Monday, November 19, 2007

Making Havdalah For My Daughters

I just realized I haven't posted anything since Parshas Lech Lecha. I have been busy at work and I was out of town last week. Hopefully, things are calming down and I should be posting more frequently.

This past motzei Shabbos my 2 older girls both under bas mitzvah missed havdala and I had to make it for them again. However, I initially wasn't sure if I could make it for them. (The truth is in retrospect I am not sure why I was so mesupak but here is what I found). The first question I had was the age old question of making havdalah for a woman when you have already heard havdalah. It is questionable if a woman has an obligation to hear havdalah. Therefore, if a man has already fullfilled his obligation, arvus might not apply and he might not be able to be motzei a woman. The Mishna Berura brings down both opinions and says it is better for the woman to make it herself. It wasn't clear to me what the Mishan Berura would say where the woman can't make havdalah. I wasn't sure which side the Mishna Berura liked better. (Maybe someone out there can convince me either way). The Aruch HaShulchan however is very adamant that if the woman can't make havdalah then a man can make it for her.

What was also interesting is how th e Mishna Berura and Aruch HaShulchan both viewed the "issur" of a woman drinking the wine. The Mishna Berura quoted an acharon that asked how can a woman make havadala if she can't drink teh wine. The obvious answer (at least to me) would be to say that what kind of question is that, not drinking wine is only a minhag and of course she can drink the wine when there is no other choice. This is what the Aruch HaShulchan says (using strong language). The Mishna Berura on the other hand seems to accept the question as legitimate.

The next question that I had was does the fact that my girls were not bas mitzvah make a difference. Again I am not sure why I thought this would matter but for some reason I was bothered by it. I found that when it comes to the beracha of besamim, if you are smelling the besamim then you can make the beracha. However, if for some reason you can't smell them, then the Shmiras Shabbos says that the ketanim should make the beracha after havdalah. Teh idea is that for them to make the beracha in the middle of havdalah would be a hefsek. (I have to look it up again to see what the sevarah is).

The beracha on the fire was also a little complicated and I need to look it up again before writing it down here. Stay tuned. Hopefully I will get back to it.

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