Halacha for Sunday 3 Kislev 5782 November 7 2021

The Laws of Kiddush

We have explained that there is a positive Torah commandment to recite Kiddush on the night of Shabbat. The Sages enacted that this Kiddush be recited on a cup of wine.

Everyone is equally obligated to recite Kiddush. Nevertheless, it is customary for the head of the household to recite the Kiddush aloud and have the rest of those present fulfill their obligation through the law that one who hears Kiddush is tantamount to having recited it. Thus, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes (based on the words of Rabbeinu Shmuel Abohav in his Sefer Devar Shmuel) that when the individual reciting Kiddush reaches the name of Hashem in the Kiddush, those present should not reply by saying “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo”, for one should not recite “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” while listening to any blessing one is likewise fulfilling one’s obligation through. The reason for this is because since the one listening to the blessing being recited is tantamount to reciting the blessing on his own, stopping to answer “Baruch Hu U’Varuch Shemo” after Hashem’s name is considered like one is interruption and adding unnecessary words into the middle of the blessing and as such, changing the appropriate text of the blessing established by our Sages.

Since all of those present fulfill their obligation through the recitation of the Kiddush by the head of the household, they must take care to hear the entire text of the Kiddush, from beginning to end, from the individual reciting the Kiddush. Those present must have in mind to fulfill their obligation by listening and the individual reciting Kiddush must likewise have in mind to have his listeners fulfill their obligation through his recital (as we have explained regarding reading Parashat Zachor and the Megillah on Purim).

It is forbidden to taste any food or beverage following sunset on Friday evening until one recites Kiddush. (If one accepts Shabbat earlier on Friday afternoon, it becomes forbidden for one to eat or drink immediately until one recites Kiddush although the sun has not yet set.)

Before Kiddush is recited, a tablecloth must be spread on the table on top of which two loaves of bread are placed and then these breads are covered with another cloth or napkin. This serves as a commemoration of the Manna that fell in the desert which resembled being placed in a box, for there was a layer of dew under it and over it while the Manna was in the middle. The Talmud Yerushalmi adds another reason for this which is that if the bread were uncovered and one opted to recite a blessing on the wine first as opposed to the bread, this is considered an affront to the bread (for its blessing is primary respective to wine). There are those maintain that if the bread is uncovered, one must actually recite Kiddush on the bread and not on the wine. Thus, one should make sure that the bread is covered before beginning to recite the Kiddush on a cup of wine.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Taking Haircuts and Shaving During the Omer Period

Abstaining from Taking Haircuts During the Omer It has become customary among the Jewish nation to refrain from taking haircuts during the Omer counting period: According to the Ashkenazi custom, until the 33rd day of the Omer and according to the Sephardic custom, until the morning of the 34th day......

Read Halacha

Producing Sound and Whistling on Shabbat

The Gemara in Masechet Eruvin (104a) tells us that our Sages banned producing sound on Shabbat and Yom Tov, for instance, by playing a musical instrument, for they were concerned that while the tune is being played, the player will come to fix the instrument. This decree would certainly apply eve......

Read Halacha

Toys Which Produce Sound and those Which Operate Using a Spring or Coil

Question: Is it permissible for one to allow one’s young children to play with toys which produce sound, such as a doll which makes noise when shaken, on Shabbat? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discussed the prohibition of producing sound on Shabbat, such as by banging on a board, ......

Read Halacha

Clapping and Drumming on a Table on Shabbat and Yom Tov

The Gemara in Masechet Beitzah (30a) states that one may not drum, clap, or dance on Shabbat lest one come to fix a musical instrument (ibid. 36b). This means that just as we have discussed in the previous Halachot that our Sages have decreed that one may not play musical instruments on Shabbat ......

Read Halacha


Praying in Pajamas

Question: Can one pray while wearing pajamas? Answer: Approximately one week ago, we have discussed that, before praying, one must prepare a fitting place, proper attire, and cleanse one’s body and thoughts, as the verse in the book of Amos states, “Prepare yourself before your G-d, I......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b) ......

Read Halacha

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

Kissing One’s Parents’ Hands on Shabbat Night- The Students of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

Question: Should one kiss the hands of one’s parents and receive a blessing from them on Shabbat night and does the same apply equally to one’s father and mother? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah (17a) tells us that when Ulah (a sage who lived during the Talmudic era) would......

Read Halacha