Havdalah for the Spring Equinox
This Jewish ceremony to mark the spring equinox may be recited on or around March 20, the beginning of spring. The exact equinox moment is 1:26 pm EST, March 20.
You will need a cup of wine or grape juice, fresh flowers, and a braided candle.
Before the ritual, invite participants (or yourself) to express hopes and wishes for the coming spring. You may also want to plant seeds in a garden or flowerpot and bless them at this time.
Opening song or chant:
Kol dodi hineh zeh bah
Medaleg al heharim
Mekapeitz al hagevaot
The voice of my beloved is coming
Leaping on the mountains, dancing on the hills
Beruchah at shekhinah eloheinu ruach ha’olam, boreit peri hagafen.
(Holding up cup) Blessed are You, Shekhinah who guides the world, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melekh ha’olam borei isvei vesamim.
(Holding up new flowers) Blessed are You, Holy One who guides the world, who creates fragrant grasses.
Beruchah at shekhinah eloheinun ruach ha’olam, boreit me’orei ha’eish.
(Holding up candle) Blessed are You, Shekhinah who guides the world, who creates the lights of fire.
Baruch ata adonai, eloheinu melekh ha’olam, oseh vereishit, asher betevunah meshaneh itim umachalif et hazmanim. Od kol yemei ha’aretz zera vekatzir, vekor vechom vekayitz vechoref veyom velailah lo yishbotu. Baruch ata adonai mevareich hashanim.
Blessed are You, Holy One who guides the world, who fashions the world, changes the times with wisdom, and turns the seasons. All the days of the earth, planting and harvest, cold and hear, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. Blessed are You, Holy One, who blesses the years.
(The candle is extinguished in the wine as the spirit of life enters the earth. We open the door to welcome in the spring.)
Eit dodim kalah, bo’i legani
Parcha hagefen, heineitzu harimonim
Neranena, nezamera, neranena, nezamerah
It is the time of love, O bride,
come into my garden.
The grapevine has blossomed, the pomegranates have flowered.
We will rejoice and sing.
In accordance with the law that a havdalah (ending) ceremony after the Sabbath may be recited up to four days later, this havdalah may be recited from 1:26 pm EST on March 20 until evening on March 24.
Rabbi Jill Hammer is the director and co-founder of Tel Shemesh, and the author of Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women.
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