The ceremonial Havdalah, which we recite Saturday night, makes a separation between the Shabbat, a spiritually holy day , and weekdays. Initially, we recite the Havdalah at the evening services Amida in the midst of the bracha of ATTA CHONEN L’ADDAM DA’AT, “G-d give us understanding”. The question is asked: Why did the Sages instill the recitation of the Havdala in this bracha?
Another question one may ask is “Are not the statements we make in Havdala (the separation between holy and not holy, between light and dark and between the nation of Israel and the other nations) extremely elementary?”
Lets give a parable in order to fully understand the message of Havdallah.:
If someone is not sure if a knife he finds in his house is dairy or meat, what should he do?
Well one particular individual used one side of the knife for dairy and the other side of the knife for meat. Obviously this person lacks DA’AT-knowledge. This is the reason the recitation is found in the bracha of “G-d please give me knowledge”. If one has the proper knowledge, he can make the proper distinction.
However life is such that certain situations are not so clear cut. When does one say “Enough”. There are many situation at work or between neighbors that occur between us and the non-Jews that fall under the grey area of what the Havdalah calls ” between us and the non Jews”. We therefore pray our decisions will be clear and with the proper understanding.
It’s important to put fences, barriers, at the proper junctures of our relationships. Unfortunately, it’s common that lines are crossed. How many of us say “I’m going to do this no matter what”. The reason is our emotions get in the way. There is a certain vulnerability in all of us and no one is immune.
Avraham had the gift, the courage, and the foresight to draw the line, to make the “havdalah (separation). This is how he was able to teach to his son and students G-d’s word and for this reason G-d loved him like no other.