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How do I make Kiddush?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Shabbat » Kiddush | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.1 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 Kosher wine (or kosher grape juice). They also instituted that Kiddush be recited over wine before beginning he daytime Shabbat meal.

The following is a basic overview of the Kiddush ceremony:

  1. It is forbidden to eat or drink anything before Kiddush. This prohibition starts at sundown of Friday night, and after the Mussaf prayer of Shabbat morning.
  2. If no wine is available, it is permitted to recite the Kiddush on Challah (or any two loaves of bread or Matzah).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Footnotes

  • 1. Exodus 20:8.

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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Matzah
(pl. Matzot). Unleavened bread which is eaten on Passover, especially at the Passover Seder (feast), commemorating the Matzah which the Jews ate upon leaving Egypt. It consists of only flour and water and resembles a wheat cracker.
Mussaf
The additional prayer service added (after the morning prayers) on Sabbath, Biblically mandated holidays and the first day of the Jewish month.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
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.
Challah
A loaf of bread. Usually refers to: 1) The section of dough separated and given to the priest (today that section is burnt). 2) The sweetened, soft bread customarily consumed at the Sabbath meals.
Havdalah
Prayer signifying the end of the Sabbath or Jewish holiday. This "separation" prayer is recited after nightfall over a cup of wine.