Boray miray ha-esh: there’s no right way

Posted on +00002007-01-27T17:59:03+00:00312007bUTCSat, 27 Jan 2007 17:59:03 +0000 5, 206

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While listening to havdalah tonight I noticed an interesting thing. While most people hang on to age old traditions and minhagim to try and emanate their ancestors who were closer to Torah me-sinai then us and therefore holier then we can ever be, most people do not have a set in stone way of putting their hands up to the havdalah candle during “boray mire haesh”, that’s right I noticed countless times that no one does it alike. Children do it differently then parents and congregants different from Rabbis. Some do it with a wide spread hand, maybe copying the whole “spirit fingers” exercise from the movie Bring it On. While some folks hold their hands right up to the flame, just close enough to feel the heat, yet not get burned. Do they think you have to feel the heat and see their veins in the process? How about the folks who do it kach style with a fist in the air. The most common way folks do it is to make like they are women who show off their newly done nails and then gaze at them for themselves, this is how I do it. But maybe this is considered like begged Isha, and cannot really done. There are a whole slew of other ways to rock the havdalah hands in fire ceremony and there seems unlike many of our other minhagim, no right and wrong way to do it.

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