Parsha Halacha

Parshat Beshalach
Shabbat Shira

The Big Kiddush

Laws and Customs of the the Shabbat-Day Kiddush
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In the Torah portion of Beshalach we read about the manna that fell in the desert (Exodus chapter 16). Regarding eating the manna on Shabbat, the Torah says, (16:25) “And Moshe said, ‘Eat it today, for today is a Shabbat to the L-rd; today you will not find it in the field.” According to our sages, the fact that the word “today” is repeated three times in this verse alludes to the three meals of Shabbat (see Shabbat 117b).
This article will focus on the laws and customs of the Kiddush of Shabbat day which we make before the second meal of Shabbat.

The Source
The Talmud says (Pesachim 106a) that we must make Kiddush during the day of Shabbat (in addition to the Kiddush of Friday night) as the verse says, “Remember the day of Shabbat to sanctify it (Exodus 20:8).”

Rabbinic Mitzvah
This Kiddush is a Rabbinic enactment as opposed to the Kiddush on Friday night which is based on the Torah obligation to remember the Shabbat as it begins (see Shulchan Aruch HaRav 289:2). As such, the verse mentioned above is understood to be an asmachta (Scriptural support for a Rabbinic law) rather than the plain meaning of the verse.
There is an opinion that the Kiddush of Shabbat day is a Torah obligation (Maharam of Rothenburg, cited in Magen Avraham O.C. 597:3) but this is not the main halacha.

The Reason
The reason the sages enacted this Kiddush is so that people do not think that honoring the day of Shabbat is less important than honoring the night of Shabbat (Friday night). (They might think this if we only made Kiddush on Friday night as mandated by Biblical law.) In fact the meal of Shabbat day is considered more important than that of Friday night (Shulchan Aruch HaRav ibid).

The Big Kiddush
The Talmud (Pesachim ibid) calls the Kiddush of Shabbat day “Kiddusha Rabbah,” the Big Kiddush.
The commentaries offer several explanations as to why it is called the “Big Kiddush” when it is, in fact, quite small. (The verses recited before the blessing on the wine are merely customary. As such, the actual Kiddush consists of only one blessing, the Borei Peri Hagafen versus the Friday night Kiddush which includes a blessing about the Shabbat which finishes with the words Mekadesh HaShabbat)
  • Said on All Kiddushim
Rashi (and other commentaries) explain that the blessing on the wine is considered a big (important) blessing since it is recited on every type of Kiddush and whenever we recite a sanctification blessing over wine (e.g., Sheva Brachot and Brit Milah).
  • Exaggerated
The Tosfot Rid and the Me’iri write that the sages used an exaggerated expression of honor for the kiddush of Shabbat day even though it is a Kiddush of lesser importance. They did so because calling it the “Small Kiddush” sounds pejorative.
  • Higher Level
Rabbeinu Bachaye (On Exodus 16:25) writes that, Kabbalistically speaking, the level of Shabbat day is higher than that of Friday night. As such, the Kiddush is called the “Big (Great) Kiddush” because it is a higher-level sanctification than that which is achieved on Friday night. (In Kabbalistic terms, it corresponds to the Divine Attribute of Yesod as opposed to Friday night which corresponds to the Divine Attribute of Malchut.)
  • First Kiddush Ever
The Imrei Emmet explained (brought in Yalkut Biurim on the Metivta Shas, Pesachim ibid) that the Torah was given to the Jewish people on the day of Shabbat (see Shabbat 86b), and when the Sinai revelation was over, they all went home and made Kiddush. As such, the Kiddush of Shabbat day was made first. This is why it is called the “Big (i.e., important) Kiddush.”

The Verses
It is customary to recite several Torah verses about the sanctity of Shabbat before saying the blessing on the wine in the Kiddush of Shabbat day. Some say (Likutei Maharich vol. 2 Seder Kiddush BeYom HaShabbat) that these verses are recited in lieu of the Kiddush bracha (Mekadesh HaShabbat).
Some have the custom to recite only the blessing on the wine (Borei Pri Hagafen) and not to add any verses to this Kiddush (Aruch HaShulchan 297:3 based on the language of Pesachim ibid).

