Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Singing about Eliyahu at Havdalah


We have been learning about Havdalah.

Some have the custom of mentioning/singing about Eliyahu the Prophet at Havdalah.

This comes from the traditional understanding that Eliyahu will herald the arrival of Mashiach, and the Talmud (Eruvin 43) says Eliyahu will not come on a Friday or on the eve of a holiday. Therefore, at the close of those days when Eliyahu could not have come, we pray that Gd send him soon.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 295:1; Mishneh Berurah 295:7)

Have a great day,


  1. If, as you say, tradition holds that "Eliyahu will not come on a Friday or on the eve of a holiday," then it seems that Saturday (which is neither Friday nor the eve of a Holiday) IS a day on which Eliyahu could potentially arrive. Why, then, do we mention Eliyahu at the close of Saturday?

  2. You are correct - I should have noted that the same sources indicate Eliyahu cannot come on Shabbat itself.
    Thanks for your note.