Baruch Hamavdil or Havdala before doing melacha


Saying Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol:[1]

Escorting the king: Even after the time of night that hails the leave of Shabbos [or Yom Tov[2]] has arrived[3] the Sages forbade one from doing Melacha until he escorts the King.[4]

How to escort: The escorting of the king is done through reciting Havdalah [i.e. Ata Chonantanu] in prayer or Havdala over wine, or through simply saying the words “Baruch[5] Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol”.[6] [One who said Ata Chonantanu in Maariv, and certainly one who said Havdalah over wine, is no longer required to recite Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol, and hence it is only required to be said if one desires to perform Melacha prior to Davening Maariv or saying Havdalah over wine.[7] However, even one who says Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol is still required to recite or be Yotzei Havdala over wine, and recite Ata Chonantanu in Maariv, as these obligations are independent of one’s recital of Baruch Hamavdil.[8]]

Performing Rabbinical prohibitions prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil: The above prohibition of doing Melacha prior to saying Hamavdil applies likewise to Rabbinical Melacha. Thus, one may not even move the Havdalah candle until he says Havdalah in prayer or says Baruch Hamavdil.[9] (However those Rabbinical prohibitions relevant to speech[10] are permitted even before saying Havdalah or Baruch Hamavdil, once Shabbos is over. This however is with exception to asking bodily requests from G-d which is only allowed after one says Hamavdil.[11]) Likewise some[12] permit performing, after Shabbos is over but prior to saying Havdalah, all Rabbinical prohibitions which are forbidden simply due to them being a mundane act. Practically, the custom is to be lenient on Motzei Yom Kippur.[13] [According to this opinion, one may measure an item once Shabbos is over, even prior to reciting Baruch Hamavdil.[14] Likewise, according to this opinion, one may perform actions of preparations for the weekday once Shabbos is over, even prior to reciting Baruch Hamavdil.[15] Some[16] are lenient to also permit all Rabbinical prohibitions that were enacted simply due to decrees, and hence, in their opinion, one may clap hands, dance and take medicine. Admur does not mention such an opinion.]

Performing Melacha prior to Havdalah over wine: After Havdalah has been recited within prayer, or one has recited the words “Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol, he may perform all forms of Melacha even prior to saying Havdalah over wine.[17] [See next Halacha regarding doing Melacha prior to Maariv or prior to Havdalah or prior to eating Melaveh Malka.]

Reminding women to say Baruch Hamavdil:[18] It is of importance to remind women to say Baruch Hamavdil immediately after Shabbos, prior to doing any Melacha. One is to mention this obligation in public gatherings. Those women who do time consuming Melacha prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil are to be protested.[19] Those women who Daven Maariv on Motzei Shabbos are to say Havdalah in Ata Chonantanu just like men. They are not required to say Baruch Hamavdil after Davening Maariv unless they forget to say it in Maariv.

Hearing Baruch Hamavdil from another person:[20] Those which do not know to say Baruch Hamavdil are to hear another person say it [and intend to fulfill their obligation through hearing it[21]].

On Motzei Shabbos which is Yom Tov:[22] Based on the above when Yom Tov falls on Motzei Shabbos one may not begin doing any Melacha which is permitted on Yom Tov until he says Havdalah, or recites Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh[23], after the conclusion of Shabbos. It is of importance to remind women of this requirement, and have them say Baruch Hamavdil prior to doing any Yom Tov preparations.

Law if said in middle of meal: [24] In the event that one Davened Maariv [or said Baruch Hamavdil[25]] in middle of the meal, it is forbidden for him to continue eating or drinking until he says Havdalah, even if he washed for bread before sunset. This applies even if one Davened Maariv early, prior to dark. [In such a case one is to omit Ritzei from Bentching.[26] Due to this, initially one is to avoid Davening Maariv or saying Havdalah, or Baruch Hamavdil until after reciting Birchas Hamazon in order for him to be able to recite Ritzei.[27] However, there are Poskim which allow doing so even initially.[28] If one answered for Barchu of Maariv prior to saying Birchas Hamazon, he may nevertheless recite Ritzei in Bentching if he recites it prior to Davening Maariv.[29]]

Law if did Melacha before saying and forgot to say in Maariv: [30] In all cases that one forgot Ata Chonantanu, he is to beware to say Havdalah, or say “Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol,” prior to doing any Melacha.[31] If one did not adhere by the above and did (Melacha of Issur[32]) [prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil and[33]] prior to saying Havdalah over wine, then he must repeat Shemoneh Esrei with Ata Chonantanu, and then say Havdalah over wine.[34] [Some Poskim[35] rule that this only applies if one did a time consuming Melacha. However, one is not required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei if he did a Melacha which does not take much effort to do, such as lighting a candle and the like. However, from Admur[36] here it is implied that if any form of Melacha is done, one is required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei.]



