Thursday, January 29, 2009

Looking at one's fingers by the light of the Havdalah candle


As part of the blessing recited over the Havdalah candle, we look at our fingers. This is a means of gaining practical benefit from the light, so that we can thank Gd for that light.

The popular practice is to look at one's fingernails and the palm of one's hand; there are various mystical reasons for choosing this particular benefit, but the simple reason is that one can use the light to see the part where the nails end and the skin begins.

Another reason which is offered is that the fingernails visibly grow, and we are asking Gd for growth. We ask for blessing to be given to the palm of our hand, meaning our work.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 298:3; Mishneh Berurah 298:9)

Have a great day,

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