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In many communities I have been in around the world after mussaf on shabbat there is often a 'kiddush'. This consists of the Rav of the shul (or some other designee) who makes kiddush and food is served. Often the kiddush is sponsored or provided by someone who is celebrating a simcha.

What is the origin of this practice?

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    Possibly to accommodate less fortunate people who were dependent on the shul/tzibbur for (Shabbat) meals, resembling the practice of kiddush in shul on Fri. night. – Oliver Dec 22 '17 at 3:04
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    Do you have any reason to suspect this isn't just because people are hungry and haven't eaten? – Double AA Dec 22 '17 at 4:41
  • I recall commentary about the permissibility of eating after shacharit but before musaf which would indicate lengthy services and hungry people. – rosends Dec 22 '17 at 11:15
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I asked a rabbi about this a while ago. He surmised a few possibilities, none that he knew of having any specific halachic or minhag basis mentioned.

Among many shuls that attracted primarily non-religious members, this was a means to ensure that congregants would at least have some Shabbat meal and some "connection" and Shabbat spirit. In some shuls, the meal was a bit more formal and they sang Shabbat songs and the rabbi would give a sermon or short Shabbat-related speech. Some focus was towards "kiruv".

Another aspect was purely social. I think this is more of the current trend in Orthodox shuls. I won't discuss the problem that much socializing, sadly, already occurs in shul during davening, but it shouldn't be that way. Thus, the kiddush was meant as a means for people to meet and socialize and food or a "party" is a common means or "supplement" to socializing / gatherings. (I understand that Church services, similarly have a "collation" after services. Probably for a similar reason.)

Some of the comments, above, mentioned hunger. I don't see this as the primary motive for the kiddush, at least among Orthodox crowds. Almost all Orthodox people would have their se'udah at home, anyway. (Yes, there are a few who "sneak" into the kiddush room and grab something before others or form their own private "Schnapps club" while the service still occurs. I see this as a big problem.)

The presence and sometimes even the type of food at the kiddush has become, now, a "marketing trend". People choose a specific shul on Shabbat solely based on the kiddush. IMO, that certainly should not be the main motive. However, for those shuls that may otherwise not gain a minyan, if the kiddush, alone, helps them, then, by all means, it's another reason for doing one.

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