For as long as the world can remember, wine is a celebratory drink in Judaism. It has its own blessings and grace in the praying siddurim and has special blessing for it in many holidays and during the ritual of shabbat. The Kiddush Cup is an essential piece of Judaica and also a ritualistic piece that every Jewish household owns. If you haven’t heard about those things, then the following 10 facts will definitely shock you.
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A Commandment or a Ruling?
In the bible, we can read and see that one of the commandments given to moses on mount Sinai clearly says “Zechor et Yom HaShabbat lekodsho”, which literally translates to glorify and make the Shabbat holy. According to the Rambam, a famous Jewish philosopher, the tradition of the Kiddush is in fact more a ruling of Hazal. On the other hand, Rashi, who is also a very famous Jewish rabbi and philosopher, claimed that the Shabbat Kiddush Cup is indeed a derivative of the commandment.
Great Use in Passover
During Passover, the Kiddush cup is used in a very special manner compared to other holidays and Shabbat. During the Seder, the conductor uses the Kiddush cup for the blessing when it is first being filled up. Following that, there is a belief in Judaism that during the seder, Eliyahu the prophet comes to visit the families who celebrate Passover and in fact, the Kiddush cup is for Eliyahu.
The story of Eliyahu in Judaism is often related to the alliance and ‘brit’ between men and God, that is why he is mentioned at the end of Shabbat, Passover in circumcision ceremonies. He is known to be the one who reads the good rights of the Israeli people on these events and the Passover kiddush cup is an invite for him to visit homes and see all the people he may deem to good attributions.
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Put That Down!
Very important! If you are Planning to go to a Shabbat dinner, don’t eat anything! Until the kiddush ends. In Judaism, it is forbidden by tradition to eat or drink of the Shabbat enters as long as the kiddush didn’t happen the logic says that everything that happens during the Shabbat is holy, therefore everyone must first drink from the Shabbat Kiddush cup and only then everyone can enjoy the Shabbat feast.
Following that, comes more blessings for the food on the table, the guests around the table and the one who made the meal (usually the mother of the house). The Shabbat kiddush cup symbolizes the beginning of a holy time of rest, and in it every action that is being performed is blessed – eating, praying, resting, keeping shabbat and being kind to one and other.
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Not Only Wine
Since not everyone is able to drink alcoholic wine, there are several rulings made by Hazal that enable the use of non – alcoholic. The original name of the drink meant to be drank is ‘Hemar medina’, the original alcoholic beverage meant to be drank. Since the Shabbat kiddush cup is meant to be shared with the entire table, it is allowed to use a non – alcoholic wine, ‘Tirosh’ being the most common choice in Israel, to be shared with everyone.
Today there are still differences of opinions to what is considered to be kosher wine, according to Sephardic or Ashkenazi people. One thing is certain – there are specific wines designated to be in shabbat or wedding kiddush cups.
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It may seem odd or inappropriate, but there is a certain order in which each person around the table of Shabbat may drink. That specific hierarchy is going by age and then by gender. The most common way is that the men drink first, however, there are many takes on that part, so gender is not necessarily a criterion. In many homes, usually, the young children are waiting for their turn to drink from the goblet. It is in those moments, that young kids in Jewish families see the benefits and the responsibilities of being an adult and having a Shabbat dinner.
A Symbol of Union
During a full Jewish wedding ceremony, you will see the Jewish wedding kiddush cup, and maybe even the whole Jewish wedding kiddush cup set. It is composed of a cup and a coaster\saucer. During the ceremony, blessings are said, the joy enters the heart of the guests and two people are about to become one.
Not only the couple is being celebrated but also the union and gathering of the couple’s families. In that celebration, both families and the rabbi enjoy the sipping of the kiddush wine. The use of a wedding kiddush cup is an act of trust, just like in the old days. Everyone is sharing the same drink, from the same cup; all while drinking the blessed ritualistic beverage.
See one of our beautiful kiddush sets from the Israeli Center of Judaica collection
Variety of Materials
Like many other masterpieces and accessories in the realm of Judaica, you may also find amazing and rare Shabbat kiddush cups. According to Jewish rulings, there are many materials from which you may create a Kiddush cup.
As far as it goes on “legal” terms, the most important thing is that the Shabbat or wedding kiddush cup will be thoroughly clean from the inside and out, and that the cup will be whole with no dents or missing pieces.
Since the ritual is a holy one, each Kiddush cup you may find will definitely be decorated. The materials may vary: from Armenian clay and artwork, the anodized aluminum kiddush cups, as well as luxurious sterling silver kiddush cups.
One Website to Show Them All
As we just read, there are many materials to create Wedding kiddush cups and Shabbat cups for Kiddush. The Israeli center of Judaica’s website gathers the finest creations from local artists and smiths, made in rare and clean designs all the way to glorious and extravagant pieces; some may be made of aluminum, silver and gold and some may be crafted from gemstones and with a combination of all that was just said. Such an example is the Etrog Box with Amethyst Stones
Enter The Israeli center of Judaica and see for yourself:
A Tradition For All Things Israel
The tradition of kiddush when the Shabbat enters is a ceremony that almost every person in the state of Israel witnesses or witnesses. A military is a place where young adults from all over Israel gather and have a rest on Shabbat. On base, during patrol, out in the field – everyone shares that moment that the Shabbat enters. No matter where you are. It is possible because of what was mentioned earlier.
Remember? As long as the cup is intact, it may be used as a kiddush cup. That ruling was made exactly for that purpose: everyone in the Jewish religion may separate the daily from the holy days of the weekend. As we can see, The Kiddush cup, whether it’s during a wedding, Shabbat, or any other holiday, allows us to maintain tradition and holiness. In any other occasion and wherever it may be – we are all united, with a simple ritual.
You can find Accessories for Kiddush here
A Beautiful Gift
Judaica products and specifically kiddush cups are a great deal in Jewish households. Each one of them definitely has at least one kiddush cup. Some keep and buy a brand-new wedding kiddush cup set for their special day and then they keep it. Some will buy a sterling silver kiddush cup. So why not turn it into a gift?
It is definitely a necessity for Jewish traditions and Shabbat. One thing we can definitely tell you – that gift will definitely surprise the one you are buying it for him.
For a fancy gift opt for one of our Kiddush Fountains
Not Enough Words to Summarize
As you can read and understand, traditional kiddush cups are a staple piece in every household. The Kiddush cup, as small as it may be, holds great meaning and values. Like many other Judaica products, the kiddush cup can be seen in so many designs from so many materials! From Luxurious Kiddush Cups with Amethyst Stones to Modern Kiddush Cups with reflecting design.
The price range, just in case you were wondering, varies from the affordable to the luxurious. Why so?
As we just read, these cups are made by the finest smiths and artists in Israel. Yes, you may find designs abroad, but a Jewish artwork crafted in the holy land, by smiths who inherited the techniques from their families – is just non – replaceable. If you enter the Israeli center of Judaica you may sort through many designs by material, artist, price and delivery. In addition to all of these, there are kiddush cups, goblets and wine glass shaped designs. The variety is almost endless.
In this last segment, we would like to thank you for showing your interest in Jewish tradition, Judaica and the great meaning this small cup has in our religion. You are always welcome to examine the variety of products on our website and reach out to us for any question you may have.