Havdalah Introduction (part 3): Farewell, My Beloved
(King David, Tehillim 18:29)
As we continue saying Havdalah, we declare “Hashem, Master of legions, is with us. A fortress is the
Due to the power of our connection to Shabbat, Rabbi Pinchas Mordechai Teitz (1908-1995), the Rabbi of Elizabeth New Jersey, would never bring in Shabbat early. Even in the summer months, when nearly everyone else did so because the summer days are very long and it would make everything extremely late, he began Shabbat with the setting sun. When he was asked why, he answered that there were many Jews in Elizabeth who did not keep Shabbat at all, and once Shabbat was accepted by the community, they were transgressing the Shabbat laws, albeit inadvertently, even though it was not yet dark. He felt an obligation to bring in Shabbat at the correct time so that he could minimize their transgressions.
We then recite the words from Tehillim 84:13, “Hashem, Master of legions, praised is the one who trusts in You.” Rabbi David Kimche explains that this verse is directed towards those who never give up hope that Hashem will redeem us. These powerful words are dedicated to those who continue to yearn for the rebuilding of the Temple and the ultimate redemption. Only the eternal bond with our souls has kept us joined to Hashem during our seemingly interminable exile. And it is only our connection to the spiritual dimensions that will bring us to the final redemption, to the most anticipated moment in history, the moment that our Sages call the “Yom Shekulo Shabbat — a time of eternal Shabbat.”
Havdalah then continues with another verse from Tehillim (20:10), “Hashem, save! May the King answer us on the day that we call out to Him.” The Midrash says that it is only when we call out to Hashem in prayer that He answers us and saves us from the predicaments that each generation finds itself in. Our relationship with Hashem is not just an intellectual one. It requires the constant involvement of our physical beings as well.
To be continued…