Not to be confused with Kaddish.

Kiddush (/ˈkɪdɪʃ/; Hebrew: קידוש [ki'duʃ]), literally, "sanctification," is a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Additionally, the word refers to a small repast held on Shabbat or festival mornings after the prayer services and before the meal.


The Torah refers to two requirements concerning Shabbat - to "keep it" and to "remember it" (shamor and zakhor). Jewish law therefore requires that Shabbat be observed in two respects. One must "keep it" by refraining from thirty-nine forbidden activities, and one must "remember it" by making special arrangements for the day, and specifically through the kiddush ceremony.

Reciting kiddush before the meal on the eve of Shabbat and Jewish holidays is thus a commandment from the Torah (as it is explained by the Oral Torah). Reciting kiddush before the morning meal on Shabbat and holidays is a requirement of rabbinic origin. Kiddush is not usually recited at the third meal on Shabbat, although Maimonides was of the opinion that wine should be drunk at this meal as well.


Engraved sterling silver kiddush cup

To honor the mitzvah of reciting kiddush, a silver goblet is often used, although any cup can suffice. The cup must hold a revi'it of liquid.[1] A revi'it is between 161.5 millilitres (5.68 imp fl oz; 5.46 US fl oz) (Rabbi Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz)[2] and 90.7 millilitres (3.19 imp fl oz; 3.07 US fl oz) (Rabbi Avraham Chaim Naeh).[3] After the person reciting the kiddush drinks from the wine, the rest of it is passed around the table or poured out into small cups for the other participants. Alternatively, wine is poured for each of the participants before kiddush.

Before reciting kiddush, the challah, which will be the next food item eaten in honor of the Shabbat or holiday, is first covered with a cloth. According to Halakha, the blessing over bread takes precedence to the blessing over wine. However, in the interests of beginning the meal with kiddush, the challah is covered to "remove" it from the table (some do not have the challah on the table at all during kiddush). Some interpret the covering of the challah allegorically, explaining that if we are supposed to go out of our way to protect even an inanimate object (the bread) from being "insulted" (by the blessing over wine taking precedence), then certainly we must go out of our way to display sensitivity toward the feelings of other people.

Synagogue kiddush

The term kiddush also refers to refreshments served either at home or at the synagogue following prayer services on Shabbat or Yom Tov, which begin with the recitation of kiddush. Cake, crackers, and gefilte fish are traditionally served. On Shavuot morning, the custom is to serve dairy foods such as cheesecake and cheese blintzes for the kiddush.[4]

According to the Shulchan Aruch,[5] kiddush should be recited preceding the Shabbat meal. Eating mezonot such as cake or cookies or drinking an additional revi'it of wine, was also deemed sufficient. Nevertheless, some Jews recite kiddush only when about to partake of a full meal.[6]

Often a kiddush is hosted by a family celebrating the birth of a daughter, a bar mitzvah, a wedding, an engagement, a birthday, or other happy occasion. Some people also host a kiddush on the yahrtzeit of a parent or other relative. In some synagogues the celebrant is honored with reciting the Shabbat morning kiddush on behalf of all the attendees. In other synagogues the rabbi or gabbai recites the kiddush. Some Jews make kiddush on Shabbat morning over liquor instead of wine. When this is done, the blessing recited is she-hakol nihyeh bid'varo instead of borei p'ri ha-gafen. The Mishnah Berurah (an authoritative Ashkenazi halakhic text) allows liquor to be substituted for wine on the grounds that it is Hamar Medina, a drink one would serve to a respected guest.

Kiddush customs

In the absence of wine or grape juice, Friday night kiddush may be recited over the challah; the blessing over bread is substituted for the blessing over wine. In that case, the ritual hand-washing normally performed prior to consuming the challah is done before the recitation of kiddush. German Jews follow this procedure even if wine is present. If there is only sufficient wine or grape juice for one kiddush, it should be used for the Friday night kiddush.[7]

In many synagogues, kiddush is recited on Friday night at the end of services. This kiddush does not take the place of the obligation to recite kiddush at the Friday night meal. When recited in a synagogue, the first paragraph (Genesis 2:1-3) is omitted.

