Back to the main body of our topic – Rabbi Elazar said that Rabbi Osha’ya said: One who minimizes does not reduce below three, and one who adds does not add beyond seven — they challenged from this baraita: One says the Havdallah rites on the night after Shabbat, and the night after festivals, and the night after Yom Kippur, and the night after a Sabbath/Festival, and the night after a festival leading into the intermediate days of the festival. But not on the night after a festival leading into the Sabbath. One who regularly does this says many phrases in the Havdallah rite, and one who does not regularly say Havdallah says only one. This last clause would seem to refute the assertion that the minimum number is three.
The dispute is between Tanaim, for Rabbi Yochanan said, the son of holy ones says one, but it is the custom of the nation to say three. What does it mean, “the son of holy ones”? Rabbi Menachem bar Simai. And why did they call him “the son of holy ones”? Because he did not look at the graven image on a zuz (coin). Rav Shmuel bar Idi sent to him: “Chananya my brother says one,” but the halacha is not like his ruling.
Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: The one making Havdallah is required to say a summary of “distinctions” that are mentioned in the Torah. They challenged him: The order of “distinctions” is… what? He says “who divides between holy and mundane, between light and darkness, between Israel and the nations, and between the seventh day and the six days of doing, between tamei and tahor, between the sea and the dry land, between the upper waters and the lower waters, between Kohanim and Leviim and Israelites,” and he “seals” with Blessed are You, who creates “the order of creation.” And others say he concludes with “… who forms creation.” Rabbi Yosei the son of Rabbi Yehudah says he “seals” with “who sanctifies Israel.”
And if so if we must enumerate the distinctions mentioned in the Torah, how about “between the sea and the dry land”? That is not written as “divided” in the Torah! Erase from here “between the sea and the dry land.”
If so, “between the seventh day and the six days of doing” also should be removed! But no, as established earlier, that phrase is not one of the distinctions, but is a topic related to the “seal”.
Now we subtracted one, and there are not seven!
They said: Kohanim, Leviim, and Israelites are two examples of distinction: between Leviim and Israelites, as it is written in Deut. 10 “At that hour did God separate the tribe of Levi”; between Kohanim and Leviim, as it is written in I Chron. 23, “The sons of Amram were Aharon and Moshe, and Aharon was separated to make him holy, holy of holies.”
For the “seal” the conclusion of the blessing how should he seal it? Rav said: “… who sanctifies Israel” and Shmuel said: “… who separates between the holy and the mundane.” Regarding this, Abbaye (and there are those who say it was Rav Yosef) objected to Rav. It is taught in th ename of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Chananya: All who seal “… who sanctifies Israel and who separates between the holy and the mundane” prolongs his days and his years for himself — 104b but the halacha is not like his opinion.
Ulah visited Pumbedita. Rav Yehudah said to Rav Yitzchak his son, Go, offer to him a basket of fruits, and see how he makes Havdallah. He did not go — he sent Abbaye instead. So, when Abbaye came back, he said to him, What did he say for Havdallah? He said to him: “Blessed is the One who separates between holy and mundane.” He said, “and nothing else?” So he came before his father. He Rav Yehudah said to him, What did he say? He Rav Yitzchak said to him: I didn’t go my self, I sent Abbaye, and he said to me that Ulah recited as Havdallah “Blessed is the One who separates between holy and mundane.” He Rav Yehudah said to him, Your presumptuousness, ‘sir’, and your self-importance, ‘sir’, combine in you, ‘sir’, that you can’t tell me what the law is with your own mouth.
They challenged this report of Ulah’s practice, by citing Berachot 46a: All blessings, all of them, open with “Baruch” and they are sealed with “Baruch”, except for blessings on mitzvot, and blessings on fruit, and a blessing that comes immediately before its fellow, and the blessing following the recitation of Shema. Among these, some open with “Baruch” and are not sealed with “Baruch”, and there are those among these which are sealed with “baruch” but do not open with “Baruch.” And the blessing “… who is good and who does good” opens with “Baruch” but is not sealed with “Baruch.”
This poses a difficulty to Ulah! Ulah would say to you: This, too, is equivalent to the blessing on a mitzvah. Blessings on a mitzvah, what is the reason that they do not have both an opening “Baruch” and a closing “Baruch”? Because they are of the nature of thanksgiving; here, too, it has the nature of thanksgiving.