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I will post here any questions that may be asked so long as they do not hurt anyone else and do not contribute to 'lashon hara' (wrong speech).  I will post the submitter's initials only.  Any topic is okay and all views expressed in my responses are mine alone unless otherwise stated.   Rabbi Shafir

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Q: [Havdalah]  I am living in a rural area with no access to a shul.  My children (6&8) and I are seeking to add havdalah to our current practice.  Can you recommend a progressive, egalitarian ritual?   I P

RS:  I commend you and your children for looking to add Havdalah to your family practice.  It is a very powerful ritual.  Havdalah serves two main functions, both of which are about consciousness.  One function is to recognize that Shabbat (or other holiday which ends with Havdalah), with its specialness, is ending; we are about to enter back into the work-week, the routine.  Second, if we used Shabbat, MADE Shabbat, did the work of Shabbat, then we can, if we are conscious about the transition, take some of that Soul-work back into the routine and elevate it just a bit.  More specifics about a possible ritual are at my Havdalah page.

Congregation Eitz Chayim