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Why is Savri Maranan said in kiddush before the blessing on the wine?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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There are a number of explanations:

1. Wine, over which we recite the Kiddush, can be a negative thing if used improperly. For example, according to some opinions the fruit of Adam’s sin was wine. This sin brought death into the world. Also, wine is used in a negative context as a sedative device before a person is executed.

So when we are about to recite the kiddush over wine, the reader says, Attention gentelemen—meaning to ask: Is this wine the wine of life or that of death?

And everyone responds: Lechaim! Meaning to say, this is the wine of life. We are using this wine for a holy purpose, to make kiddush. (Note: Some do not have the custom to respond with “Lechaim.”)

Everyone responds: Lechaim! Meaning to say, this is the wine of life. We are using this wine for a holy purpose, to make kiddush
2. One who recites the kiddush drinks the wine first. So by saying Attention gentlemen! he is being polite and asking permission to drink while everyone waits.

3. In the olden days, when they would drink wine in middle of a meal, one person would recite the blessing while everyone else just listened and recited Amen. Then everyone could drink the wine.

The one reciting the blessing would say “Attention gentlemen” so that everyone would stop eating and talking so that they could listen to the blessing and say Amen. It therefore became the custom that every time we make a blessing on wine, even for kiddush and Havdalah, we preface it with Attention gentlemen.

4. From a Kabbalistic perspective, these two extra words are inserted in order to bring the total amount of words in the kiddush to a specific number that has kabbalistic significance (The Rebbe’s Haggadah).

Source: The Rebbe’s Haggadah citing Avudraham (Abudraham).


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COMMENTS

the picture that is shown

Posted by: Ezra Zuri Laniado, Los Angeles, CA on Nov 22, 2004

When a Jewish man makes the Bracha of Pree Ha'Gefen he should hold the cup in his right hand. However, in the picture that comes along with the responce to the question: "What is the significance of Savri Maranan ('attention gentlemen') said in the kiddush and havdalah before the blessing on the wine?"; the man is holding the cup in his left hand. This might lead to some confusion. An easy fix is to replace this picture by its reflection. I commend all you hard work and am very happy to find a web-site as yours. Thank you and may Hashem bless you for all the good that is a result of this web-site.

Editor's Comment

Point well taken. We flipped the image!

RELATED CATEGORIES

Shabbat » Havdallah

Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Kiddush
Prayer recited at the beginning of the Sabbath or Holiday meal--both the evening and afternoon meals. This prayer, acknowledging the sanctity of the day, is recited over a cup of wine or grape juice.
Haggadah
Text read at the Passover Eve feasts. The Haggadah recounts in great detail the story of our Exodus from Egypt.
Kabbalistic
(adj.) Pertaining to Kabbalah—Jewish mysticism.
Adam
The first man, created by G-d on the sixth day of creation. He was banished from the Garden of Eden after eating from the forbidden fruit of the forbidden knowledge. Died in 2830 BCE.
Havdalah
Prayer signifying the end of the Sabbath or Jewish holiday. This "separation" prayer is recited after nightfall over a cup of wine.