Parashat Terumah: Halakhah
Illustration Credit: Dov Smiley

Halakhah הֲלָכָה

This week, we hear about the פָּרֹכֶת (parokhet, curtain). It separates the main part of the mishkan, called the קֹדֶשׁ (kodesh, Holy), from the holiest part where the ark was, called the קֹדֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁים (kodesh ha-kodashim, Holy of Holies).
This is the first time in the Torah that people are told to divide between two things. (Of course, back in Parashat Bereishit, God divided up all sorts of things when creating the world.)
So, this is a great chance to think about another act of dividing that we do: הַבְדָּלָה (Havdalah, dividing)! This is a tefillah we say every week after Shabbat, and it includes berakhot over wine, spices, and fire. (See Tefillah section in Devash for Bereishit to learn more about it!) Havdalah is all about making important divisions.
הַמַּבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחֹל, בֵּין אוֹר לְחֹשֶׁךְ, בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים, בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה:
God divides between holy and regular, light and dark, Israel and other nations, the seventh day and the six days of work.
Here are a few Havdalah rules:
Doing מְלָאכָה (melakhah, work)
The Torah forbids doing certain kinds of work—called melakhah (like writing or making fires)—on Shabbat. After Shabbat, saying Havdalah makes you allowed to start doing melakhah again. Even before saying the full Havdalah over a cup of wine, the first thing to do is to mention the main idea of separation. You might do that in מַעֲרִיב (Maariv, the evening prayer), where there is a special paragraph of Havdalah we add on Saturday night. Or you can just say the phrase בָּרוּךְ הַמַּבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחֹל (barukh ha-mavdil bein kodesh lekhol, blessed is the One Who divides between holy and regular). (Mishnah Berurah 299:34)
Just like we need to make Kiddush before eating or drinking when Shabbat starts on Friday night, we also need to make Havdalah over wine or grape juice before eating or drinking when Shabbat ends on Saturday night. This way, our first eating and drinking for the week is for a mitzvah. (But a drink of water is fine before Havdalah!) (Pesahim 105a and Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim 299:1)
Sunday morning
If you fall asleep on Saturday night before Shabbat ends, you still should make Havdalah on Sunday morning before you have breakfast! (But no spices or fire in the morning—those are just for Saturday night.) And actually, you have until sunset on Tuesday to make it up if you missed it. (Rema Orah Hayyim 299:6)
Hope you enjoy Havdalah even more than usual this week!