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By Rabbi Doniel Neustadt | Series: | Level:

On Shabbos morning before davening it is permitted to drink coffee, tea or soda, etc., without first making Kiddush. This is allowed because Kiddush need not be recited until it is zeman seudah, the time when it is permitted to eat a meal. Since one is not allowed to eat a meal before davening, it is not time for Kiddush and one may take a drink. Even if one wants to be stringent and recite Kiddush before drinking, he may not do so for two reasons: 1) A requirement of Kiddush is that it be followed by a meal; otherwise it is invalid. Since one is not allowed to eat before davening, he cannot make Kiddush. 2) Drinking wine before davening is considered “haughty behavior” and is not permitted.

What about a person who is ill or elderly and is allowed to eat before davening? Mishnah Berurah1 rules that such a person should recite Kiddush before he eats, for as soon as it is zeman seudah for him, he is obligated to make Kiddush. The fact that he is drinking wine before davening is not a problem since he must drink wine in order to eat. He may not even drink water before Kiddush, since for him it is already zeman seudah. 2

This ruling by the Mishnah Berurah requiring an ill or elderly person who needs to eat before davening to make Kiddush was challenged by some later poskim3. While many poskim agree with the basic ruling, 4 they suggest that the practical halachah will depend on what exactly the person in question is going to eat. If he is just going to eat fruit or even cereal and milk or other cooked items upon which he would make a mezonos, he should eat without reciting Kiddush first. If, however, his health demands that he wash over bread or eat at least a k’zayis of cake or any other baked mezonos items, he should make Kiddush before he eats. 5

Question: May women eat before Kiddush on Shabbos morning?

Discussion: Whether or not women need to make Kiddush on Shabbos morning is the subject of much debate. Although it is prohibited to eat before davening on weekdays, many women eat breakfast after reciting a brief supplication, and finish davening later on in the morning. The poskim allow them to do so, since they may rely on the view of the Rambam who maintains that women fulfill their davening obligation with a brief supplication. Thus, they are eating after “davening.” On Shabbos morning, however, they are obligated to make Kiddush in addition to the daily obligation to pray. As soon as they meet their basic davening obligation by reciting a brief supplication, it is for them zeman seudah and they cannot eat until they make Kiddush. 6

Some married women, however, are accustomed to eat on Shabbos morning without first making Kiddush. They rely upon the view that maintains that it is not zeman seudah for them until their husbands are ready to eat, which is not until davening is over in shul. 7 Other poskim do not agree with this argument. 8 In either case, unmarried women, including girls who eat at their father’s table, do not have this leniency to rely upon.

Children who are allowed to eat before davening are not required to make Kiddush before eating. 9

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Kiddush is recited over a cup10 of wine or grape juice which holds a revi’is (3 fl. oz.). At least a “cheek full” (approximately 1.6 fl. oz.) must be drunk. 11

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. 12 For this reason, many people make certain to drink some wine or grape juice after listening to Kiddush. Doing so, however, when attending a kiddush in shul, 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 peri ha-gafen automatically includes any beverage which is on the table or which will be brought to the table. No shehakol is recited on soda or juice, etc. that will be drunk during the kiddush13. Even one who did not actually recite borei peri ha-gafen but heard Kiddush from another person does not recite a shehakol on other beverages, if he drank a melo lugmav (“cheek full”) of wine or grape juice. If, however, he drank some wine or grape juice—but less than a melo lugmav—and wishes to drink another beverage, it is questionable14 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: 15 •Drink at least 1.6 fl. oz. of wine or grape juice;
•Recite a shehakol on a food item;
•Listen to a shehakol recited by another person.

Question: If one forgot to daven Mussaf (on Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh or Yom Tov) and only remembered to do so in the afternoon, which should he daven first—Mussaf or Minchah?

Discussion: In most cases, Mussaf should be davened first, followed by Minchah. This is because the correct order of the prayers follows the order of the sacrifices that were brought in the Beis ha-Mikdash, and the Mussaf Sacrifice was always brought before the afternoon Korban Tamid, which was the last offering of the day.

