Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nine Days - Havdalah


We have been learning about the Nine Days of Mourning for the Beit haMikdash, preceding the Fast of Tishah b'Av.

We have mentioned that we abstain from wine during these Nine Days. This rule does not apply on Shabbat, so Kiddush is not a problem, but what does one do for Havdalah at the close of Shabbat on August 2nd this year?

If one ordinarily uses substitutes for wine (such as beer) during the rest of the year, then there is no problem; just use a substitute for this Havdalah as well.

Those who are careful to use wine for Havdalah year-round may still do so during the Nine Days. The ideal approach would be to give the wine to a minor who is old enough to understand what Havdalah is about, and young enough not to understand the concept of mourning for the Temple. We generally set the age at 8 to 11, but it depends on the child. In the absence of such a child (or the absence of such a child who can safely drink the wine), the person who recites Havdalah also drinks the wine.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 551:10; Mishneh Berurah 551:70)

Have a good day,

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