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How does one proceed at a Kiddush where the one making Kiddush can sit down but everyone else stands? The cake is not covered before kiddush. In every case attendees make a brocho before eating or drinking.

I have seen three modes of behaviour:

  • Attendees have nothing in their hand until kiddush is made and then take and eat cake.

  • Attendees take a whisky in their hand until kiddush is made and then drink it.

  • Attendees take cake and a whisky in their hand until kiddush is made and then eat the cake first.

Questions

1) Does the halocho allow you to partake of a kiddush standing? (After all a seudah is normally eaten sitting and we need kiddush in the location of a seudah).

2) Is it right to hold the food in your hand before kiddush? (The one making kiddush makes a brocho on wine; we normally cover bread in this situation.)

3) What should you partake of first?

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  • Excellent question and I've seen some "unusual" customs. In one shul, the rav was makpid to cover the cake plate in front of him while he made Kiddush. In some shuls, the rav makes Kiddush in the shul. In most other places, the wine / schnapps is in one area and the cake and rest of the food is in another area. Perhaps that set up avoids the covering of the cake. IIRC, Kiddush in the shul does not constitute the mitzvah of makom se'udah at a typical shul "stand up" Kiddush. Thus, everyone I know makes Kiddush at home, again and they have their meal there.
    – DanF
    Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 23:19
  • @DanF Kiddush has to be bemokom seudah or it is not valid. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 9:18
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    @DanF My last comment was what I thought up until I saw ohr.edu/this_week/insights_into_halacha/6206 . The section titled Kiddush X 2 is particularly relevant. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 9:38
  • "Kiddush has to be bemokom seudah or it is not valid" - Well, this makes an interesting question. Many shuls make Kiddush in shul on Friday night. O.C. among others says that the one who makes the Kiddush should not have in mind to fulfill his obligation via the shul Kiddush, and they also suggest givng the wine to a child. Why do we have to put these stipulations at all if the Kiddush is not valid unless in makom se'udah? Any ideas?
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 15:36
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    @Laser123 This may be related to a general principle of En Ma'avirin al mitzvot, loosely translated as "we don't pass over a mitzvah". When you have several foods having different brachot, there is a priority regarding the brachot. Mezonot (cake) has higher priority than hagefen (wine). That may sound counter-intuitive, but that's what it is. Thus, since we make kiddush on the wine first, we cover the cake, and in a way, we pretend that it isn't there. Similar reason as to why the challot are covered on Friday night as hamotzi has higher priority.
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 16:36

1 Answer 1

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There is a Yesod which needs to be clarified first. Kiddush on Friday night is Min Hatorah. Hence there is much more reasons to be stringent about that kiddush. Shabbos day kiddush is Midrbanan. The purpose of this kiddush according to most poskim (R` shlomo zalman, Rabbi N Karlitz, Reb Ovidya Yosef, Shulchan aruch, tur etc…) Kiddush is a Birchas Mitzvah and not Hanah (the blessing is for the purpose of kiddush not to be for the enjoyment of food). This being said:

  1. Standing vs sitting for Kiddush. Since it is mitzvah you can stand or sit. I don’t think there is a practical difference.
  2. Covering the food. Since it is not a brocha hanehnin, there should be no reason to cover the food. (perhaps the person making Kiddush should cover as for him it is both mitzvah and hanah.
  3. The normal level of Brachos apply, so cake first then whiskey, according to some poskim,it might be better not to drink from the wine as you might run in to a problem of Bracha Achrona if you don't have a Revious of wine
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