havdalahDoes the New Testament support a “Sunday Sabbath”? The Book of Acts says,

“On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight. There were many lights in the upper room where we were gathered together. A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead. Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said, Don’t be troubled, for his life is in him. When he had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even until break of day, he departed. They brought the boy in alive, and were greatly comforted.”
Acts 20:7-12

At first glance, it would seem clear that the early believers had a Sunday church service – that is, until you begin to examine the text in a first century Jewish context.”

“On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.
Acts 20:7

It is important to note that the word “day” is missing in the above passage. However, in Jewish thought, a “day” actually begins at evening. This concept comes from Genesis,

“There was evening and there was morning, one day.”
Genesis 1:5

To further illustrate the point, they were meeting in a third-story room with a window, and had many candles in the room. This indicates that without the multiple sources of illumination, the room would have been dark, therefore it would have been dark outside. Therefore, the believers did not meet together on Sunday morning, they met together on Saturday night, Motzaei Shabbat, the going out of the Shabbat. After Eutychus fell out of the window, Paul miraculously revived him, and Paul talked with them until Sunday morning, when he departed on his journey.

HAVDALAH

At the end of Shabbat, there is a service called הַבְדָּלָה Havdalah, which means “separation.” It sets the Shabbat apart from the ordinary days of the week. When at least three stars shine in the sky, three elements are brought out for the special occasion. A braided Candle, a Kiddush Cup, and a box of Spices, called besamim in Hebrew. I remember standing at the Kotel, or Western Wall, when spices were passed around to smell. It was an incredible experience.

Torah.net’s Glossary makes an interesting observation about Havdalah, noting that, “All the senses are used in blessing the wine, the light of a special candle and smelling spices.”

As we see the Light,
Feel the heat,
Taste the wine,
And smell the spices,
We hear the blessing…

 

Click here to download the Havdalah transliteration in PDF.

הִנֵּה אֵל יְשׁוּעָתִי
Hine el Yeshu’ati,

Behold, G-d is my Salvation

אֶבְטַח וְלֹא אֶפְחָד
Evtach ve lo efchad,

I will trust and not be afraid

Havdalכִּי עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ יְיָ
Ki ozi vezimrat Kah HaShem,

For the Lord G-d is my strength and my song

וַיְהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה
Vayehi li lishu’a.

And He has become my salvation.

וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם מַֽיִם בְּשָׂשׂוֹן
Ushavtem mayim besason

You will joyfully draw water

מִמַּעַיְנֵי הַיְשׁוּעָה
Mima’ainei haYeshu’ah

from the Wells of Salvation

לַייָ הַיְשׁוּעָה
L’HaShem haYeshu’a,

Salvation belongs to the Lord

עַל עַמְּךָ בִרְכָתֶֽךָ סֶּֽלָה
Al amkha virkhatekha sela

Upon Your people is Your blessing. Selah.

יְיָ צְבָאוֹת עִמָּֽנוּ
HaShem tzeva’ot imanu,

The L-rd of Legions is with us,

מִשְׂגָּב לָנוּ אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב סֶֽלָה
Misgav lanu Elohei Ya’akov, Sela.

The G-d of Jacob is a stronghold for us. Selah.

יְיָ צְבָאוֹת, אַשְרֵי אָדָם בֹּטֵֽחַ בָּךְ
HaShem Tzevaot, ashrei adam boteach bakh.

Oh L-rd of Legions, happy is the man who trusts in You.

יְיָ הוֹשִֽׁיעָה, הַמֶּֽלֶךְ יַעֲנֵֽנוּ בְיוֹם קָרְאֵֽנוּ
HaShem hoshi’a, haMelekh ya’anenu veyom kor-enu

Oh L-rd, save! May the King answer us on the day we call.

לַיְּהוּדִים הָיְתָה
LaYehudim ha’yita

For the Jews there was

אוֹרָה וְשִׂמְחָה
Ora vesimcha,

Light and gladness,

וְשָׂשׂוֹן וִיקָר, כֵּן תִּהְיֶה לָּֽנוּ
Vesason vikar, ken tihyeh lanu.

Joy and honor, So may it be for us!

כּוֹס יְשׁוּעוֹת אֶשָּׂא, וּבְשֵׁם יְיָ אֶקְרָא
Kos yeshu’ot esa, uveshem HaShem ekra.

I will raise the cup of Salvation, and I will call on the Name of the L-rd.

Lailailailailailailai, Lailailailailailailai!

Blessing Over the Wine

ברוך אתה השם אלוקינו ,מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן

Barukh ata HaShem Elokeinu Melekh ha’olam bore peri hagafen.
Blessed are You O L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Amen!

Lailailailailailailai, Lailailailailailailai!

Blessing Over the Spices

ברוך אתה השם אלוקינו ,מלך העולם, בורא מיני בשמים


Barukh ata HaShem Elokeinu Melekh ha’olam bore minei vesamim.

Blessed are You Oh Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who creates different kinds of spices.

Amen!

Lailailailailailailai, Lailailailailailailai!

Blessing Over the Flame

ברוך אתה השם אלוקינו ,מלך העולם, בורא מאורי האש

Barukh ata HaShem Elokeinu Melekh ha’olam bore me-orei ha-esh.
Blessed are You Oh Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who creates the light of the fire.

Amen!

Lailailailailailailai, Lailailailailailailai!

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
Barukh ata HaShem Elokeinu Melekh ha’olam,

Blessed are You, HaShem our G-d, Sovereign of the universe,

הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹֽדֶשׁ לְחוֹל,
Hamavdil bein kodesh lechol,

who makes a distinction between the holy and the ordinary,

בֵּין אוֹר לְחֹֽשֶׁךְ
Bein or lechoshekh,

between light and darkness,

בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים
Bein Israel la’amim,

between Israel and the nations,

בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵֽׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה
Bein yom hashevi’i lesheshet yemei hama’aseh

between the seventh day and the six days of creation.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, הַמַּבְדִיל בֵּין קֹֽדֶשׁ לְחוֹל
Barukh ata HaShem, hamavdil bein kodesh lechol.

Blessed are you, HaShem our G-d, who distinguishes between holy and common.

Amen!

Lailailailailailailai, Lailailailailailailai!

[Drink from the wine cup]

ELIYAHU HANAVI

Eliyahu hanavi, Eliyahu hatishbi, Eliyahu hanavi, Eliyahu hagil’adi!
Elijah the prophet, Elijah of Tishbi, Elijah the prophet, Elijah of Gilead,

Eliyahu hanavi, Eliyahu hatishbi, Eliyahu hanavi, Eliyahu hagil’adi!
Elijah the prophet, Elijah of Tishbi, Elijah the prophet, Elijah of Gilead,

Bimhera veyameinu yavo eleinu, im Mashiach, Mashiach ben David!
May he come soon to us, along with the Messiah son of David!

Bimhera veyameinu yavo eleinu, im Mashiach, Mashiach ben David!
May he come soon to us, along with the Messiah son of David!

Lailailailailailailai, Lailailailailailailai!,
Lailailailailailailai, Lailailailailailailai!

Mashiach ben David!

Shavu’ah tov!

Click here to download the Havdalah transliteration in PDF.

Here is another version,