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Eating Or Drinking Before Kiddush

The Daily Halacha Moment - Eating Before Kiddush Friday Night🍷

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


May one eat or drink before Kiddush?

At what time does one need to refrain from eating and drinking before reciting Kiddush?


It is forbidden to eat before Kiddush. Some explain that it is because generally it is forbidden to eat before performing a mitzvah that one is obligated in. [1] Others contend that it is based on kavod Shabbat, honoring Shabbat, to not eat before acknowledging and declaring the sanctity of the day. [2] A third suggestion is that Kiddush has to be the rabbis derive from "VeKarata LeShabbat Oneg" "And you shall call to the Shabbat a delight", that there has to be a "calling" to the Shabbat, meaning saying Kiddush, in the same place and also prior to it being "a delight", referring to eating/drinking. [3]

After shkiyah (sunset) on erev Shabbat, it is rabbinically forbidden for both men and women to eat or drink before reciting Kiddush. Even drinking water is prohibited. [4] If one is extremely thirsty, then one may be lenient to have a drink of water during ben hashmashot (around 13.5 min after shkiyah) .[5] However, if one already prayed Arvit (if he accepted Shabbat early), then one may not eat or even drink water even though it is not even shkiyah yet. [6]


[1]. Levush 271:4, Ateret Tzvi 271:3, Mishnah Berurah 271:11

[2]. Aruch Hashulchan 271:12

[3]. See Igrot Moshe OC 4:63

[4]. Shulchan Aruch 271:4. See also Mishnah Berurah 271:11 which states that this is a rabbinical prohibition. For the reason why women are also obligated see Yalkut Yosef_271:9.

[5]. Maran Moreinu Ovadia Yosef in Halichot Olam, vol. 3, p. 19 explains that the reason for being lenient is because there is a safek sfeka, since possibly the halachah follows the opinion of Rabbenu Tam, and really Shkiyah is much later, and even if the halachah does not follow Rabbenu Tam, maybe Ben Hashmashot is really considered day. See also in Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchatah 43:46 and Piskei Teshuvot 271:13.

[6]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat vol. 1, p. 221, footnote 22.

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