Why Is the Havdalah Candle Braided?

havdalah-candle-braided Credit: Mitch Hrdlicka/Photodisc/Getty Images

The braids in a Havdalah candle may represent the many types of Jews in the world or the many different types of fire or light. The braids may also symbolize the separation between the spiritual world and the material world.

The braided candle has multiple wicks and gives off a stronger light than a candle with only a single wick, also symbolizing unity and strength. Havdalah is Hebrew for separation. The weekly ceremony commemorates the separation between Shabbat, or Sabbath, and the rest of the week, the holy and the profane and the dark and the light. Havdalah is a ritual performed at the end of Shabbat.