one. However if he is fluent in saying more than one he should say more than one. Therefore the Tosefta says “or two”, implying that if he can say two without making a mistake, he should say two.
|Tractate Berachot, Chapter 5
Tosefta 331[If people were sitting together on Motzaei Shabbat (Saturday night)] in the Bet Hamedrash (study hall for learning Torah)2 [and they had to say Havdalah],3 Bet Shammai say, “One [person] should say the Berachot [of the whole procedure of Havdalah] for all of them.”4 And Bet Hillel say, “Every person should say the Berachot [of the whole procedure of Havdalah] for himself.”5
מסכת ברכות פרק ה
בבית המדרש בית שמאי אומרים אחד מברך לכולן ובית הלל אומרים כל אחד ואחד מברך לעצמו.
- The Tosefta mentions another argument between Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel regarding Havdalah. It is not related to any Mishna.
- The Tosefta is specifically referring to the Bet Hamedrash and not to any other public place where many people have gathered together, because in a different public place Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel would not be arguing about this law, as will be explained below in note 5.
- Since the Tosefta does not specify what law specifically it is talking about it makes sense to explain it in the context of the previous Tosefta that it is talking about Havdalah in general. Talmud Bavli (Berachot 53a) quotes a Beraita that sounds very similar to this Tosefta, except that the opinions of Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel are reversed in it, that says specifically that it is talking about the Beracha on seeing the fire and not about any other Berachot of Havdalah. However it is not necessary to constrict the Tosefta to that meaning specifically since the reasons for each of the opinions apply to any kind of Beracha and not to Havdalah specifically.
- The reason for Bet Shammai’s opinion is explained in Talmud Bavli (Berachot 53a), that we have a principal of Berav Am Hadrat Melech (based on the verse in Mishlei 14:28) – In the multitude of the nation the king is glorified. This principal means that it is always better to do a commandment when there is large gathering of people and involve all of those people in participating in the performance of that commandment. Therefore it is better for one person to say Havdalah for everyone and have all the people answer Amen to each Beracha, than each person say the Beracha for himself.
- Bet Hillel, however, disagree, specifically since this is taking place in the Bet Hamedrash. The reason is that if one person would say Havdalah for everyone then everyone would have to stop learning Torah and listen to the leader, and that is called Bitul Bet Hamedrash – idling in the Bet Hamedrash, which is a great offense as was considered by the Rabbis. Therefore, Bet Hillel say that it is better for each person to say Havdalah individually, because then people will say it at different times and at any given time someone will be learning Torah. They hold that it is more important that Torah is learned continuously in the Bet Hamedrash as opposed to a public performance of a commandment. Obviously if this would be taking place at some other public place where Torah is not learned all day long, then Bet Hillel would agree to Bet Shammai that it is better for one person to say Havdalah for everyone since it will be a public performance of a commandment.