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What are the Kiddush basics?

What are the Kiddush basics?

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“Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it” (Exodus 20:8). This verse is a Torah command to sanctify the Shabbat when it enters (Kiddush) and when it departs (Havdalah). The Sages instituted that this sanctification be accompanied by a cup of wine (or grape juice). They also instituted that Kiddush be recited over wine before beginning the daytime Shabbat meal.

The following is a basic overview of the Kiddush ceremony:

  • It is forbidden to eat or drink anything before Kiddush. This prohibition starts at sundown of Friday night, and after the Shacharit prayer of Shabbat morning.
  • If no wine is available, it is permitted to recite the Kiddush on Challah (or any two loaves of bread or matzah).
  • In ancient times wine was used quite frequently as a libation for idols. Since the overwhelming majority of non-Jews were pagan, and because it is forbidden to derive any benefit from an object that was used as an offering for an idol, the rabbis forbade any wine that was handled by a non-Jew, fearing that perhaps the intention of the non-Jew was to proffer this wine as an offering to his deity.
    This rule applies to grape juice as well, but does not apply if the wine (or grape juice) was cooked (“Mevushal”), since cooking renders wine unfit for libation.
    A wine that was handled by a non-Jew while the bottle was sealed is Kosher even if it is not Mevushal.
    Most – but not all – kosher wines available in the US are Mevushal. Make sure to check the label.
  • A cup of wine from which someone has already sipped is considered “tainted” and the leftover wine may not be used for Kiddush. “Tainted” wine is remedied by pouring into it even a miniscule amount of untainted wine.
  • The Kiddush cup must be rinsed and complete; it is not respectful to use a chipped cup to sanctify the holy day of Shabbat. The cup should be filled with wine or grape juice to its brim.
  • The Kiddush cup is held in the right hand (unless one is left-handed). When starting the Kiddush it is customary to glance at the Shabbat candles, and when saying the Hagafen blessing one should glance at the wine.
  • The first passage of the Kiddush, vayechulu, must be recited while standing. The rest of Kiddush (as well as the daytime Kiddush) is recited while sitting or standing, depending on your family or community custom.
  • After finishing the Kiddush, the one who recited the Kiddush must drink at least 1.46 ounces of the wine. It is customary for all those who listened to the Kiddush to also have a sip from the wine.
Rabbi Silberberg resides in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife Chaya Mushka and their three children.
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Discussion (10)
June 23, 2013
To Dovid
Yes, a guest may make kiddush.
Menachem Posner
June 21, 2013
...but who can make kiddush?
If I am hosting Shabbos guests and want to give the honour of making Kiddush to the male guest (instead of making it myself), is the permissible?
Dovid
Toronto
May 29, 2013
Minimum Requirement
What is the requirement for the amount of wine used for kiddush?
Anonymous
Springfield, MO
April 4, 2013
Re: type of wine
Blackberry wine is not made out of grapes, its blessing is shehakol and thus it cannot be used for Kiddush.
Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org
March 31, 2013
type of wine
Can Kosher blackberry wine be used for kiddush? If so, what is the blessing?
david
florida
January 20, 2013
Re Sacramental
It is not necessary for the wine to be labeled as sacramental, it should have a reputable kosher certification though.
Chabad.org Staff
Providence
January 18, 2013
Sacramental vs. non-sacramental
Is wine required to be labeled "sacramental" in order to be used for Kiddush? A friend rejected a bottle of wine because it wasn't labeled "sacramental," but I've seen the wine used in Shul and did not see it marked as such. I'm confused!
Anonymous
Springfield
August 22, 2012
Re: Red Wine
It is not necessary to use only red wine for Kiddush. There are, however, opinions that red wine is preferred, since the verse "Do not look at wine when it is red" implies that ideal wine is red. Nevertheless, if one has white wine of a better quality, the white wine should be used (except for at the Seder, when red wine is preferred).
Rabbi Shmary Brownstein
August 10, 2012
Red Wine
Why red and not white wine at Kiddush?
Anonymous
Hull
August 1, 2012
Kiddush cup
Is there a particular material that is best for the Kiddush cup to be made? Is it more preferable to have a silver cup rather than a wooden or glass goblet/cup? Thank you for your help!
Anonymous
Oklahoma City, OK
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