There is a minhag which many have while reciting kiddush which is to hold the kiddush cup in the palm of the hand, with the fingers pointing upward without touching the cup. I have heard two explanations for this custom:
- We avoid placing the fingertips directly on the kiddush cup because impurities in the hand are actually transmitted through the fingertips, and we want to avoid contaminating the cup and/or wine
- There is a Kabbalistic custom whereby the palm (Hebrew: yod) and five fingers (Hebrew: hey/5) form the first two letters of the Tetragrammaton; holding the cup in this way sanctifies G-d
Can someone explain what the origin for either/both of these customs are? I have heard it said that kiddush in some way commemorates the Temple service. Assuming this were the case, could it be possible that part of the kiddush tradition we follow derived from the practices the priests would have followed when performing a libation?