HAVDALLAH: Prayers for the Holy Separations, by Trisha Arlin

Source (English)

I.
Praise the Before
Praise the After
Praise the Time In Between

Praise Kadosh, the holy
Praise Khol, the mundane
Praise Ha Mavdil Bein Ḳodesh L’khol, the one who differentiates between them

Praise Kabbalah, welcome the Bride
Praise Shabbat, the deepest rest.
Praise Havdallah, farewell to the departing soul

II.
I construct four walls and a roof and no windows
I put in only one door, open it once a year, and never go in.
Inside the walls, Holy of Holies
Outside the walls, everything else.
All I did was build a temple.

I buy some fabric.
I put fringes on the corners and cover myself with the cloth.
Inside the cloth, I am “kadosh” and I can pray.
Outside the cloth, I am “khol” and I gossip.
But all I did was cover myself with a piece of fabric.

I have a rimless cap.
I put it on my head and call it a kippah.
Inside my kippah, I’m alone but in conversation with God and my kehillah.
Outside my kippah, I’m by myself
All I did was put on a cap.

I have a candle, wine, and sweet smelling spices
I light the candle and dip it in the wine, I smell the spices and call it havdallah.
Before sunset, guilt and sin and begging for forgiveness
After sundown, onto a year of new mistakes and hope.
All I did was wait for it to get dark.

I make a flimsy hut with branches overhead and fruit within.
I call it a sukkah and sit down for a meal.
From inside the hut, I see three stars appear.
Outside the hut, I see the same three stars.
Inside outside, same thing?
All I did was build a hut.

III.
Wine

Growth, harvest, creation, sexuality, body, love.
Purged of guilt, at least until tomorrow

Spice

Sweetness, Fragrance, art, luxury, flavor, comedy.
It is good to live well if you can.

Fire

Sacrifice, spirit, usefulness, justice, inspiration
Clear thinking at last and the work begins.

IV.
Blessed Was • Is • Will Be, that brings the harvest in its due time,
And wine to drink, fire to light our way and spices to make us happy

Blessed HaMavdeel, that which Divides,
And separates the whole into increments that we may comprehend it.

Blessed Echad, that which Unites,
And connects us all that we may be one.

Amen.

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