Laws of Kiddush Part 2

  • Rav Doniel Schreiber



By Rav Doniel Schreiber


Shiur #08: Laws of Kiddush - Part 2



This week’s shiurim are dedicated by Drs. Irving and Roberta Strauchler
in memory of Jonas Strauchler z”l




8.  Drinking the Wine


            Whoever recites the blessing on the wine must drink a melo lugmav (a cheek full), a half of a revi'it, in order to fulfill the obligation (OC 271:13 and MB 271:64; however, see Arukh Ha-shulchan 271:38 that one fulfills the mitzva even if one does not drink a melo lugmav).


            It is considered proper etiquette to drink the wine while sitting (Kaf Ha-chaim 271:4); yet, some have the custom to stand while drinking.


            The mekadesh (the one who recites kiddush) should drink the wine immediately after reciting kiddush (OC 206:3, and MB 206:11,12).  However, if the mekadesh waited some time before beginning to drink, he fulfilled the mitzva as long as he did not speak or become inattentive (hesech ha-da'at) (MB 206:12 and MB 25:29).  If the mekadesh speaks before drinking the wine he does not fulfill the mitzva unless this interruption was for the purpose of mitzvat kiddush (OC 271:15 and MB ibid.).


            The entire melo lugmav should be drunk in as short a time as possible without an interruption.  Nonetheless, if one drinks the wine tokh kedei akhilat pras (the time it takes to eat a half a loaf of bread), which is about 2 - 9 minutes (the exact time is a dispute amongst poskim; see Chatam Sofer vol. 6, no. 16), one fulfills the obligation as long as he did not interrupt the drinking by speaking of matters unrelated to kiddush.  If he did interrupt the drinking he should drink a melo lugmav again without reciting a new blessing.  If the melo lugmav is not consumed within this time-period the entire kiddush must be repeated (MB 271:68).


            According to many poskim, the mekadesh only fulfills the mitzva by drinking a melo lugmav from a cup which currently contains a revi'it of wine (MB 271:51).


            The mekadesh himself should drink the melo lugmav, but if for some reason he cannot, then someone else who heard the blessing can drink it for him (Rema OC 272:9 and R. Moshe Feinstein zt"l cited in Radiance of Shabbat, p. 51, note 14; however, the Magen Avraham and other Acharonim rule that this does not work).  The melo lugmav should not be drunk by a combination of people; but if it was drunk this way the kiddush is nonetheless valid (OC 271:14 and MB 271:72,73).


            It is best ("mitzva min ha-muvchar" - OC 271:14) if those who hear kiddush taste a little of the wine from the kos shel berakha (the cup upon which kiddush was recited).  They do not have to recite a new blessing since they were already exempted by the mekadesh.  It is best if the wine they receive is not pagum (unfit) (Shulchan Arukh Ha-rav 190:5).  Thus, one should follow one of three procedures.


a. The mekadesh should drink ad melo lugmav from the kos shel berakha, and then give this very same kos shel berakha to everyone else to taste from.  This cup of wine is not considered pagum for the purpose of drinking (although it is pagum for the purpose of reciting kiddush) since it is the original kos shel berakha (Sha'ar Ha-tziyun 271:9).


b. However, if one is in a setting where people are uncomfortable with sharing the same cup, there is an alternative.  After reciting kiddush, before drinking the wine, the mekadesh should pour the wine from the kos shel berakha into another cup to be distributed to those who heard the kiddush.  This way the people who heard kiddush are still drinking non-pagum wine which originated from the kos shel berakha.


            Two things must be kept in mind when performing this procedure.  First, the people who heard the kiddush should not taste the wine they receive until after the mekadesh begins drinking from the kos shel berakha (OC 190:1 and MB ibid.).  Second, it is important that the mekadesh make sure that even after pouring from the kos shel berakha there is still a revi'it in the kos shel berakha from which he will drink the melo lugmav from; otherwise, as noted above, it is questionable whether the mitzva has been fulfilled.


c. Full cups of wine may be placed before each person and after kiddush they may drink from their own cup.  Since they are not drinking from the mekadesh's wine, they may begin drinking from their cup before the one who recites the blessing (OC 190:1 and MB ibid.).


9. Kiddush be-makom se'uda


            According to the Shulchan Arukh (OC 273:1) one is required to recite kiddush in a place where the meal will follow (ein kiddush ela be-makom se'uda).  Rishonim dispute whether this is a Torah requirement or a rabbinic one.  (See Rashbam Pesachim 101a s.v. Af yedei, Rosh (Pesachim 10:5), Hagahot R. Akiva Eiger OC 271:1, and Peri Megadim in Mishbetzot Zahav OC 269:1).


            The following are the requirements of kiddush be-makom se'uda: 1) kiddush must be in the location of the meal (OC 273:1) and 2) one must eat the se'uda immediately after kiddush (Rema OC 273:3).  What does "immediately" mean?  According to the Mishna Berura (ibid. note 12) this actually means right after kiddush whereas the Arukh Ha-shulchan (OC 273:4) and R. Moshe Feinstein zt"l (Radiance of Shabbat, p. 60, note 12) rule that it means there should not be a long break between kiddush and the se'uda.


