Individual Postings 1st appeared(& were copied in html form) on the Email List Mail Jewish

From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu> Date: Subject: eason for not eating prior to havdalah // Havdalah-bench unity In my postings I always advocate trying to resolve issues by * going to the root reason of the custom * trying to do both things simultaneously Well: It is simple enough to do both things simultaneously: Simply have the Groom make havdalah over the Wine -- he can then certainly drink it and there is no interruption to havdalah. On a deeper level however, I think we should look at why we don't eat anything till we say havdalah: The reason is part of a general principle that we should do Mitzvoth as quickly as possible. Similarly we don't eat anything till e.g. we blow shofar or bench lulav or say sefirah etc. Since the reason is >>to do mitzvoth as quickly as possible<< it follows that it is only secular things that do not have precedence. But if we have another mitzvah at hand...the sheva bracoth cup of wine...then of course it can be drunk before havdalah (Since we have not violated the principle >>do mitzvoth as quickly as possible<<.) I might add by way of support that Havdalah, a rabbinic mitzvah should not be more stringent than Reciting the Shma, a biblical mitzvah. And it is an explicit law that e.g. if you were eating, or having a haircut, or involved in a lawsuit you do not interrupt for reciting the shma even though to begin with you should not start these activities. Similarly, you should not go out of your way to drink wine, but if you are already involved in sheva bracoth you may continue. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA rhendel @ mcs drexel edu