Does one fulfill his obligation if he thought the words of “Baruch Hamavdil” without verbalizing them?

No.[37] However, there are Poskim[38] which write that doing so is valid.

If one is in the bathroom by the leave of Shabbos and needs to cut toilet paper may he say “Baruch Hamavdil” in that area?[39]

Some write one is to think the words of Baruch Hamavdil in his head and then tear the paper with an irregularity if possible.

If a woman lit Yom Tov candles on the night of Yom Tov which is Motzei Shabbos, and after saying the blessing remembered that she did not yet say Baruch Hamavdil, what is she to do?[40]

Some write she is to think the words in her mind and then light one candle, and then verbalize the Baruch Hamavdil. Afterwards she may light the other candles.

If one recited “Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol” instead of “Bein Kodesh Lekodesh” on Motzei Shabbos which is Yom Tov has he fulfilled his obligation?

Some[41] rule that he has fulfilled his obligation, although seemingly he should repeat the correct Nusach.[42]

If a Jew did Melacha prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil, may another Jew benefit from that Melacha?[43]

Yes. There is no prohibition of benefiting from such Melacha being that Shabbos was already over. For this reason, it is permitted to enter a bus driven by a Jew which has not said Baruch Hamavdil.


[1] Admur 299:15-16; Michaber 299:10; Rebbe Elazar Ben Anitginus and Rebbe Eliezer Ben Yaakov in Shabbos 150b; Piskeiy Teshuvos 299:13

[2] Admur 491:3

[3] Meaning, even if three consecutive small stars are visible and it is thus no longer Shabbos, and he has already added Mechol Al Hakodesh [and thus the holiness of Shabbos has already left-Admur 491:3], he nevertheless may still not do Melacha. [Admur ibid]

[4] Admur ibid and 491:3; Taz 263:3; Rashi Shabbos ibid

Nothing to do with holiness of Shabbos: Thus, the reason behind this prohibition has nothing to do with the Kedusha of Shabbos or Yom Tov [Admur 491:3], but due to it being forbidden for one to do his own matters prior to escorting the king. [Admur ibid] This follows the ruling of the Taz 263:3

Concluding one’s Tosefes Shabbos: Vetzaruch Iyun why this is not forbidden due to Tosefes Shabbos in which case one cannot do any Melacha until he concludes Shabbos? Seemingly one must say that that as soon as one does Melacha after Shabbos, that itself is an action which says “my Tosefes Shabbos has concluded” and hence only due to this new prohibition of escorting the king is it forbidden to do Melacha. [See also Kitzur Halachos Miluim p. 123 for a similar explanation; Piskeiy Teshuvos 299 footnote 103; See also other opinions below in name of Ashel Avraham Butchatcher 299 who seems to learn that the prohibition applies due to Tosefes Shabbos]

Other Opinions regarding reason: Some Poskim rule that one must say Havdalah prior to doing Melacha because the holiness of Shabbos partially continues until Havdalah and therefore the Sages forbade it in Melacha. [Levush 263; M”B 299:33] The Ashel Avraham Butchatcher 299 seems to learn that the prohibition applies due to Tosefes Shabbos.

[5] Admur ibid; This ruling of Admur follows the ruling of Levush.

Other opinions of Nusschaos: Some Poskim rule that one simply says Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lechol, without the word Baruch. [Michaber ibid]

[6] Admur 299:16; Michaber ibid; Rashi; Beis Yosef; Rav Ashi Shabbos ibid

The reason for this wording: These words serve as recognition of escorting the king. [Admur ibid]

Other Opinions of Nusschaos-Hashems name: The above wording follows the opinion of Rashi and the Beis Yosef which argue there is no need to say Hashem’s name in the blessing. Others however rule one must say Baruch Hamavdil with Hashem’s name. Practically the ruling is that one may not do so. [Kaf Hachaim 299:56] The Kitzur SH”A 96:5 based on Abudarham writes that one is to recite the entire Nusach of the blessing of Havdalah recited over wine without Hashem’s name. This is not the accepted ruling of Achronim.

Gutt Voch/G-d of Avraham: See Piskeiy Teshuvos 299:16 regarding if saying Shavua Tov or G-d of Avraham is considered as if one said Baruch Hamavdil.

