By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld
In the end of Parshas Shmini, Perek Yud, Posuk Yud, the posuk teaches us that Hashem said we should differentiate between the holy and mundane. The Remah quotes the Rashba discussing the above posuk. He tells us we learn that there is a mitzvah to make havdala on Motzei Shabbos and Motzei Yom Tov from this posuk.
The Rambam in Perek Chof Tes in Hilchos Shabbos, halacha alef says that there is a mitzvah min HaTorah to be mekadesh the Shabbos with words on a cup of wine as Shabbos begins and as Shabbos leaves. This is based on the posuk, “Zachor es Yom Hashabbos Le’kadsho” in Shemos, Perek Chof, Posuk Zayin.
There are a few differences in halacha based on these two Rishonim. We will discuss how the differences affect havdala on Motzei Yom Tov. The Maggid Mishna in halacha yud tes says that the mitzvah of Kiddush on Yom Tov is only M’deRabbonon as the posuk of Zachor is said regarding Shabbos, not Yom Tov. This opinion is according to the Rambam. It stands to reason if Kiddush is M’deRabbonon then havdala on Motzei Yom tov will also be M’deRabbonon. The opposite opinion is held according to the Remah. He explains that since we learn havdala from this week’s parsha which has nothing to do with Shabbos, the havdala of Motzei Yom Tov will be min HaTorah.
Another difference will be seen be regarding women and havdala. If we say the reason we make havdala is based on the posuk of zachor then we have the rule that whoever has the chiyuv of Shmiras Shabbos (not desecrating the Shabbos) will have the rule of Zachor and therefore be mechuyav min HaTorah. However, if we say the reason is based on the posuk of U’lehavdil in this week’s parsha, then women would be exempt as it is a mitzvas aseh shehazman grama.
A final difference would be if one may do melacha right after Shabbos before havdala. Rashi in Shabbos says that havdala is just like escorting the king out of the city but really one can theoretically do melacha right after Shabbos as it is a tzibbur din to escort the king. However, according to the Remah that says that it is based on the posuk U’lehavdil, then each individual has a chiyuv of separating the holy from the mundane so it would be forbidden for any individual to do melacha before havdala.