Culinary Arts

Havdalah Is A Treat – Rachel Teichman

Books and Blintzes is happy to introduce our guest contributor Rachel Teichman.

Havdalah is a Treat

By Rachel Teichman

Havdalah is how I started the week every Monday morning during grade school. The whole school would gather in the gym and say the prayers together, along with “The Star Spangled Banner,” “Hatikva” and “The Pledge of Allegiance.” This was where I memorized those three things. And the ceremony really did create a separation from Shabbat and the weekend, from the school week for us all.

The word “Havdalah” literally means “separation.” By engaging all of our senses, we are able to create a connection to this separation and to the memories of the past Shabbat. Havdalah also gives us a way to look forward to the coming week. I love the use of the five senses, and it makes it such an easy observance to share with children.

During the short service, we watch the light from the Havdalah Candle and feel its warmth. We smell the spiced besamim, and taste the grape juice or wine, custom willing. And we hear the prayers, along with the sizzle of the flame asit is put out in the wine.

The element of cinnamon and other spices, besamim, which represents the sweetness of the memory of Shabbat, is an easy one to share with kids. From cinnamon sprinkled on toast and hot cocoa, to spiced rugelach and snickerdoodles, there is no end to the list of treats that can be prepared ahead of time or once Shabbat has ended.

A new treat in our home is Havdalah Candle Cinnamon Rolls. They bake up quickly for a Saturday night dessert or Sunday brunch, and don’t require many ingredients. They are fun for kids to create, decorate and eat, and are sure to start anyone off with a sweet week!

Havdalah Candle Cinnamon Rolls


1 package ready to make cinnamon rolls with icing

Small pretzel sticks

Sprinkles or mini chocolate chips (optional)

Will also need:

Baking sheet

Parchment paper


Preheat oven according to package directions. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Unroll all of the cinnamon rolls. Cut each strip into 6″ pieces, or whatever length you prefer depending on how many/what size treats you would like. Make groups of three strips. Make an X with two strips and lay a third vertically over the X. Begin braiding in the middle, tucking the pieces under at both ends. Bake according to package directions. When they are browned and toasted, remove from the oven. Poke 3 pretzel sticks into one end of the braid as the candle wicks. Place the baked goods on a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet and drizzle the icing on the candles, forming the melted wax. Toss on sprinkles or mini chocolate chips if you would like extra sweetness. Store according to package directions.


Twitter: @rachelteichman

Instagram: @rachelmteichman


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Israeli-artist Michael Sgan-Cohen created this acrylic and oil pen work in 1978. The street sign and emphasis on the words highlight the prophetic nature of the verse. It is a direction and call to action underlining the power of words to bring comfort.

By Michael Sgan-Cohen (מיכאל סגן-כהן) (Ktavim) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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