Is it necessary that the giving of thanks for Shabbat, including lighting of candles, blessings over bread, and the Kiddush need centre around the consumption of a 'main' meal?

I ask for those occasions when it is not possible to perform these rituals as part of consuming a main Friday night meal while still able to consume wine and chullah as part of this ritual.

  • Your question is a little unclear. Do you mean to include specifically the blessings over bread in the ritual, but not the actual consumption of the bread? Or do you mean to include the consumption of the bread to the exclusion of any other food?
    – Seth J
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 18:51
  • sorry I mean the consumption of bread but the exclusion of other foods I will clarify question
    – student
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


The essential components of the Friday night rituals are:

  1. Candles - To be lit 18 minutes BEFORE sunset*

  2. Kiddush - This is the blessing before drinking wine coupled with the blessing sanctifying the Sabbath.

  3. Two Breads - This is commonly done with two loaves baked in the style referred to colloquially as "Challah". (In reality, the meaning of the word "Challah" is not related to this ritual, but to another, but that's a separate topic.)

That's basically it, except for a few accompanying rules.

A. Kiddush can only be fulfilled with an accompanying meal.

B. A "meal", for purposes of Kiddush, can be satisfied by eating a minimum amount of bread (or other grain product).

C. One must wash hands with a cup prior to making the HaMotzi blessing over the bread, which is required before one can eat the bread.

D. One must recite Grace After Meals upon concluding the (bread-based) "meal".

E. If one cannot make a proper Kiddush or eat a meal, one can should recite the special prayers for Friday night, which include a form of the Kiddush.

F. The two breads should be covered while reciting Kiddush.

*G. It should be noted that, in a pinch, one can light an incandescent (and I've also heard even a florescent) light if candles are unavailable, prohibited, or dangerous (such as in a hospital room).

  • 1
    I don't know how detailed you want to be, but perhaps it's worth pointing out the option of kiddush on bread. Also candlelighting can be less than 18 minutes prior to sunset. And perhaps clarify that the 'special prayers' is the shabbat maariv service not just kiddush by itself (it seems unclear to me).
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 10, 2012 at 23:01
  • Fair points all around. I was trying to keep my answer simple, so I'll let your comment fill in those blanks.
    – Seth J
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 1:29
  • You might want to address eating before kiddush as well.
    – Menachem
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 3:23
  • @Menachem, ditto what I said to Double AA above.
    – Seth J
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 4:34

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