By Rabbi Doniel Neustadt
A discussion of Halachic topics related to the Parsha of the
week. For final rulings, consult your Rav.
"KIDDUSH" in SHUL: PROPER CONDUCT
Kiddush is recited over a cup(1) of wine or grape juice which holds a
revi'is (3 fl. oz.). At least a cheekful (approximately 1.6 fl. oz.) must
There is no requirement for anybody but the person who makes Kiddush to
taste the wine. As long as the listener intended to fulfill the mitzvah of
Kiddush and heard every word of the blessing, he fulfills the mitzvah. It
is, however, desirable (a mitzvah min ha-muvchar) to partake of the Kiddush
cup.(3) For this reason, many people make certain to drink some wine when
attending a kiddush in shul. Doing so, however, can lead to a problematic
situation regarding the correct blessing for any other beverage which will
be drunk at the kiddush. Let us explain:
The blessing of borei pri ha-gafen automatically includes any beverage
which is on the table or which will be brought to the table during the
kiddush. No shehakol is recited on soda or juice, etc. that will be drunk
during the kiddush.(4)
Even those who did not actually recite borei pri ha-gafen but heard Kiddush
from another person do not recite a shehakol on other beverages. This rule
applies only if one drank a melo lugmav (a cheekful) of wine or grape
juice. If one drank some wine or grape juice - but less than a melo lugmav
- and wishes to drink another beverage, it is questionable(5) if he needs
to recite a shehakol on the other beverages. It follows, therefore, that
those who listen to someone else's Kiddush and partake of the wine and then
want to drink another beverage, must do one of the following(6):
"Drink at least a cheekful;
"Recite a shehakol on a food item;
"Listen to a shehakol recited by another person.
KIDDUSH ON SCHNAPPS
It is a common practice to recite Kiddush Shabbos morning over a one-ounce
cup of schnapps [or liqueur.(7)] Although many poskim(8) object, as Kiddush
must be recited over a cup which holds at least a revi'is and at least a
cheekful must be drunk, still there are poskim(9) who defend this minhag
Yisrael.(10) They reason that schnapps is different from wine since it is
normally consumed in much smaller quantities and is therefore subject to a
different set of measurements.(11)
Those who rely on this leniency and recite Kiddush over schnapps, must also
recite a borei nefashos over the schnapps, even though only a small amount
was drunk. Although one does not recite a borei nefashos unless he drinks
at least 3 fl. oz. of a beverage,(12) schnapps - according to this view -
is an exception and requires a borei nefashos even on a much smaller
amount.(13) When no wine or grape juice is available, there is a way of
reciting Kiddush over schnapps which will satisfy the opinions of most
poskim: Recite Kiddush on a revi'is of schnapps and drink a cheekful or a
revi'is, but instead of swallowing it in one shot, sip it slowly, for a
period of up to three or four minutes.(14) When even this is not possible,
the next best option is to share the cheekful amount with others who are
listening to the Kiddush.(15)
KIDDUSH B'MAKOM SEUDAH
Kiddush must always be followed by a seudah (meal). Most poskim(16)
maintain that mezonos eaten at a kiddush is considered a "seudah" for this
purpose.(17) After making Kiddush, at least a k'zayis (approximately 1
ounce) of mezonos must be eaten within three to four minutes. One who
failed to do so must repeat Kiddush at home before his meal. A mezonos
kugel is considered full-fledged mezonos in regard to this halachah.(18) On
Pesach or other times when mezonos items are not available, the preferred
method is to eat the seudah immediately after reciting Kiddush. If that is
difficult, one should drink an additional revi'is (3 fl. oz.) of wine or
grape juice. If one has no other wine or grape juice, he can rely on the
revi'is of wine he consumed for Kiddush.(19)
There are poskim(20) who maintain that even l'chatchilah, one may eat fruit
or shehakol items after Kiddush is recited if there are no mezonos items
available. But then, Kiddush must be repeated at home before the meal.
