The idea for this ritual came about when a comment was made that when a lit candle is used to light other candles, that first candle’s flame doesn’t diminish; rather each flame becomes whole unto itself. When we kindle lights, we bring that light not only into our own physical spaces, but into our hearts and souls as well. It’s then our task to take that light, that Divine spark, and send it out into the world.
Unlike the endings of ShabbatShabbat is the Sabbath day, the Day of Rest, and is observed from Friday night through Saturday night. Is set aside from the rest of the week both in honor of the fact that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. On Shabbat, many Jews observe prohibitions from various activities designated as work. Shabbat is traditionally observed with festive meals, wine, challah, prayers, the reading and studying of Torah, conjugal relations, family time, and time with friends. and festivals—when HavdalahLit. Separation A ceremony performed on Saturday night to mark the end of Shabbat and the beginning of the week, using wine, a braided candle, and sweet-smelling spices. marks the separation between the holy and the mundane—there’s no ritual to mark this ending, and I’d like to propose one.
The traditional Havdalah blessing invokes the One who separates “the holy from the mundane,” “Shabbat or the Festival from the regular days,” and “the light from the darkness.” The spices that we smell during the Havdalah ceremony acknowledge a desire to linger just a little longer in the sweetness of the day before returning to the world.
The ritual below helps us bring the light of HanukkahThe holiday which celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following its conquest by the Syrians in 165 BCE. The holiday is celebrated by lighting candles in a hanukiyah oon each of eight nights. Other customs include the eating of fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly donuts), playing dreidl (a gambling game with a spinning top), and, in present day America, gift giving. into the rest of the year, to move from “light to light.” We do this by lighting the full hanukiah the day after Hanukkah, essentially adding a ninth night (after sunset, when the holiday officially ends). This is a wonderful time to also acknowledge the role of the shamash, the “helper” candle, without which we wouldn’t be able to kindle the rest of the lights.
Ritual to End Hanukkah
On the ninth night, the day after Hanukkah ends, light the shamash, and pause before lighting the other candles. Take a moment to acknowledge the shamashim, the helpers, in our lives. Recite the following blessing, and then light the eight candles of the hanukiah.
Modim anakhnu lakh – We give thanks to You
N’vareikh et RuakhLit. Spirit. Some new versions of blessings call God "Spirit of the World" (Ruakh Ha’olam), rather than "King of the World" (Melekh Ha'olam). ha-Olam – We bless the Eternal Spirit
Ha Meiyvi otanu mei-or la or, v’notein lanu koakh l’havi et ha-or la-olam kulo – Who brings us from light to light, gives us strength to bring that light to the entire world.
May our light continue to shine out into the world during Hanukkah and all year.