By the Bray of Fundie
I often write of havdala=separation. While this is not erroneous it is imprecise. In particular it doesn't capture the meaning of havdala when used in conjunction with Qedusha. Havdala is not merely about separating light and darkness, holiness and the mundane but reversing a cataclysm that mixed the two in the first place. It is “separation” in the same way that refining metal ore and removing the dross or skimming the cream off the top of non-homogenized milk are separations.
The fall of humanity, AKA the sin of eating from the Tree of UNION of Good and Evil was just such a cataclysm. Evil, which had previously been clarified and external to human beings, became internalized, part and parcel of both the microcosm and, consequently, of the macrocosm.The historical Raison d'être of the Nation of Israel is to reverse this curse.
It begins with the life work of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Separation is painful. It arouses anxiety. Yet despite the pain, separate and clarify we must. This IMO is the best way to understand the narrative in this week's parsha in which Avraham, at Sarah's behest, disinherits and expels his first-born son Yishmael. Avraham is sad and conflicted. Sarah seems hard, cruel and uncompromising. Yet a benevolent G-d whom Avraham discovered through the path of Khesed=loving-kindness commands Avraham to obey Sarah’s havdala directive. Yishmael's propensity for z'nus=exploitative selfish lust, manifest the "dark-side" admixture of evil in Avrahams defining characteristic of Khesed= giving, selfless love. This must be threshed out of the House of Israel before it can proceed to the next birur = clarification in its historical mission.
It's noteworthy that both in the case of Yishmael and Eisav it was our Matriarchs rather than our Patriarchs that took the initiative in separating the dross and refining the precious metal. This is to initiate the tikun=repair where the kilkul=ruination began, namely with the aim kol khai="the mother of all" (Eve) who "took the first bite" that caused the mish-mash of good and evil in the first place.
-------This post was based on the works of the Ramban, the Ramkhal (ya...the beardless one) and the Kohen of Lublin. These are books you REALLY ought to by, read and study. If OTOH old earth science and linguistic analysis is what floats your boat then, by all means Buy Dov's book. (please)