הבדלה | Distinctions (Havdalah) for the end of Shabbat, by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

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In the end we’re like children:
we thrive on distinctions
between me and you, us and them.
Made in Your image
we separate light from darkness,
family from stranger, weekday
from that fleeting taste of Paradise.

Wax drips from the braided candle.
Cinnamon tingles the nose
to keep us from fainting
as the extra soul departs.
Stop now. Notice this hinge
between Shabbat
and what’s next.

Plunge the candle into the wine
but don’t cry: even without a flame
our light still shines. This
is our inheritance, better than rubies.
And now it’s Saturday night, the cusp
of a new beginning, another day.
This week, may our hearts be whole.

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