Havdalah Neophyte: Being Jewish Keeps Me on Learning Curve


I’m a havdalah neophyte. Until well into my 30s, I had no clue what havdalah was. Judaism, unbeknownst to me, had an ancient ritual to mark Sabbath’s end.

Why write about this ancient ritual now? For the first time on Saturday night, I experienced the beauty and simplicity of havdalah in my own home. It was not planned. We had our temple’s cantor, her husband, and 4-year-old over for dinner, and the idea slipped out of my mouth as the sky began to darken.