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Minhagim related to Havdala

Question:

Where does the minhag of dipping fingers into the spilled havdala wine come from? I understand the minhag of putting it on our eyelids because of enlightening our eyes, but what about putting the grape juice on our heads, back of neck, and “pockets”. Are there any galactic sources for this? Thank you.

 

Answer:

Hello,

It comes from the idea that “shiurei mitzva meakven es hapuranus”, the idea that not only does a mitzva help us and protect us but even the leftovers of a mitzva can serve as a protector to the person from mishaps. The idea of it is, that the person is showing love for the mitzva, and this zechus also provide the person with a protection. This idea is brought in the Rema (O:CH 296-2) regarding washing one’s eyes with the leftovers of the wine of Havdala of motzei Shabbos.  Also see Piskei Teshuvos 286-7, that there are also some people who rub it on their forehead and in their pockets.

Best wishes

Sources:

ע’ רמ”א או”ח ס’ רצ”ו סע’ א’ וז”ל “גם שופכין מן הכוס לאחר הבדלה ומכבין בו הנר ורוחצין בו עיניו משום חיבוב המצוה” והטעם לזה ע’ בי’ גר”א שם  סק”ד מגמ’ סוכה ל”ח שיירי מצוה מעכבין את הפרענות וע’ בפרישה ס’ רס”ט סק”ג שיש בזה רפואה לעינים.

 

 

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