Other poskim(21) allow this practice only under special circumstances, such
as the case of a person who is weak and needs to eat and has no mezonos
available. While there is no obligation to repeat Kiddush at home if the
requirements for Kiddush were met earlier in shul or at the simchah hall
[unless there are other people at home who did not yet hear Kiddush], it is
praiseworthy to do so.(22) One who made Kiddush on schnapps should repeat
Kiddush at home over wine or grape juice.(23)
1 Some poskim advise against using a disposable cup for Kiddush (Igros Moshe
O.C. 3:39; Minchas Yitzchak 10:23), while others are not particular (Harav
Y.S. Elyashiv, quoted in Shevus Yitzchak, Muktzeh, pg. 48; Tzitz Eliezer
12:23). See Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 47, note 51, quoting Harav S.Z.
2 Based on the measurements of Harav M. Feinstein. A cheekful is a little
more than half a revi'is.
3 O.C. 274:14. There is a minority view (Brisker Rav quoted in Moadim
u'Zemanim 3:243) that holds that on Shabbos morning one must partake of the Kiddush
cup in order to fulfill the mitzvah. The poskim, however do not agree with
this stringency; see Yechaveh Da'as 5:20.
4 O.C. 174:2. Note, however, that Harav Y.S. Elyashiv is quoted (Vezos
ha-Berachah, pg. 267) as ruling that only a borei pri ha-gafen over wine
exempts all other beverages; when it is recited over grape juice it does not
exempt other beverages.
5 Derech ha-Chayim rules that it is sufficient, but Beiur Halachah 174:2
questions that. See Minchas Yitzchak 8:19 and Yechaveh Da'as 5:20.
6 Beiur Halachah 174:2. [It is not sufficient to have specific intention
that the blessing over the wine should only cover the wine itself and not
other beverages; Harav Y.S. Elyashiv, quoted in Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 100.]
7 Minchas Yitzchak 10:22.
8 Mishnah Berurah 272:30; Aruch ha-Shulchan 272:13; Minchas Shabbos 79:29;
Ketzos ha-Shulchan 89:5.
9 Ketzei ha-Mateh (Mateh Efrayim 625:99); Eishel Avraham 272:6; Maharsham
1:175; Chelkas Yaakov 1:94.
10 Because the practice was defended (in part) due to the scarcity and
expense of wine, some poskim suggest that nowadays, Kiddush should be made
over wine or grape juice only, see Nimukei Orchos Chayim 273.
11 This is based on the view of the Taz O.C. 210:1, which is rejected by the
later poskim; see Mishnah Berurah 190:14.
12 O.C. 190:3.
13 Har Tzvi O.C. 159. It follows, therefore, that those who follow the
majority view and do not recite Kiddush on schnapps, do not recite a borei
nefashos when drinking an amount of schnapps less than a revi'is.
14 Mishnah Berurah 271:68. No talking should take place until the minimum
amount is drunk.
15 Mishnah Berurah 272:30.
16 Mishnah Berurah 273:25.
17 A notable exception is the view of the Vilna Gaon, who maintains that
Kiddush can be made only when a seudah of bread follows. His view is quoted
by the Beiur Halachah 273:5 without comment. Aruch ha-Shulchan 273:8
considers this to be the preferred method. The general custom, however,
follows the view of most poskim.
18 Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 54:22; Az Nidberu 8:31. See Meor ha-Shabbos,
vol. 2, pgs. 576-577.
19 Mishnah Berurah 273:25, 27.
20 Igros Moshe O.C. 4:63. See also Ein Yitzchak O.C. 12 and B'tzeil
ha-Chochmah 4:2; 5:115.
21 Mishnah Berurah 273:26.
22 Shalmas Chayim 1:59. See also Igros Moshe O.C. 4:63 (anaf 8) who seems to
hold that Kiddush should be repeated at home before the main meal.
23 To satisfy the view of the majority of the poskim.
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