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Let's say a husband and wife are alone on Friday night or on Shabbos day. Can the wife make kiddush for herself and her husband?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Since women are obligated in kiddush on a Torah level (Zachor>Shamor), they can make kiddush for their husbands. The Aruch haShulchan 271:5 rejects the idea that women should not cover men, limiting it to public venues (b'tzibur).

That said, I once went to someones house where the woman made hamotzi. It rubbed me the wrong way. Since the custom has been for the man to do kiddush, it seemed like they were making a statement that should be outside the Jewish purview.

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I have heard, though I don't remember in whose name or with what degree of certainty/reliability it was said, that women may be chayavos in kidush from the Tora but not chayavos in kidush on wine, so once they say anything that serves as kidush, including possibly saying "good Shabas", they can no longer be motzios men with kidush on wine. CYLOR. – msh210 May 9 '11 at 2:31
I, too, once went to someone's house for a Shabas meal, the woman made hamotzi, and I was bemused — until I realized it was because the husband had celiac disease and was not eating bread. – msh210 May 9 '11 at 2:32
After having throat surgery 9 years ago I was not allowed to talk for some time. As per the psak of one of the local poskim in Memphis I was told that my wife should make kiddush for us. Needless to say we had no guests! But we went elsewhere for Havdala. – Yahu May 9 '11 at 7:45
msh, why would they not be obligated in the mitzvah to be mekadeish on wine? Generally speaking, women are obligated in Rabbinic mitzvos asei sheHazman gramma. In this case, since it is based on a mitzvas asei mideoraisa sheHzman gramma (zachreihu) that women are obligated to do, why would the Rabanan not obligate them with zachreihu al haYayin? (BTW, there is at least one Rishon who opines that zachreihu al haYayin is mideoraisa.) – Yahu May 9 '11 at 7:49
msh, I know who YDK was eating at and let me tell you: The husband had no problems with gluten. They were making a statement and were very open about it. Doesn't the gemara somewhere say a pretty negative statement about a man who can do a mitzvah himself but lets his wife be motzi him instead? – Yahu May 9 '11 at 7:52

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