The text of the Friday night kiddush begins with a passage from Genesis 2:1-3, as a testimony to God's creation of the world and cessation of work on the seventh day. Some people stand during the recital of these Biblical verses (even if they sit for kiddush), since according to Jewish law testimony must be given standing.

There are different customs regarding sitting or standing while reciting kiddush depending on communal and family tradition.

Some Hasidic and Sephardic Jews dilute the wine with water before kiddush on Friday night to commemorate the old custom of "mixing of the wine" in the days when wine was too strong to be drunk without dilution.

Hebrew text of Friday night kiddush (Ashkenazi Version)

Sterling silver kiddush cup
וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי׃

וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאָם׃

וַיְכַל אֱלֹהִים בַּיוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעי מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה

וַיִשְׁבֹּת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה׃

וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלֹהִים אֶת יוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אֹתוֹ

כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת׃

סַבְרִי מָרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּוֹתַי!

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם

בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,

אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְרַָצָה בָנוּ,

וְשַׁבָּת קָדְשׁוֹ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן הִנְחִילָנוּ,

זִכָּרוֹן לְמַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית.

כִּי הוּא יוֹם תְּחִלָּה לְמִקְרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ

זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם.

כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאוֹתָנוּ קִדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים

וְשַׁבָּת קָדְשְׁךָ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצוֹן הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ מְקַדֵּשׁ הַשַׁבָּת.

English translation of Friday night kiddush

[Evening became morning]: The sixth day. And the heavens and the earth and all that filled them were complete.

And on the seventh day God completed the labor He had performed, and He refrained on the seventh day from all the labor which He had performed. And God blessed the seventh day and He sanctified it, for He then refrained from all his labor - from the act of creation that God had performed.

Permit me, distinguished ones, rabbis, guests and colleagues:

Blessed are You, the Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. (Amen)

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments, and hoped for us, and with love and intent invested us with His sacred Sabbath, as a memorial to the deed of Creation. It is the first among the holy festivals, commemorating the exodus from Egypt. For You chose us, and sanctified us, out of all nations, and with love and intent You invested us with Your Holy Sabbath.

Blessed are You, Adonai, Sanctifier of the Sabbath. (Amen)

Shabbat morning kiddush

Since the Shabbat morning kiddush is rabbinically rather than biblically mandated, it has a lesser status than the Friday night kiddush. In order to elevate its importance, it is euphemistically referred to as "Kiddusha Rabba"קידושא רבא"The Great Kiddush." There are different versions for the kiddush on Sabbath morning, and it is generally shorter than the Friday night kiddush. Originally, this kiddush consisted only of the blessing over the wine. Later, additional verses related to Shabbat were added. However, there are a wide variety of customs as to which verse are recited, and in some congregations no verses at all are recited.

Morning Kiddush Text

וְשָׁמְרוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֶת-הַשַּׁבָּת, לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת-הַשַּׁבָּת לְדֹרֹתָם, בְּרִית עוֹלָם. בֵּינִי, וּבֵין בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל—אוֹת הִיא, לְעֹלָם: כִּי-שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים, עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, שָׁבַת וַיִּנָּפַשׁ.

זָכוֹר אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת, לְקַדְּשׁוֹ. שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תַּעֲבֹד, וְעָשִׂיתָ כָּל-מְלַאכְתֶּךָ. וְיוֹם, הַשְּׁבִיעִי—שַׁבָּת, לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ: לֹא-תַעֲשֶׂה כָל-מְלָאכָה אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ, עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ, וְגֵרְךָ, אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ. כִּי שֵׁשֶׁת-יָמִים עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ, אֶת-הַיָּם וְאֶת-כָּל-אֲשֶׁר-בָּם, וַיָּנַח, בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי; עַל-כֵּן, בֵּרַךְ יְהוָה אֶת-יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת—וַיְקַדְּשֵׁהוּ. סברי מרנו ורבנן ורבותי

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

English translation of Shabbat morning kiddush

(Some begin with Isaiah 58:13-14.)

