Havdalah: Minneapolis Uprising 2020

havdalah candle lit against black background

George Floyd was murdered by the Minneapolis Police on May 25th 2020. Since then protesters have filled the streets of Minneapolis demanding justice. Minneapolis and St. Paul are on fire (literally). This Havdalah service includes quotes from Twin Cities small business owners.


כִּי עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ יי וַיְהִי לִי לִישׁוּעָה וּשְׁאַבְתֶּם מַיִם בְּשָׂשׂוֹן מִמַּעַיְנֵי הַיְשׁוּעָה
Ki ozi ve-zimrat Yah, vayhi li liyshu’a. Ush’avtem mayim b’sason mi-ma’y’nei ha-yshu’a.
God is strength and song, my Deliverer. With joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Blessing over the wine:

“Our hearts are broken. We are lost for words – As we know words are not enough. We plead for justice. We plead for peace. We ache for our community. Thank you to all of those standing up and peacefully protesting this horrible injustice. We are with you.” – Lakes and Legends Brewing Company

And Hannah answered and said, “No my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured my soul before God. (1 Samuel 1:15) Martin Luther King, Jr., taught: “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Preparing to bless the fruit of the vine, we take a moment to stop and listen to those whose voices have too long gone unheard. Our voices join with theirs voices pouring out our souls before God and all the world calling for justice.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei peri ha-gafen
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

Blessing over the spices:

“As of now our shop is ok except for feeling the effects of the smoke in the air. Our small staff including Ricardo are probably going to be focused on the immediate needs of our community and on #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd and the exciting potential this movement brings for radically transforming our society. And by the way… no business is more important than that.” – Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio

Tradition teaches that we smell the spices during Havdalah to comfort our soul. We pause now to think of those whose communities are engulfed in the smell of smoke and pray for swift justice and comfort to all souls who are grieving.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מִינֵי בְשָׂמִים
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei minei v’samim.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of many kinds of spices

Blessing over the flames of the Havdalah candle:

“If our business is still standing on Monday, we’ll be grilling for free for anyone hungry in the neighborhood. Our community is fantastic, the weakness shore by the strength of our differences. That’s why I chose this city to live in and start a business in. Whatever comes, like seeds in a wildfire we’ll grow anew.” – The Mill Northeast (Owner Ryley Gahagan)

“Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke, for God had come down upon it in fire; the smoke rose like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled violently” (Exodus 19:18).
Preparing to receive Torah, we stood and watched as Mount Sinai burned and as our normal was smoldering, out of the ashes came revelation.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, בּוֹרֵא מְאוֹרֵי הָאֵשׁ
Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, borei m’orei ha-eish.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fire’s light.

Concluding blessing:

“Thank you so much for the outpouring of affection and offers to help as our community faces incredible grief over the destruction of our bodies and our spaces. The collective loss – both psychically and physically – is something we are only beginning to comprehend. Our Lake Street community showed up in a gigantic way yesterday – streams of helpers and people extending kindnesses and assistance to anyone who needed it. Neighbors spoke truthfully together, cried together, helped each other. It was a beautiful affirmation of what we know is true about the goodness of being human.” – Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace

During Havdalah we mark separation of holy and mundane. Right now, our community needs us to think not only about separation and what makes us different, but also about unity and togetherness as we grieve and rebuild.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמַּבְדִּיל בֵּין אוֹר לְחֹשֶׁךְ, בֵּין יִשְׂרָאֵל לָעַמִּים, בֵּין יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי לְשֵׁשֶׁת יְמֵי הַמַּעֲשֶׂה, בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, הַמַּבְדִּיל בֵּין קֹדֶשׁ לְחוֹל 

Barukh ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melekh ha-olam, ha-mavdil bein kodesh l’chol, bein or-le’choshekh, bein Yisrael la-amim, bein yom ha-shevi’i l’sheshet y’mai ha-ma’aseh. Barukh ata Adonai, ha-mavdil bein kodesh l’chol.
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, Who distinguishes between the sacred and the profane, between light and darkness, between Israel and other people of the world, between the seventh day and the six days of the week. Blessed are You, Who distinguishes between the sacred and the profane.

Complete Ceremony