[7] See Admur 299:15-16

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even one who already said Ata Chonantanu in Maariv Shemoneh Esrei, is to still say Baruch Hamavdil if he desires to do Melacha before saying Havdala over wine. [Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeitzei 2:22; Kaf Hachaim 299:59]

[8] See Admur 299:15-16; 294:1-2

[9] Admur 299:19

[10] Such as talking of business-related matters or Amira Lenachri. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 299:13]

[11] Requesting bodily matters is forbidden on Shabbos, and this prohibition extends until Havdalah is said. [299:15; 294:1; Kaf Hachaim 299:51]

[12] See Elya Raba 299:22; Shaareiy Teshuvah 299:2; M”B 299:40

[13] Admur 299:15; With regards to blowing the Shofar after Neila. [623:11]

Other Opinions brought in Admur: There are those opinions [Rabbeinu Yerucham] who rule that only those Melachas which are time consuming and take effort, such as weaving, writing and chopping wood, were forbidden by the Sages before saying Havdalah or Baruch Hamavdil. However those Melachas which are performed without any effort, such as lighting a candle or carrying 4 Amos in a public domain, are permitted even if they are of Biblical nature, if the proper time of night has arrived, even if one has not yet said Hamavdil.

Practically, however, Admur rules [in parentheses, and so is the main opinion-See Kaf Hachaim 299:52] that the above differentiation was only said as a stringency regarding doing Melacha after saying Havdalah in prayer but prior to Havdalah over wine. As some opinions [Rambam/Rosh] rule that even if one said Havdalah in prayer he may still not do any time consuming Melacha until after he says Havdalah over wine. However, before Baruch Hamavdil or Baruch Hamavdil Havdalah in prayer, no Melacha at all may be done. Thus, the above differentiation was only given for those who follow this opinion. [In other words, there are two disputes: 1. Can non-time consuming Melacha be done before saying Hamavdil? 2. Even if one rules non-time consuming Melacha can be done some opinions rule this is only prior to Havdalah over wine and not prior to saying Hamavdil. Meaning they are even further stringent to still forbid time consuming Melacha until after Havdalah over wine.] Practically, the main opinion follows that even non-time consuming Melachas are forbidden prior to Havdalah or Baruch Hamavdil [unlike Rabbeinu Yerucham], and once Baruch Hamavdil has been said, all Melachos are permitted even prior to Havdalah over wine [unlike the opinions which hold time consuming Melacha may not be done prior to Havdalah over wine]. Nevertheless, one may rely on the first opinion [Rabbeinu Yerucham] regarding not protesting women who are lenient to do non-time consuming Melachas prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil. If, however they do time consuming Melachas they must be protested. [299:18]

[14] Admur 306:18 as measuring is only forbidden due to Uvdin Dechol.

[15] Elya Raba 299:22; Shaareiy Teshuvah 299:2; M”B 299:40; Piskeiy Teshuvos 299 footnote 110

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden to even do actions of preparation from Shabbos to weekday until one hears Havdalah or recites Baruch Hamavdil. [Alef Lamagen 599:5 in name of Achronim]

Final ruling of Admur: Regarding the need to say Baruch Hamavdil prior to performing Melacha Admur 299:15 states “Likewise some permit performing, after Shabbos is over but prior to saying Havdalah, all Rabbinical prohibitions which are forbidden simply due to them being a mundane act.” Thus, if preparing from Shabbos to a weekday is considered a mundane act prohibition it would be permitted according to this opinion. In 338:8 Admur rules that the prohibition of preparing on Shabbos for a weekday is due to being a mundane act, and hence accordingly it would be permitted to be performed according to this opinion. However, Tzaruch Iyun if Admur’s final stance on the matter follows this opinion, as a) The first opinion holds that one may not do any of his preparations or work prior to escorting the king through Havdalah. This seems to imply that even preparations of Uvdin Dechol are forbidden according to this opinion. Likewise, b) Admur never concludes that we rule like the second opinion and simply states that regarding Yom Kippur we are lenient to follow it. Vetzaruch Iyun if one can learn from Yom Kippur to other places. From here can be understood the source of the ruling of the Alef Lamagen ibid that rules stringently in this matter. It is a wonderment on the Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that he omitted this first opinion brought in Admur.

[16] Piskeiy Teshuvos 299:13; Ashel Avraham Butchach 299 permits clapping hands;

[17] See previous footnote that some opinions forbid time consuming Melacha until Havdalah is said over wine.

Other opinions: Some rule one may not do Melacha until he says Baruch Hamavdil even if he said Havdalah in prayer. They also rule it is best to be stringent not to do any Melacha until Havdalah over wine. [Chesed Leavraham brought in Kaf Hachaim 299:59; Ben Ish Chaiy Vayeitzei 22]

[18] Admur 299:18; Rama 299:10; Kol Bo 41

[19] See previous footnotes regarding the difference between time consuming Melacha and Melachas that can be performed without delay.

[20] Admur 299:18

[21] Piskeiy Teshuvos 299 footnote 101, Upashut!

