Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shavua Tov




Shavua Tov means "Have a Good Week" in Hebrew. It is the Jewish greeting used on Saturday nights after Havdalah and even on Sundays to wish someone a good coming week.

Havdalah is a ritual recited over kosher wine or kosher grape juice. On completion of the Shabbat, a special braided Havdalah candle with more than one wick is lit, and a prayer is recited. It is customary to gaze at one's fingernails reflecting the light of the candle. Spices, often stored in a decorative spice container, are handed around so that everyone can smell the fragrance. In many Sephardi and Mizrahi communities, branches of aromatic plants are used for this purpose.

Havdalah is intended to require a person to use all five senses—to taste the wine, smell the spices, see the flame of the candle and feel its heat, and hear the blessings.

According to some customs, at the conclusion of Havdalah, the leftover wine is poured into a small dish and the candle is extinguished in it, as a sign that the candle was lit solely for Havdalah.
Based on Psalms 19:9, "the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes," some Jews dip a finger into the leftover wine and touch their eyes or pockets with it. Because it was used for a mitzvah, the wine is considered a "segulah," or good omen.

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