            If the kiddush and meal are taking place in one room, then one is permitted to recite kiddush in one corner and eat the meal in the other.  It is best if one has this in mind when one says kiddush (MB 273:2).  If the kiddush and se'uda are taking place in two different rooms, then one should have this in mind and see the place of the se'uda when saying kiddush.  However, in pressing circumstances, only one of these requirements is necessary (see OC 273:1, and MB 273:8 and Bi'ur Halakha ibid. s.v. Ve-khein ikar, and Arukh Ha-shulchan 273:3).


            Other aspects of kiddush be-makom se'uda, more relevant to kiddush of Shabbat day, will be discussed in the next shiur.


10. Exempting Others from Mitzvat Kiddush


            Through halakhic medium of "shomei'a ke-oneh" (listening is as speaking) one may fulfill the obligation of reciting kiddush by listening to another's kiddush.  In order for this to be accomplished, the mekadesh must have in mind to be motzi (exempt) the listeners in mitzvat kiddush, and the listeners must have in mind to be yotzei (to fulfill their obligation in) kiddush.  Most poskim understand that it is better for one person to be mekadesh for everyone else rather than for everyone to make his own kiddush.  This is because of the principle of "be-rov am hadrat melekh" (Mishlei 14:28 and Berakhot 53a) - the king's glory occurs in the presence of the multitudes (MB 213:17 and Arukh Ha-shulchan OC 8; see, however, Kaf Ha-chaim 296:46 that it is better for each person to recite kiddush himself).


            One who has already fulfilled his obligation to recite kiddush can still exempt others in kiddush (yatza motzi) since "kol yisrael arevim zeh la-zeh" (all Jews are responsible one for the other) (OC 273:4).  If the mekadesh does not want to fulfill his obligation now with his own kiddush, he can still exempt others, but he cannot drink from the wine (OC 273:4).


            Those who wish to exempt themselves with someone else's kiddush must wait until the mekadesh has drunk a melo lugmav before speaking.  If they did speak in between, then they only have to say the blessing of "borei peri ha-gafen."  Additionally, they should say "amen" after hearing the berakha.  If they did not say "amen," they have after the fact fulfilled their obligation.  They should not say "barukh hu u-barukh shemo" after "barukh ata Hashem," as this may be an interruption of the berakha.  If they did say it they have nevertheless fulfilled their obligation.  Finally, they should understand the content of the kiddush.  If they do not, they have after the fact fulfilled their obligation, so long as the kiddush was in lashon kodesh (Hebrew).  (See OC 213:2 and 215:2, MB :17, OC124:8, MB 124:21,30, and Radiance of Shabbat, by R. Simcha Bunim Cohen, pp. 67-68).


            A katan (minor) cannot exempt an adult (Sukka 38a, MB 271:2,3).  The katan may say the kiddush aloud, enabling the adult to recite kiddush along with him (MB 271:3).  A katan can exempt another katan, as long as he has not already fulfilled kiddush previously, i.e., a minor cannot employ the principle of "yatza motzi" to exempt another minor (see Peri Megadim, General Introduction, part 2, no. 17).


11. Special Cases


A. Diluting Wine


            If one does not have enough wine for the three times it is required - twice for kiddush and once for havdala - one can dilute the wine.  In the times of the Talmud, the wine was very strong and sharp, and one had to dilute (mozeg) the wine.  In order to maintain the wine's identity, the maximum ratio allowed at that time was one part wine to a little less than six parts water (Shabbat 77a).  Nowadays, since the wine is already diluted, the ratio of water to wine must be much less.  For example: one can add to Concord grape juice two parts water to one part grape juice, and for Kedem wine, one can add one part water to one part wine (see the Radiance of Shabbat, p. 71).


B. Kiddush Friday Night Without Wine


            In the event that one does not have wine for kiddush, then one can recite kiddush on lechem mishneh (the two loaves of bread), and if there is no lechem mishneh, then one can use chamar medina (OC 272:9, and MB ibid. and MB 271:78).  What is chamar medina?  It is a drink that one would serve for an honored guest (Igrot Moshe, OC vol. 2, no. 75).  For example, beer and liquor are certainly chamar medina (OC 289:2 and MB 272:30).  In addition, some poskim rule that milk, orange juice, apple juice, soda, tea, and coffee even qualify.  (See The Radiance of Shabbat pp. 73-74.  For further research see Shulchan Arukh Ha-rav 182:2, Tzitz Eliezer, vol. 8, no. 15, Arukh Ha-shulchan 272:14, Igrot Moshe OC vol. 2, no. 75.)


            When using chamar medina, some say that one must have a revi'it in the cup and one must drink a melo lugmav (Magen Avraham OC 190:4).  Others say that with liquor, a shotglass is enough, and one is only required to drink a little (Taz OC 210:1).  The Mishna Berura (190:14) rules in accordance with the Magen Avraham, whereas the Chatam Sofer (OC Responsa 49) supports the view of the Taz.


            The laws of kiddush pertaining to Shabbat day will be discussed in the next shiur, Kiddush - part III.