[22] Admur 299:17-18

[23] Other Opinions: The Elya Raba rules it does not suffice on Motzei Shabbos which is Yom Tov to simply say Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh Lekodesh. Rather one must say the entire blessing of Hamavdil without Sheim Umalchus. [Brought in Kaf Hachaim 299:58]

[24] Admur 299:5

[25] Ketzos Hashulchan 94 footnote 7 and 6 based on the ruling of Admur that once one has said Baruch Hamavdil he may not say Ritzei in Birchas Hamazon.

Other Opinions: Elya Raba 299 rules one may continue eating after saying Baruch Hamavdil within a meal. So rules also M”B in Shaareiy Tziyon 299:8

[26] Admur 188:17

[27] Based on glosses of Chasam Sofer in end of 263

[28] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 299:4 footnote 41

[29] Beir Moshe 1:5

[30] Admur 294:3

[31] Admur 294:3; M”A 294:2

The reason: As it is forbidden to do any Melacha prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil, as explained in 299:16.

[32] Parentheses in original

[33] Pashut! So rules Minchas Shabbos 96 footnote 5; See also Piskeiy Teshuvos 294 footnote 38;

[34] Admur 294:3 in parentheses; So rules Rashba, brought in Elya Raba and Rav Akiva Eiger 294:1; Peri Megadim 294 A”A 3 and M”Z 2; Derech HaChaim; Kitzur SH”A 96:1; Tehila Ledavid 294:2

The reason: In such a case that he omitted Ata Chonantanu in prayer [and then did Melacha] one does not fulfill his obligation by simply saying Havdalah over wine as it is unbefitting of Havdalah for him to have ate (or done Melacha) prior to it. [Admur ibid]

Analysis on opinion of Admur: See Ketzos Hashulchan 93 footnote 8 regarding this law in Admur being placed in parentheses. The Ketzos Hashulchan ibid concludes one is to repeat Shemoneh Esrei as a Tefilas Nedava. Kitzur Halachos Shabbos 294:8 records this ruling without brackets.

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule there is no need to repeat Shemoneh Esrei if one did Melacha after Shemoneh Esrei of Maariv, prior to saying Baruch Hamavdil. [M”B 294 in Biur Halacha “Veim Taam”; Kaf Hachaim 294:8 that according to the Rambam Melacha is not relevant to this law. The reason is because since to be allowed to do Melacha one can simply say Baruch Hamavdil without a blessing, therefore it does not belittle the blessing of Havdalah if he does Melacha prior to it.]

[35] Derech Hachaim brought in Minchas Shabbos 96 footnote 6; See Admur 299:18

[36] So is implied from Admur 294:3 who writes “Melacha Beiisur” implying any Issur. However, see 299:18 regarding different Melachas that are permitted before Havdalah according to some opinions. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[37] Admur 299:15 writes “to say” Baruch Hamavdil.

[38] Ashel Avraham Butchach 299 writes that if one thinks the words of Baruch Hamavdil he ends his Tosefes Shabbos [and can then do Melacha. See Piskeiy Teshuvos 299 footnote 101.

[39] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 299 footnote 101

[40] Sheivet Hakehasy 6:153

[41] Piskeiy Teshuvos 299 footnote 102

[42] Based on M”A 299:9 that one who says Bein Kodesh Lekodesh when he is meant to say Bein Kodesh Lechol is saying a lie.

[43] Piskeiy Teshuvos 299:13; Tzitz Eliezer 11:34

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1 Comment

  1. Michael

    In the case of one who is in the bathroom at the time that Shabbos ends, and he desires to tear toilet paper – practically speaking, one is allowed to tear toilet paper with a shinui even on Shabbos proper if he has no alternative, since kavod habriyos permits one to transgress a rabbinic transgression, and doing a melacha with a shinui is a rabbinic transgression. [The same way that one can continue walking in a karmelis on Shabbos with a tallis whose tzitzis are possul, even though doing so involves a rabbinic transgression] How much more so, should he seemingly be allowed to tear with a shinui here, when Shabbos is over and it is only that the Sages/ Rabbis prohibited one from doing melacha prior to saying some form of Havdalah.
    Why, then, the need to think Baruch Hamavdil? [Seemingly it should be unnecessary to do so.]

    And why can’t he say Baruch Hamavdil [as opposed to merely thinking it, which is invalid according to some opinions[, as one is permitted to talk in a bathroom in a case of need, such as to stop someone from committing a transgression or for women to talk to prevent yichud – and seemingly also in this case [if one would say that tearing the paper before Havdalah involves a transgression, he would be allowed to talk to prevent this transgression – i.e., to say the words of Baruch Hamavdil, after which it is no longer a transgression to tear].

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