Definition of Havdalah in US English:


(also Habdalah)


  • A Jewish religious ceremony or formal prayer marking the end of the Sabbath.

    • ‘We finish Havdalah, the ceremony that separates Shabbat from the rest of the week, with an unspoken urgency; at its conclusion, we will wordlessly dash to the computer to check the news.’
    • ‘Then three stars come into the sky, the family gathers for Havdalah.’
    • ‘At the Synagogue bright photos and a clean design draw the very young reader into such rituals as Simchat Torah, Havdalah, and Shabbat.’
    • ‘We do not make regular habdalah on Saturday night.’
    • ‘As the Shabbat came to a close we recited the words in the Havdalah from the story of Purim, a prayer repeated optimistically by Jews for generations.’


From Hebrew haḇdālāh ‘separation, division’.