Tradition & Innovation
Powered By The Reconstructionist Movement

Prelude to Havdalah

From Livni 2

The music of Yemenite Jews typically comprises prayers, stories, and chants accompanied by drums or clapping. This poem is written by the sixteenth-century Yemenite poet Sa'adiah. Additional background information on the poem can be found here, with a link to the song

Translation of the Hebrew: 

My soul longs for the candle and the spices.
If only you would pour me a cup of wine for Havdalah.

O angels on high, pave a way for me,
clear the path for the bewildered [daughter of Zion]
and open the gates that I may enter.

My heart yearning,
I shall lift up my eyes to the Lord,
who provides for my needs day and night.

From the treasures of your goodness,
give me the minimum I need,
for your goodness has no end nor limit.
Rejuvenate my joy, my bread and my blessing,
Remove all sorrow, pain and darkness.

Now the days of activity begin once again
May they be renewed in peace and in goodness.

Text from Jewish Heritage Online Magazine.

Ritual Component