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The morning Kiddush on Shabbat and holidays consists of one or more Torah verses followed by the blessing on the wine (or perhaps other beverage). I have seen in print and in practice various different customs for how many and which verses to recite on different days. For example, I've seen Shabbat customs ranging from just "Zachor et yom hashabat lekadesho." up to multiple paragraphs.

  • Where do the various customs for verse choices come from?

  • May an individual choose which custom to follow on a given occasion?

  • May an individual choose any verses [s]he feels are appropriate, even if there isn't an existing custom of using those verses?

  • Are Shabbat and holidays treated differently for these rules?

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+1. Not only verses, though: some say "Askinu S'udasa" and the long Aramaic piyut that follows it (whose incipit I forget), and some say "Chay Hashem". –  msh210 Oct 30 '11 at 17:09
    
@msh210 - Who says Chai Hashem? –  Adam Mosheh May 16 '12 at 5:51
    
@AdamMosheh, at least one of the sons of my paternal grandmother's sister Ceil, aleha hashalom. And, doubtless, many, many other fine Jews. –  msh210 May 16 '12 at 5:58
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3 Answers 3

Aruch HaShulchan 289:3 makes it clear that your assumption (in your question) that the beracha on the wine is preceded by "one or more" Torah verses is wrong. The gemara doesn't mention any verses and perhaps it's better not to mention any.

ולכן אין בו רק ברכת 'בורא פרי הגפן', ובגמרא שם קראו לה 'קידושא רבה' על דרך סגי נהור, ועוד מפני שברכה זו יש בכל הקידושים (רש"י ורשב"ם שם). ויש שאומרים קודם הקידוש פסוקי 'זכור את יום השבת' ויש שמתחילין 'על כן ברך', אם כי הוא באמצע הפסוק, דאין כוונתן להפסוק אלא להקדים דברים. ויש אומרים 'מזמור לדוד ד' רועי', ויש אומרים פרשת בזיכין. אבל מגמרא שם מוכח להדיא שלא אמרו שום דבר, ורק פתחו בברכת הגפן ושתו. (דאומר שם: 'ר"א איקלע... מכדי כל הברכות בורא פרי הגפן אמרי ברישא... גחין ושתי' ע"ש. ובזיכין בארנו בסימן רפ"ג שאינו נכון לאומרה קודם חצי היום ע"ש, וכן ראיתי בילדותי לגדולים שלא אמרו כלום קודם הקידוש הזה)‏

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+1, nice source for an answer ("no") to the subquestions "May an individual choose...", though it doesn't address the other subquestions. –  msh210 Oct 30 '11 at 17:12
    
@msh210, actually, if there's no source indicating certain verses, that could be an argument that an individual may indeed choose, although perhaps not fragments of verses. In any case, common practice appears to be to indeed recite one or more verses. –  Isaac Moses Oct 31 '11 at 2:19
    
@IsaacMoses, except that the AHS seems to be implying one should say, specifically, nothing. (Granted, though: he doesn't say it outright.) –  msh210 Oct 31 '11 at 3:26
    
Although according to that sevara, one shouldn't say Yom Hashishi until the brachca –  Shmuel Brin Jun 27 at 6:50
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The source for these Psukim is from the Kol Bo who writes that "Some have a custom to say 'Vshamru...' before Kiddush, and after Kiddush they say different Mizmorim for the honor of Shabbos like 'Mizmor L'Dovid'."

The Pri Etz Chaim says that one should first say "Mizmor LDovid", then "Vshamru", then "Az Tisaneig al Hashem", then say out loud "Da Hi Seudasa D'Atika Kadisha" and "Borei Pri Hagafen".

The Shaar Hakolel say that the reason that the daytime Kiddush is called "Kiddusha Rabba" and not the nighttime Kiddush is because the title "Rabba" applies to anything on which the life-force of the world depends and which comes from the four letter name of Hashem.

Since at night the Kiddush says "Vayechuu hashomayim veha'aretz vechol tzva'am...Veyvarech Elokim es yom hashevyiy vayekadesh oso..." and not "Vayekadesh Hashem oso" while during the kiddush by day we say "Al Kein Beirach Hashem Es Yom Hashabbos Vayekadsheihu", the morning Kiddush is called "Rabba".

The night-time Kiddush is the sanctification of Shabbos by the Jews (therefore it is often done during Tosfos Shabbos, which was not sanctified by Hashem during creation but rather by Jews).

Therefore, in the norning Kiddush we say "Veshamru...", "Zachor..." which discusses the sanctification of Shabbos through the Jews (what was accomplished the night before), and then we say "Al Kein Beirach Hashem Es Yom Hashabbos Vayekadsheyu" which is the sanctity of the Shabbos that comes from Hashem (the Kiddusha Rabba).

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A very partial answer to "May an individual choose any verses [s]he feels are appropriate, even if there isn't an existing custom of using those verses?" is found in Mishna B'rura (289:2), who opposes as counter to halacha the practice some have of starting "al ken berach", since it's the middle of a pasuk in chumash.

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