We are continuing in siman 24, where the Chayei Adam discusses the proper procedure for reciting havdalah. Yesterday, we learned that the Chayei Adam holds one should stand for havdalah, out of kavod for the departure of the Shabbos Queen.
The Chayei Adam writes that one should hold the cup of wine in his right hand. Generally, when a person makes a bracha on an item, it is held in the right hand in order to demonstrate kavod for the bracha. When making the bracha on besamim and ner, it should be held in the right hand as well. While reciting the bracha on the wine, one should hold the besamim in their left hand, and while making the bracha on besamim, one should hold the wine in their left hand.
After reciting the bracha on the besamim and ner, one returns the cup to their right hand, and continues with the rest of havdalah with the cup in their right hand
We need to discuss the reason one should hold the wine while making the bracha on the besamim. Technically speaking, only the final bracha of hamavdil needs to be recited on the kos, and the brachos of besamim and ner could be recited independently. However, Chazal instituted that the brachos should be recited in conjunction with the cup of wine, so the cup should be held while making the other brachos.
A left-handed person should hold the cup in their dominant hand, i.e., their left hand, because it is their way of showing kavod for the bracha.
In siman 25, the Chayei Adam writes that if one does not have besamim, they do not need to push off reciting havdalah in order to wait for besamim. The bracha can be made at any time on Motzei Shabbos, so one can make it later in the evening when they are able to procure them.
- One should begin havdalah with the cup in their right hand and the besamim in their left hand. When making the bracha on the besamim, they switch.
- A left handed person will hold the cup in their left hand.
- If one does not have besamim, they can make havdalah independent of the besamim and make the bracha of besamim later, if they are able to procure them.