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When do we recite Kiddush?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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We recite Kiddush as the opening ceremony of the nighttime and daytime Shabbat and Biblical Holiday meals. We do not recite Kiddush at the Shabbat third meal.

There is a distinct Kiddush for Shabbat night, Shabbat day, Rosh Hashanah night, Rosh Hashanah day, Holiday nights, and Holiday days.

Here is a list of Holiday meals/Kiddush:

In Israel:

Rosh Hashanah is two days (even in Israel) and has four meals = 4 x Kiddush.

(Although Yom Kippur has a pre and post-fast meal, those are not (biblical) holiday meals, and no Kiddush is recited)1

Sukkot is seven days, but only has two festive meals - the first night and the first day = 2 x Kiddush.

Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah is one day and has two meals = 2 x Kiddush.

(Chanukah and Purim are not biblical holidays).

Passover is 7 days but only has 4 festive meals - one the eve and during the day of the first and last days of the Holiday = 4 x Kiddush.

Shavuot is 1 day and has two meals = 2 x Kiddush2

Outside of Israel:3

Rosh Hashanah is two days and has four meals = 4 x Kiddush.

(Although Yom Kippur has a pre and post-fast meal, those are not (biblical) holiday meals, and no Kiddush is recited)4

Sukkot is seven days, but only has four festive meals - the first two nights and the first two days = 4 x Kiddush.

Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah is two days and has four meals = 4 x Kiddush.

(Chanukah and Purim are not biblical holidays).

Passover is 8 days but only has 8 festive meals - on the eve and during the day of the first two days and last two days = 8 x Kiddush.

Shavuot is 2 days and has four meals = 4 x Kiddush5

Footnotes

  • 1. Some time before the break-fast meal you need to recite Havdalah.
  • 2. It is customary to have a dairy meal as well on Shavuot. The dairy meal is usually before the meat meal, so Kiddush is recited at the first and not the second.
  • 3. Most Holidays are one day longer outside of Israel. See http://www.askmoses.com/article/410,494/Why-do-we-add-extra-holiday-days-outside-of-Israel.html
  • 4. Some time before the break-fast meal you need to recite Havdalah.
  • 5. It is customary to have a dairy meal as well on Shavuot. The dairy meal is usually before the meat meal, so Kiddush is recited at the first and not the second.

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Holidays » General Information » Holiday Kiddush

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.
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.
Purim
A one-day holiday celebrated in late winter commemorating the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from a decree of annihilation issued by Persian King Ahasuerus in the year 356 BCE.
Chanukah
An eight day mid-winter holiday marking: 1) The miraculous defeat of the mighty Syrian-Greek armies by the undermanned Maccabis in the year 140 BCE. 2) Upon their victory, the oil in the Menorah, sufficient fuel for one night only, burned for eight days and nights.
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.