What Is Kiddush?

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

The Daily Halacha Moment - What Is Kiddush 🍷


״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)


Question:

What is Kiddush?

Why do we recite Kiddush?


Answer:

One of the mitzvot the Torah commands us is to verbally express the sanctity of Shabbat on Friday evening. This is our sages interpretation of the Pasuk (Shemot 20:8), "Remember the Shabbat day to make it holy." Our sages instituted an facet to this mitzvah, that we must make this declaration over a cup of wine. [1]The text of this Kiddush recited over wine has seventy-two words, and this number represents Hashem's Name. Furthermore, the initial letters of the first four words in the Kiddush spell out Hashem's name. This displays the concept that through observing Shabbat we connect ourselves with Hashem and that He connects Himself with us.


When one comes home from shul one should hurry up and start the Kiddush without any unnecessary waiting. [2]

The custom is to recite the hymn of Shalom Alechem on Friday evening. [3] Some people have the custom to repeat each stanza three times.

After recited the hymn of Shalom Alechem, we recite the final passage in the book of Mishle, beginning with the words "Eshet Chayil". Then we recite the Kiddush, prefaced with the passage of "Vayechulu". [4]

The Sepharadic custom based on the teachings of the Kabbalists, is to recite the Friday night Kiddush while standing. This applies whether reciting it for oneself, or reciting it for others. However, one should sit down to drink the wine. Nonetheless, the day time Kiddush is recited seated. [5]


The person who recites the Kiddush must drink a Melo Logmav of wine. That means enough to fill one check of an average sized man. That amount is equal to just over half Revi'it (around 1.4 FL Oz.). [6]


Sources:

[1]. See Rambam, 29:1; Sefer HaChinch, Mitzvah 31. See also Yalkut Yosef, English Edition, Shabbat vol. 1, p 214.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch 271:1; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 8. See also Gemara Pesachim 106a.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 13.

[4]. See Shulchan Aruch 271:10; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 15.

[5]. Ben Ish Chai, Bereshit 29; Rav Pealim, vol. 2:O:C:45; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 16.

[6]. Gemara, Pesachim 107a. See also Shulchan Aruch 271:13; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 56.


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