web analytics
September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Drinks To Make Kiddush Over

Grunfeld-021513

Just because God has given us a weekly lifetime subscription to paradise, we should not take Shabbat for granted. No gift should go unacknowledged and no giver should go forgotten. “Remember the Shabbat and bless it. We bless the Giver by reciting Kiddush and Havdalah, and we remember the Shabbat by drinking wine, which, in Scripture, is the beverage of fond memories. Like us, the Shabbat guest wants to be welcomed when she arrives and missed when she leaves.

But you are vacationing on Cape Cod and the local liquor store does not carry kosher wine! And the next Shabbat morning, back in town, you hover over the synagogue Kiddush table and are about to recite Kiddush. And you wonder, “The whisky or the wine?”

In determining whether there is any acceptable alternative to wine, the rabbis differentiate between Kiddush on Friday night, Havdalah on Motzaei Shabbat and Kiddush on Shabbat morning. In view of the fact that Friday night Kiddush is a biblical requirement, the only alternative to Kiddush wine on Friday night is to recite Kiddush over bread. The connection between the Shabbat and the Mishkan, the Temple Sanctuary, which defines the 39 prohibited melachot on Shabbat, may also explain why only wine and bread are acceptable.

Both wine and bread were used in the Temple sacrifices. When reciting Kiddush over bread in the absence of wine on Friday night, the following procedure is followed: One washes one’s hands, covers two loaves of bread with a cloth, places one’s hands on the cloth and recites “Vayechulu.” One then removes the cloth, places one’s hands on the challot and recites the blessing for bread instead of the blessing for wine. The blessing for wine, which would otherwise precede the Kiddush blessing, is replaced by the blessing for bread.

Havdalah, according to most opinions, is of rabbinic origin. Accordingly, the rabbis have a more flexible approach. The preferred beverage for Havdalah is still wine. Nevertheless, if one finds oneself, without wine, one may use other beverages which qualify as chamar medinah, which, loosely translated, means the “popular beverage of the location.” The precise meaning of chamar medinah, and which beverages qualify as chamar medinah and under what circumstances they may be used instead of wine, are subject to animated halachic debate.

According to the Shulchan Aruch, all drinks, except water, qualify as chamar medinah. According to Reb Moshe Feinstein, what sets chamar medinah apart from other beverages is that it is principally a social libation rather than a thirst-quenching drink. Accordingly, soda and water, which people do not drink as a rule unless they are thirsty, do not qualify as chamar medinah and cannot be used for Havdalah. Conversely, whisky, beer, tea, coffee and perhaps even milk, do qualify as chamar medinah, inasmuch as people might drink them for social reasons, even when they are not thirsty. These drinks may therefore be used for Havdalah.

Rav Ovadiah Yosef, however, vehemently disagrees. A drink is not considered chamar medinah, he claims, unless it is both bitter in taste and intoxicating. The only reason, he argues, that one is allowed to drink non-alcoholic beverages before Kiddush on Shabbat morning is precisely because they are not considered “drinks” for the purpose of Kiddush. It follows, therefore, that they do not qualify for Kiddush or Havdalah.

And the debate continues regarding the circumstances that justify using chamar medinah for Havdalah. According to most opinions, chamar medinah may only be used if wine is totally unavailable, at any price, in town or a distance of a one-day journey from town. According to the Rambam, however, once a drink qualifies as chamar medinah, it may be used for Havdalah even if wine is available in town.

The situation with Shabbat morning is the most lenient of the three. This is because it is of rabbinic origin and the Kiddush that welcomed Shabbat has already been made on Friday night. Accordingly, the accepted practice is to allow chamar medinah for Shabbat morning Kiddush, where wine, though available, is either not easily accessible, or too expensive. And on Shabbat morning, whisky is in a category all of its own. Unlike other beverages that qualify as chamar medinah, whisky can be chosen over wine, even where the two bottles are standing side by side. According to the Mishneh Berurah, however, one would have to use a wine-size Kiddush cup which holds between three and six ounces and drink most of it in one shot. According to other authorities, a small whisky glass is sufficient.

About the Author: Raphael Grunfeld’s book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Moed” (distributed by Mesorah) is available at OU.org and your local Jewish bookstore. His new book, “Ner Eyal on Seder Nashim & Nezikin,” will be available shortly.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Drinks To Make Kiddush Over”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS's response to President Obama's warnings came in the form of a movie trailer.
ISIS Sends Obama Fiery Video Response [video]
Latest Judaism Stories
15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

On Chol HaMoed some work is prohibited and some is permitted. According to some opinions, the work prohibition is biblical; according to others, it’s rabbinical.

Based on the opinion of the Ramban, the Territorial School believes that leaving any territory of the Land of Israel in the possession of non-Jews is a violation of a biblical mandate.

To properly fulfill the mitzvah of listening to the megillah, each word must be heard.

If the only person available to perform the milah on the eighth day is a person who is not an observant Jew, the milah should be postponed until a devout mohel is available.

The kohen gadol may not enter the Temple unless his hair is cut every seven days.

A commonly employed and permissible device regarding the prohibition of wearing fresh clothes during the Nine Days is to don them for a moment or two before the Nine Days.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/drinks-to-make-kiddush-over/2013/02/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: