Thursday, October 2, 2008

Havdalah----In the Light of Mashiach

The cup of wine, fragrant spices, and fire light that accompany the beginning of our work week should bring to remembrance the resurrection of our Mashiach whose tomb was found empty early on the first day.

In our liturgical tradition the cup of blessing held during a havdalah service is called kos yeshuot, "a cup of salivations." This cup should cause us to reflect upon the redemptive work of our Mashiach.

The fragrant spices taken during havdalah are intended to wake up the soul from its sleep. After making the blessing over spices we inhale their aroma with the intent that it should revive our souls which have been at rest during Shabbat. The besorot insist that just before shabbat Mashiach's most dedicated female followers prepared spices for his tomb.
Then they returned and prepared aromatic spices and myrrh. And on the Shabbat they rested according to the commandment.(Luke 23:56)
The besorot are unclear as to whether or not the sun had risen by the time these women had arrived at the tomb. Nevertheless, when they approached the grave, carrying many pounds of fragrant spices, they found it empty. Mashiach had risen.

These women had spent the previous night together; the room must have been filled with the sent of the spices that they had previously prepared. There is no doubt in my mind that as they concluded the Shabbat a blessing was made over these very fragrant spices. As they inhaled their fragrance, attempting to revive their own souls, Mashiach was reviving as well.

Finally, by making a brachah over the light of a braided candle we usher in the new week with the same creative work HaShem performed in the beginning when he spoke the words "Let their be light." While the sun, moon, and stars had yet to be created, this light was the light of Mashiach. We read in our besorah;
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of humanity. (Yo. 1:4)
In making havdalah, let us not fail to remember our Mashiach whose blood was spilled, whom revived from the dead and whose life now shines as a brilliant light throughout all the world.