Gail Javitt | Like a Braided Candle: Songs for Havdalah

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Gail Javitt

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Spiritual: Judaica World: Yiddish Moods: Spiritual
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Like a Braided Candle: Songs for Havdalah

by Gail Javitt

A unique collection of songs from the Jewish ceremony of Havdalah, which takes place at the end of the Sabbath. Spans the centuries and the globe with songs both traditional and contemporary, in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, and Ladino.
Genre: Spiritual: Judaica
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hamavdil (Sephardic)
2:48 album only
2. Hinei Kel Yeshuoti
3:31 album only
3. Like a Braided Candle
4:31 album only
4. Birchot Havdalah
3:41 album only
5. A Gute Voch
2:20 album only
6. Hamavdil/Eliyahu
3:30 album only
7. Eli Eliyahu
2:25 album only
8. Hamalach Hagoel
4:27 album only
9. Laner Velivsamim
4:18 album only
10. Hakel Avraham/Gott Fun Avraham/God of Abraham
3:14 album only
11. Hamavdil (Ashkenazic)
3:02 album only
12. Shavua Tov/Gute Voch
4:17 album only


Album Notes
Havdalah (literally "separation") is the name given the ceremony that marks the end of the Sabbath and the beginning of the new week. The ceremony is performed using a cup of wine, sweet spices, and a braided candle with multiple wicks.

Havdalah has been called one of the most beautiful and inspiring of all Jewish rituals. Some view the many strands of the braided candle as representing the many types of Jews in the world, each of whom is part of a people that is strongest when its parts are woven together in harmony.

This debut CD marks the culmination of more than three years of work. It was inspired by a tradition established by my paternal grandmother. Every Saturday evening after Sabbath each of her children and grandchildren would call her to wish her (in Yiddish) a "gute voch und a gezunte voch und a mazeldiche voch und a parnosehdiche voch und a hatzlachadiche voch" -- a good week, and a healthy week, a lucky week, a successful week" and to hear her wish us the same in return. The fifth song on this CD sets these wishes to music in her memory.

While there are many CD's of Sabbath music, this is the only available collection (to my knowledge)devoted entirely to the music of havdalah. It contains songs from the Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions, in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino. Each song presents a different facet of a rich and enduring liturgical and musical culture.

Gail Javitt got her start performing Jewish music when, as a young child her parents made her stand up on a chair at a synagogue luncheon and sing the Shabbat zemer "Ki Eshmera Shabbat." Despite this inauspicious start, Gail went on to sing for many years in the Ramaz lower school and upper school choirs and later, with the Zamir Chorale of Boston. She has studied voice for two decades, most recently with fabulous vocal coach Cate Frazier-Neely.



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Beautiful celebration
An album full of celebration of the holy dichotomy of life - of endings and beginnings, of night and day, of darkness and light. How especially beautiful to read the story of Gail's grandmother and to hear her words come alive to music and sung with such touching lyricism. A voice and an album filled with heart.

Ruth Musher

"Let it shine..."
I love this CD, and have given it as gifts to family and friends who love it too. "Like a Braided Candle" and "Gute Voch," both original Javitt songs, are our particular favorites - contemporary, inspirational and lively. This CD is the best of music of the Jewish People, and entertaining for everyone.

Wayne Pines

"Nothing like it..."
Gail Javitt has captured the spirit of the Havdalah ceremony in this unique CD. A beautiful, classic voice. The booklet containing the origins and words of the music is especially valuable. Entertaining to listen to during the week, but particularly profound at Havdalah.

Patricia Loewy

Nice music, but...
... I wish Gail Javitt had taken accent coaching to get the Hebrew pronounciation right. The English way of saying the "r" just doesn't sound good in Hebrew. The songs are lovely sung otherwise and I like the mix of Sephardic, Askenazi music and the Yiddish songs as well.


perfect for post-havdalah
our havdalah custom now includes playing Gail's CD when we extinguish the flame. Laner Velivsamim is my personal favorite because it adds the authentic, soulful sephardic angle that it brings. I like the story about her grandmother as well. Adds a personal element that is meaningful.

rebekah rasooly

my favorite cd
this is the one I turn on in the car all the time. Gail Javitt really understands the words and the subtleties of each song and it comes through in every beautiful song. I bought this one for myself and then recommended it to many of my friends and family!