Havdalah Sets

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Havdalah Sets and Candles Guide

Havdalah is the ceremony performed at the end of Shabbat, effectively ends the restrictions of Shabbat and begins a new week. The ceremony makes uses of Kiddush Cup, Spice Box Candle and Candle Holder and before using each item, a blessing is made over it. The items are usually sold together as Havdalah Sets.

Materials and Design

Havdalah Sets are typically made of lacquered wood or sterling silver, although the individual pieces, especially the spice box can be made of any material. The Kiddush Cup that is used in Havdalah sets is a standard Kiddush cup and may be made of lacquered wood, sterling silver, porcelain or glass.

The candle holder is made of those same materials and while it can be different shapes, it is usually a simple silver basin with a thin opening for a candle to sit in attached to a tall stem and base. The spice box is likewise usually made of sterling silver or wood, although some people prefer to use a small finely decorated bag rather than an actually box. The spice box can be in different shapes, such as pomegranates, cushions or even animals such as doves and fish; however, it looks fairly similar to the candle holder only that it often has tall angled top.

Decorations

Havdalah Sets can be decorated with almost any Jewish theme. Some of the most common decorations are those found on other Judaica items, such as Jerusalem, Stars of David, animals, floral patterns and the Seven Species. Text from the different blessings made during the Havdalah ceremony may also be used.

Spice Boxes, the items which can be personalized the most, usually feature the same decorations. However, bags filled with herbs and spices have different decorations, typically floral patterns and text. The most common phrases used on spice holder bags include the traditional greeting for the beginning of the new week, “Shavua Tov”, or the text of the end of the blessing on spices: “Boreh Mineh Besamim” or “He who created good smelling-spices” in English.

Candles

Havdalah candles traditionally consist of three to five wicks in order to meet the rabbinic requirement that the candle be torch-like and have at least two wicks. The candles are usually made of beeswax. They are usually shades of blue, red, yellow and white. However, as of late they have become works of art by themselves, especially those which are produced in the holy city of Safed. These candles are freestanding, multicolored and are shaped like pyramids, torches, pillars or large flowers.

For More Information

For more information on Havdalah candles and sets or Shabbat, feel free to contact our Judaica experts with any questions or concerns.

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