The Details
All the laws that apply to the Kiddush of Friday night apply to the Kiddush of Shabbat day as well (Shulchan Aruch HaRav, ibid). For example, one must make it in the same place where one eats his meal (or at least part of it such as mezonot). Both men and women are obligated in this Kiddush as are children if they are of the age of Chinuch (education).

There are some differences between the Kiddush of Friday night and Shabbat day.
  • Eating Beforehand
Some say that one may eat and drink before the kiddush of Shabbat day. Although this is not the main halacha, one may be lenient and eat before this kiddush if he does not have wine, bread, or any important beverage (such as whiskey or beer) on which to make Kiddush (Shulchan Aruch HaRav, ibid). This is true even if one expects to get wine (or other drinks or bread) later on during the day. When one obtains those items they should make Kiddush at that time.
  • On Other Beverages
It is customary to allow the use of important beverages other than wine for the Kiddush of Shabbat day. Despite this, it is better to use wine for this Kiddush as well (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 272:11). When using hard liquor, it is best to use a regular-size Kiddush cup and drink at least a cheekful (which is a majority of a revi’it) as one does when using wine (Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchato 53:19). Some have the custom of making Kiddush on a smaller cup and drinking the amount that is considered a standard drink of that sort of alcohol (ibid, footnote 72).
  • Making Kiddush for Someone Else
One who already heard (or made) Kiddush on Shabbat day may make Kiddush for someone else who has not yet heard it. This is permissible even in the first place. This is different than the Kiddush of Friday night, in which case one who made kiddush already may only repeat it for someone else if that person cannot make it themselves (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 273:6). The reason for the difference is that the Kiddush of Friday night involves saying an extra blessing (Mekadesh HaShabbat) which should not be repeated unnecessarily. The kiddush of Shabbat day, on the other hand, includes only the blessing on the wine which one may say whenever one wishes to drink wine and is therefore not considered repeating a bracha unnecessarily. (I heard this from Rabbi Chaim Sholom Deitch of Kollel Tzemach Tzedek in Jerusalem.)
(An adult can make Kiddush for a child but not vice versa.)
  • Making it Without Drinking It
One may recite the Kiddush of Shabbat day and have someone else drink it. In this case however, it would seem that one who already made or heard Kiddush should not do so unless the others are unable to make Kiddush for themselves.

Sitting or Standing
Halachally speaking, it is best to sit when making Kiddush (see Shulchan Aruch HaRav 271:19). The common Chassidic custom, however, is to stand for the Kiddush of Friday night. The Ketzot HaShulchan writes (79, Badei HaShulchan 14) that this is based on Kabbalistic sources.
Regarding the Kiddush of Shabbat day, some Chassidim recite it sitting while others do so standing. The general Ashkenazi custom is to recite the day kiddush while sitting. The Sefardic custom too, is to say the Shabbat day Kiddush while sitting (Yalkut Yosef 271:27).
The Kaf HaChaim (271:62) writes that the Arizal would say all of the Kiddushim of Shabbat while standing. He also quotes a different source that the Arizal would sit by the Kiddush of Shabbat day (289:5).
There does not seem to be a clear Chabad custom in this regard. See here.
In any case, one should sit before drinking the wine as this is considered proper conduct (Ketzot Hashulchan ibid).
  • Drinking from the Wine
It is best for those listening to the Kiddush to also drink some of the Kiddush wine, but if they do not do so they have still fulfilled the mitzvah of Kiddush.
Some say that it is essential for everyone to drink from the wine of the Shabbat day Kiddush (the Brisker Rov cited in Shmirat Shabbat Kehilchato 50:9). The common custom, however, is to not be particular about this.

Al Kein
One should not begin the Kiddush of Shabbat day with the words Al kein etc. as this is only the second half of the verse which begins with the words Ki Sheshet (Exodus 20:11). One is not supposed to recite only half of a verse (Mishnah Berurah 289:2). In addition, it is not logical to begin with the words Al kein beirach which mean “Therefore, G-d sanctified” without citing the beginning of the verse to explain why G-d sanctified the seventh day (Sha’arei Rachamim, quoted in the Mishnah Berurah with Dirshu).

May we merit to sanctify the Shabbat and experience its sanctity!

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom UMevorach!

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