[The only exception to this halachah is the case of a person who is required to daven Minchah at that particular time, e.g., before partaking in a wedding or a Sheva Berachos meal. In such a case, since one is not allowed to partake of such a meal before davening Minchah, it is considered as if the time of Minchah has arrived and one should not daven Mussaf first. ]

The halachah remains the same even if a man remembered to daven Mussaf so late in the day that he would not have time to daven Minchah any longer. He should daven Mussaf, and then daven Ma’ariv twice, first as Ma’ariv and the second as a tashlumin (“makeup”) for Minchah. If this happened to a woman, however, she should daven Minchah and omit Mussaf, since she is obligated (according to many poskim) to daven Minchah and it is questionable whether she is obligated in Mussaf altogether.


1. Beiur Halachah 289:1, s.v. chovas.
2. Da’as Torah 289:1; Rav S.Z. Auerbach (Nishmas Avraham, vol. 1. pg. 54).
3. Some suggest that the obligation of Kiddush begins only after davening—even for a person who is allowed to eat before davening—since only then is it zeman seudah for all; see Keren l’David 84, Igros Moshe, O.C. 2:28 and Chelkas Yaakov 4:32.
4. See Emes l’Yaakov, O.C. 652:2 who quotes a Taz as a source for this ruling.
5. Igros Moshe, O.C. 2:26. Rav S.Z. Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchasah 52, note 37) maintains that it is better to make Kiddush and eat cake than to eat cereal, etc., without Kiddush.
6. Peri Megadim, O.C. 289:4; Minchas Yitzchak 4:28; Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchasah 52:13.
7.Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:101-2. Even according to this view, once a married woman has davened, she may not eat before Kiddush, even if her husband has not yet completed his davening; ibid.
8. Rav S.Z. Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchasah 52, note 46; Shulchan Shelomo 289:8-3, 4). See Ashrei ha-Ish, vol. 2, pg. 61.
9.Mishnah Berurah 269:1.
10.Some poskim advise against using a disposable cup for Kiddush (Igros Moshe, O.C. 3:39; Minchas Yitzchak 10:23; Rav C. Kanievksy, Ohel Chanoch, pg. 228), while others are not particular (Rav Y.S. Elyashiv, quoted in Ashrei ha-Ish, vol. 2, pg. 62; Tzitz Eliezer 12:23). See also Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchasah 47, note 51, quoting Rav S.Z. Auerbach.
11.Based on the measurements of Rav M. Feinstein. A “cheek full” is a little more than half a revi’is.
12.O.C. 271:14. A minority view (Brisker Rav, quoted in Teshuvos v’Hanhagos 1:264) maintains 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 Ma’aseh Ish 5:91, quoting Chazon Ish; Chelkas Yaakov 3:180; Rav S.Z. Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos K’hilchasah 50:9); Ashrei ha-Ish, vol. 2, pg. 83; Yechaveh Da’as 5:20.
13.O.C. 174:2. Note, however, that Rav Y.S. Elyashiv (Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 267) and Rav S. Wosner (Deror Yikra, pg. 280) are quoted as ruling that only a borei peri ha-gafen over wine exempts all other beverages; when it is recited over grape juice it does not exempt other beverages.
14.Derech ha-Chayim rules that it is sufficient, but Beiur Halachah 174:2, s.v. yayin, questions that. See Minchas Yitzchak 8:19 and Yechaveh Da’as 5:20.
15. Beiur Halachah 174:2, s.v yayin. [It is not sufficient to have specific intention that the blessing over the wine should only cover the wine itself and not other beverages; Rav Y.S. Elyashiv, quoted in Vezos ha-Berachah, pg. 100.] Based on Mishnah Berurah 286:12; Aruch ha-Shulchan 286:17 and Kaf ha-Chayim 286:35-36. O.C. 286:4. See Mishnah Berurah 286:13; Aruch ha-Shulchan 286:17; Da’as Torah 286:4 and Kaf ha-Chayim 286:36. See Mishnah Berurah 106:4.


Weekly-Halacha, Text Copyright © 2013 by Rabbi Neustadt, Dr. Jeffrey Gross and Torah.org.

Rabbi Neustadt is the Yoshev Rosh of the Vaad Harabbonim of Detroit and the Av Beis Din of the Beis Din Tzedek of Detroit. He could be reached at [email protected]

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