(And the Children of Israel shall observe the Shabbat, by establishing the Shabbat for their generations as an eternal covenant. Between Me and the Children of Israel it is an eternal sign, that [in] six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and rested. (Exodus 31:16-17)

(Remember the Shabbat day to sanctify it. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is Shabbat for the LORD your God; you shall not do any work — you, your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, and your cattle, and the stranger who is in your gates. For [in] six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the LORD blessed the Shabbat day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:7-10))

Attention, gentlemen, [rabbis, and my teachers]!

Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. (Amen)

After the kiddush (as for any other blessing) those present say "amen," which means "truly." Those who say "amen" are considered to have said the kiddush by proxy.

Holiday eve kiddush

Sterling silver kiddush cup

This version of kiddush is said on the festival nights of Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. When the holiday coincides with Shabbat (Friday night), the verses from Genesis (Evening became... had performed) precede this kiddush, and the sections in brackets are added.

English translation of holiday eve kiddush

Attention, gentlemen, [rabbis, and my teachers]! Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. (Amen)

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who chose us from all the nations, and elevated us above all tongues, and sanctified us with His commandments. And You gave us, Lord our God, with love, [Sabbaths for rest and] festivals for happiness, holidays and times for joy, this day [of Shabbat and this day of]

[With love], a holy convocation, a remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt. Because You chose us, and sanctified us from all the nations, [and Shabbat] and Your holy festivals [in love and in avor] in happiness and in joy You have given us as a heritage. Blessed are You, God, Who sanctifies [the Shabbat and] Israel and the holiday seasons. (Amen)

On Sukkot, the following blessing is added immediately after kiddush when the meal takes place in a kosher sukkah:

On all the holidays, this blessing is recited after the nighttime kiddush (except on the last two nights of Passover, when it is omitted):

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this season. (Amen)

Holiday morning kiddush

When the festival coincides with Shabbat, first the Biblical verses (above, Shabbat morning kiddush) are recited, followed by two additional verses and the blessing over wine. When the holiday falls on a weekday, the morning kiddush begins with the two verses:

English translation of holiday morning kiddush

(These are the festivals of God, holy convocations, that you should announce at their appointed times (Leviticus 23:4).

(And Moses declared the festivals of the Lord to the Children of Israel (Leviticus 23:44).)

Attention, Gentlemen!

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. (Amen)


On Rosh Hashanah, the night Kiddush is similar to that of the other festivals. Where it differs, it is usually to follow the pattern of middle blessing of the Amidah. (An example is the concluding formula "Blessed are You, the LORD, King over the entire world, Who sanctifies [the Sabbath,] Israel, and the Day of Remembrance.") During the day, the verses Psalms 81:4-5 are recited prior to the blessing over wine. Many also say the festival verses (usually first), and on Shabbat all recite the relevant verses (see above) at the very beginning.

On Yom Kippur, no kiddush is recited, even by one who will be eating, and even on Shabbat.

When a festival is on Saturday night, Kiddush is recited, but Havdalah must also be said because Shabbat is holier than the festivals. The sequence of blessings in such a case is known as yak'n'haz (יקנה"ז), for yayin, kiddush, ner, havdalah, zman, meaning "wine, kiddush, flame, havdalah, shehecheyanu". That is, first the blessing over wine, then the standard kiddush blessing (see above), then the blessing for the flame (borei m'orei ha'eish, Who creates the radiance of the fire), then a modified havdalah blessing (ending with "Who differentiates between (one level of) holiness and (another level of) holiness"), and then the shehecheyanu blessing (omitted on the final days of Passover; see above). Essentially, the hvadalah blessings are recited after kiddush, but before shehechiyanu, which is usually the last blessing to ever be recited. Spices are not used.

In the opposite case, when Shabbat follows a festival, the regular Shabbat kiddush is recited, with no variations.


  1. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 271:13
  2. (Hazon Ish 39)
  3. Shiurei Torah
  4. "Special Features for Shavuot Naso: Dairy Foods". Torah Tidbits. 1999. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  5. Orach Chayim 273:5; see Kiddush on Shabbat Day, Rabbi Doniel Schreiber, Yeshivat Har Etzion
  6. Based i.a. on Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe YD, vol. 2, no. 163, and ibid. OC vol. 4, no 63; see Kiddush on Shabbat Day, Rabbi Doniel Schreiber, Yeshivat Har Etzion
  7. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 271:3,11

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