Ilanot Havdalah Take Home Project

Dear Ilanot campers and families of Kayitz 2009,

It has been a few months since we were all in a circle together singing havdalah under the stars at our home away from home, in Palmer. Over the summer, we in Ilanot learned so much about the different aspects of the havdalah service and even got to make our own havdalah sets to bring home to share with our families. This was one of the highlights of the summer because we got to bring such a wonderful aspect of camp home with us.

As Shabbat ends on Saturday night, we take our cup of grape juice, our spices, and a beautiful braided havdalah candle, and we sing the blessings. The blessings that we recite discuss the distinctions between the holy and the everyday, between light and darkness, between the people of Israel and the other peoples of the earth, and between the seventh day of rest and the six days of work or school. We then make a blessing over our grape juice, a symbol of joy, to sanctify the moment, and we sniff the spices to carry the sweet spice of Shabbat into the week. Then we use the light of the candle by looking at our fingernails and palms in the light, making finger shadows on our hands that display the distinction between light and darkness. The candle is the first fire of the new week. It is a sign that the time to begin creating again has arrived, it is time again for school, work and our other obligations. We now wait and look forward to next week’s Shabbat.

At Camp, havdalah marks another week that has gone by, the beginning of a new week, new exciting activities, more learning and of course, more time with our friends. We celebrate that special moment with our friends and we hope you are doing the same at home with your families.

We hope that you have all been using your hand-made havdalah kits at home and have taught your family all about the ceremony.  Here in the winter office we would love to see some pictures of families doing havdalah and have our campers tell us what they enjoy most about reciting havdalah at home with their families and friends. (We’re hoping people will take the photos after Shabbat ends) Please send your pictures and few sentences to so we can put them on our blog.

We look forward to seeing your pictures and reading your thoughts,

Leora Kimmel

Assistant Programming Director

Camp Ramah New England 

Categories: Take Ramah Home