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If one doesn't have a non-disposable cup or becher available, can s/he use a disposable cup? Are there any specific types (plastic, styrofoam, paper...) of disposable cups allowed, or is any cup okay to use?


Related: using two plastic cups for Kiddush

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http://www.bknw.org/uploads/5/9/9/5/5995719/kiddush_using_disposable_cups-2.pdf

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Zatzal (Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 2 Siman 75) holds that a plastic cup should not be used for Kiddush and Havdala. Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg (Tzitz Eliezer 12 - 23) holds that you may use a plastic cup for Kiddush and Havdala.

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    Your link says that RMF said there is a problem with paper. You claim that he says plastic. Incidentally, the source appears to be typo. It should be IGM OH III:39 in which he writes: ורואה אני שכוס של נייר שהוא רק לשעה על פעם זה לבד הוא עוד גרוע this would seem to apply more to a paper cup (like a Dixie cup) that to a plastic cup. (as explained to me by a posek who used this RMF as a source that plastic is fine). Furthermore, even regarding paper, RMF writes: אך כשליכא כוס אחר אולי יש להקל – mevaqesh Aug 10 '16 at 8:07
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    I just read the end of it. Which claims that RMF told someone plastic could be a problem as well. However, the source remains wrong, along with what it says. – mevaqesh Aug 10 '16 at 8:29
  • Any plastic or only disposable plastic? – msh210 Feb 22 '17 at 4:54
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R. Moshe Feinstein writes the following responsum in Igrot Moshe (OH III:39):

הנה בדבר כוס לקידוש אם רשאין לעשות על כוס שנעשה מנייר שהוא כלי רק לשעה ששמע אשר אסרתי, אמת הדבר דהא התוספות מפרשים בברכות דף נ' ד"ה מודים וכן בשבת דף ע"ו כתבו זה בד"ה כדי בשם בני נרבונא דחי שנאמר בהדברים הצריכים בכוס של ברכה הוא שיהיה הכוס גופו כלי שלם ואיפסק כן בש"ע /או"ח/ סימן קפ"ג סעיף ג', וכתב המג"א סק"ה דאפילו נשבר רק בסיס שלמטה נמי פסול אף שגוף הכוס שלם, וכוס של קידוש טעון כל מה שטעון כוס של בהמ"ז כדאיתא /או"ח/ בסימן רע"א סעיף י', אלמא דבעינן שיהא הכוס נאה שרק כוס כזה כשר לבהמ"ז ולקידוש, ורואה אני שכוס של נייר שהוא רק לשעה על פעם זה לבד הוא עוד גרוע דאין לו שום חשיבות שודאי אינו ראוי לבהמ"ז ולקידוש. אך כשליכא כוס אחר אולי יש להקל. ידידו המברכו בחג כשר ושמח, משה פיינשטיין. ‏

He writes that a paper cup that is only fit to be used once [i] is improper, however, if one has no other cup, then maybe it is ok.

On the basis of this reasoning, a posek told me that there would be no problem at all with a plastic cup, as it is fit for multiple uses. Similar reasoning is presented by rabbis Waldenberg and Stern (see link below).

Additionally, Rav Binyamin Zilber (cited here hat-tip @GershonGold) (Responsa Az Nidberu VI #49) states that it is obvious that any disposable cup may be used for kiddush, havdalah, and netilas yadayim. He argues that we do not find anywhere in halacha that there is a requirement for the cup to be nice, and there is no source to suggest that if the cup is only made to be used once, it is not a kli.

This is the opinion of R. Yitshak Yosef as well. He writes in Yalkut Yosef (271:42):

מותר לקדש בכוס העשוי לשימוש חד פעמי, או כוס נייר, וכדומה. אך אם יש לו כוס אחר, עדיף יותר לקדש בכוס אחר, ויקיים בעצמו, זה אלי ואנוהו, התנאה לפניו במצות.

That is, one may use a disposable or paper cup. However if one has a nicer cup it would be appropriate to use it in fulfillment of "zeh eli v'anvehu", doing mitsvot as nicely as possible.


[i] This seems to be the intent of שנעשה מנייר שהוא כלי רק לשעה, that a paper cup cannot be used indefinitely. Alternatively, one could translate it as meaning that it is intended to be temporary, regardless of whether it could be used indefinitely.

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I'm cross-posting my answer from the "Related: using two plastic cups for Kiddush" question:

R' Meir Goldwicht of Yeshiva University addressed this in a Q&A a number of years ago. He felt that doubling a cup does absolutely nothing to solve the problem of the plastic cup not having "Kayamus" as he called it (permanence). He also called into question whether having a plastic cup in the first place was really a problem, since people do refill them and even wash and save them. Since the point of plastic cups is that they could be thrown away, he suggested it was better to use something more permanent, but he did not feel it invalidated the Kiddush to use a plastic cup.

  • I've never seen anyone wash a disposable plastic cup unless its the last cup at a party... But I've never seen someone save it for another meal.. weird. – avi Aug 26 '11 at 7:44
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    @avi - Some of the really nice disposable plastic cups I can imagine people washing and re-using. E.g., the ones that people sometimes use for Pesach. – Adam Mosheh May 16 '12 at 5:29
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    @AdamMosheh and Avi, at the very least, people do refill them. – Seth J May 16 '12 at 15:06
  • What it seems to be is that there is no concensus whatsoever. What if kiddush is made for the congregation over a silver cup and everyone else drinks from a plastic cup. Does that resolve the issue for any of the above poskim? – Bruce James Dec 28 '12 at 15:05
  • @BruceJames Assuming that plastic cups are not valid, there would be a couple of halachic consequences for the congregation. (1.) They would have to wait to drink until the m'kadeish drinks (Shulchan Aruch OC 271:16). (2.) According to those acharonim who hold that the drinking of the entire congregation combines b'diavad for the necessary m'lo lugmav (see Mishna B'rura 271:73), it is possible that plastic cups would prevent inclusion in the combined amount וצ"ע. – Fred Nov 1 '13 at 0:56

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