How to make Kiddush
By Ezra Pepperman
On Friday evening, before beginning the evening meal, it is customary
to "make Kiddush". This means basically reciting a blessing
on a glass of wine. Herein we have listed some tips on how to
make a "kiddush" in the privacy of your own home.
When should I make Kiddush?
Kiddush may be started even before it is dark. The earliest is
approximately an hour before the sun sets. Kiddush may be recited
late into the night, there is no end limit.
On what beverage may I make kiddush?
The best beverage is a great wine, kosher of course. It may be
red or white, dry or sweet, but it should be the kind of wine
that you really enjoy. Grape juice is also acceptable, but for
Friday night, other spirits, such as whiskey or beer, or soft
drinks, such as cola or juice should not be used. If no
wine or grape juice is available, bread can be substituted for
How do I physically make the kiddush?
Most people make kiddush on Friday evening standing up. Fill the
glass of wine up until the top. Place the glass of wine in your
right hand. (A little wine always spills!) Recite the blessings
as printed in almost all prayer books. After the recital of the
blessings, sit carefully and drink a large mouthful with out interrupting
to speak. Done!
Who should make kiddush?
Normally, the mother lights candles, and the father makes kiddush.
This is the traditional arrangement. When there are guests, some
have the custom that each male guest makes his own kiddush and
the female guests listen to the kiddush of the person making kiddush.
In reality, women can make kiddush also. Other people have the
custom that only one person makes kiddush and he passes the cup,
or contents of it around to all those assembled. Needless to say,
a large cup is required (or a refill).
What are the blessings that are normally made
on the wine?
For this, a traditional Jewish prayer book is required.
Do I need a special cup to make kiddush with?
No, it is not necessary. Some people purchase a beautiful silver
cup which is used only for kiddush, but a normal drinking glass
can be used too.
What other traditions are there connected
It is traditional to cover the two loafs of bread which are on
the table during kiddush.
All people listening to the kiddush stand and listen to the kiddush
and answer "amen" to the kiddush.
from theJanuary1999Edition of the Jewish Magazine