What is Kiddush?

Jewish gifts Kiddush

 , which means holiness, is the prayer over wine (or grape juice) that sanctifies  and holidays.

Traditionally, Kiddush is recited (in two different versions) on Friday night and at Shabbat lunch. Other versions of the Kiddush are said on holiday eves and days.

Friday Night Kiddush

On Friday night, the Kiddush is recited over a full cup of wine or grape juice before sitting down for Shabbat dinner and before saying Hamotzi, the blessing over the challah. Traditionally, the Kiddush was recited by men. Today, in many households women or men recite Kiddush. After the Kiddush is recited, the cup is passed around so that everyone can take a sip from it. Many families have a special cup, called a Kiddush cup, reserved for this purpose. Kiddush cups can be purchased at Judaica stores and online.

The text of Friday night Kiddush begins with Vayechulu, a passage from Genesis 2:1-3 that describes the completion of creation. In that text, God steps back from six days of creation to rest on the seventh. The Jewish Shabbat is an imitation of this divine act.

What follows then is an invitation to say the Kiddush, and the full text of the Kiddush itself which is actually two blessings. The first blessing is the traditional blessing over the “fruit of the vine” (which is why Kiddush is recited over wine or grape juice) followed by a sanctification of the holy Sabbath. This second blessing highlights the two major themes that are consecrated in Shabbat: creation (God rested on the seventh day) and redemption (God redeemed the Jewish people from Egypt so that they could follow the divine commandments, including observing the Sabbath). This blessing also thanks God for giving the Jewish people the Shabbat in love, and making them God’s chosen people.

 From: My Jewish Learning  https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/kiddush/

Choose your Kiddush Cup at https://www.sterlingsilverjewel.com/products/bluenoemi-armenian-ceramics-kiddush-cup-israel-gifts-for-jewish-table


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