Halacha for Tuesday 5 Kislev 5782 November 9 2021

May Women Eat Before Reciting Kiddush?

Question: Regarding the law that we discussed yesterday that after Shabbat morning prayers one may not taste anything without reciting Kiddush but before prayers, one may drink tea and coffee. Does the same law apply to women in that they may not eat after prayers before reciting Kiddush but they may drink before prayers or is their law different?

Answer: In the previous Halacha, we have explained that one may not taste any food or beverage before reciting Kiddush. We have explained that this applies only when the individual has already become obligated to recite Kiddush, i.e. if he has prayed already. Nevertheless, before morning prayers, one is not yet obligated to recite Kiddush and one may therefore drink tea or coffee as one would any other weekday, for one only becomes obligated to recite Kiddush after morning prayers.

Let us now discuss the law regarding women. This issue can really be split into two primary focuses.

Firstly, as we have established in the past, a woman is not obligated to pray three times a day; rather, she is only obligated to pray once daily. A woman may choose whichever prayer she wishes on any given day, either Shacharit, Mincha, or Arvit. Thus, it seems clear that a woman may not taste anything without first reciting Kiddush after she has already prayed, for at that point, she already becomes obligated in the Mitzvah of Kiddush and she may not taste anything beforehand. Thus, a woman who has prays Shacharit and Mussaf shares the same law as a man and she may drink tea or coffee before praying. However, once she has prayed, she may not taste anything until she recites Kiddush.

The question ensues regarding a woman who does not customarily pray Shacharit and Mussaf. There is room to claim that since this woman does not pray Shacharit, she becomes obligated to recite Kiddush immediately upon awakening from her sleep in the morning (since her obligation of Kiddush is not contingent on prayer since she does not pray) and thus, she may not taste anything at all until she recites Kiddush on a cup of wine.

Nevertheless, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes in his Sefer Chazon Ovadia that women who do not pray Shacharit and Mussaf but feel weakness may drink tea or coffee on Shabbat morning although they have not yet recited Kiddush. The reason for this is because although according to the Rambam and Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch, one may not taste anything before reciting the day Kiddush, nevertheless according to the Ra’avad, one may eat before reciting the Shabbat day Kiddush, for according to his opinion, the only time one may not eat before Kiddush is on Shabbat night but not on Shabbat day since it is not as stringent as the night Kiddush.

Although, halachically speaking, we follow the opinion of the Rambam who rules that it is forbidden to eat before reciting the day Kiddush as well, nevertheless, there is room in such a situation to combine the opinion of the Meiri who maintains that women are completely exempt from the Shabbat day Kiddush. When combining both of these opinions (the Ra’avad and the Meiri) there is room to allow women who experience some weakness or light-headedness to drink something when they wake up on Shabbat morning although they have not yet recited Kiddush on a cup of wine.

Summary: Women who pray Shacharit and Mussaf on Shabbat may drink tea or coffee before praying. After praying, they become obligated to recite Kiddush and they may not taste anything until they do so, as is the law regarding men. A woman who does not pray at all on Shabbat morning, because she is busy tending to her children and the like, may drink some tea or coffee upon awakening in the morning in order to give her strength although she has not yet recited Kiddush on a cup of wine.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Proper Way to Immerse Vessels in a Mikveh

One must make certain that there is nothing separating between the vessel one is immersing and the waters of the Mikveh. Thus, when one is immersing a vessel, one must hold the vessel loosely, for if one holds it tight, one’s hand will be separating between the vessel and the waters of the Mik......

Read Halacha

Reading Scripture at Night

Question: May one read chapters of Tanach or Tehillim at night or is this forbidden according to Kabbalah? Is there room for leniency when this reading is being done for the sake of an ill individual or a woman in labor? Answer: Maran Ha’Chida in his Responsa Yosef Ometz (Chapter 54) quotes......

Read Halacha

Question: Do disposable vessels and electric kettles require immersion in a Mikveh?

Answer: In the previous Halachot, we have discussed the general law that any new vessels purchased from a non-Jew must be immersed in a Mikveh before using them. We shall now discuss whether or not disposable vessels require immersion. We have already explained that according to Maran zt”l,......

Read Halacha

Drinking Beverages in a Café or in a Home Where the Vessels have not been Immersed in a Mikveh

Question: May one drink coffee in a friend’s home or in a Café (such as an espresso without milk served in Cafes) when they are not meticulous about immersing their vessels in a Mikveh? Answer: In the Halachot discussed before Tisha Be’av, we have explained that vessels produc......

Read Halacha


The Laws of Fire on Yom Tov

In previous Halachot we have explained that Yom Tov and Shabbat are equal regarding all prohibitions besides for certain works associated with food preparation, such as cooking, which are permitted on Yom Tov. Igniting a Flame One may not produce a new fire on Yom Tov, for instance by striking a......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Cooking on Yom Tov

In the previous Halacha, we have explained that although Shabbat and Yom Tov are equal in their prohibition to perform work on them and it is therefore a Torah prohibition to drive a car on Yom Tov, nevertheless, certain works associated with food preparation, such as cooking and frying, are permitt......

Read Halacha

Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach

Question: When the Chazzan recites “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach” and the congregation responds “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed,” must one rise and bow or is this unnecessary? Answer: Regarding the obligation to rise while answering &ldquo......

Read Halacha

Which Vessels Require Immersion in a Mikveh-Continued

In previous Halachot, we have explained that vessels purchased from a non-Jew, such as those produced outside of Israel, require immersion in a Mikveh before using them. We have also discussed which types of vessels require immersion and which do not. We shall now continue discussing this topic. ......

Read Halacha