What We Do

It’s been a crazy week. The world with all its worries and bothers is still clamoring for your attention. The first step is to forget all that. Leave it behind. Enter into a timeless space, where you, your great-grandparents and Moses all coincide.

Begin with a full cup of sweet red wine. A full cup of hundreds of generations of rejoicing and tears and celebration and wisdom and… of doing just what you are going to do tonight.

Fill cup with wine. That’s cup #1.

Have someone else fill your cup. Return them the favor. This way, we are all like nobility, whose cups are filled by someone else. Make sure your cup holds at least 86 mil. (a little more than three ounces).

Everyone stands and says the kiddush together.

The rest of the year, when the sanctity of Shabbat or a festival is pronounced upon a cup of wine in the kiddish, one person says kiddush for everyone else. Tonight, each man, woman and child recites every word together.

Drink. And get ready for some serious relaxing: Recline on a cushion to your left side.

Remember the ancient times, when we used to recline on couches while stuffing down grapes? That’s what we are dramatizing by reclining now. We are not just free, we are masters.

What It Means

The beginning of all journeys is separation. You’ve got to leave somewhere to go somewhere else. It is also the first step towards freedom: You ignore the voice of Pharaoh inside that mocks you, saying, “Who are you to begin such a journey?” You just get up and walk out.

This is the first meaning of the word, “Kadesh” — to transcend the mundane world. Then comes the second meaning: Once you’ve set yourself free from your material worries, you can return and sanctify them. That is when true spiritual freedom begins, when you introduce a higher purpose into all those things you do.

Read: What is Kiddush?