web analytics
August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
Former Arkansas Governor and current presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee in Jerusalem.
Official PA Media Calls Huckabee ‘Inane Creature’ and ‘Wicked Man’
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

The common translation of the opening words of this week’s parsha, Ki Seitzei, is: “When you go out to war against your enemy.” Actually the text reads “al oyvecha” upon your enemy. The Torah is saying that when Israel goes out to war, they will be over and above their enemy. The reason why Bnei […]

Rabbi Avi Weiss

The love between Gd & Israel is deeper than marriage; beyond the infinite love of parent for child

Q-A-Klass-logo

Question: When a stranger approaches a congregant in shul asking for tzedakah, should the congregant verify that the person’s need is genuine? Furthermore, what constitutes tzedakah? Is a donation to a synagogue, yeshiva, or hospital considered tzedakah?

Zvi Kirschner
(Via E-Mail)

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since giving the machatzis hashekel will not change his financial situation, he is obligated to do so even though it is more than a fifth of his income.

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Each month is associated with a particular tribe. The month of Elul is matched up with Gad. What makes Gad unique?

Sanctions and indictment of the Jew, holding him to a higher standard, is as common and misplaced as ever.

To allow for free will, there are times when Hashem will allow a person the “opportunity to be the messenger.”

“There is a mitzvah to pay the worker on that day,” answered Mr. Lerner.

Be happy. Be grateful. God knows what he is doing. It is all happening for a reason.

We get so busy living our lives, handling our day-to-day little crises that we forget to go that one step deeper and appreciate our lives.

The promise for long life only comes from 2 commandments; What’s the connection between them?

Mighty Amalek deliberately attacked enemy’s weakest members, despicable even by ancient standards

If we parents fail to honor responsibilities then society’s children will pay the price for our sins

Consider how our Heavenly Father feels when He sees His children adopting all other parents but Him

More Articles from Raphael Grunfeld
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

Today, few people fast during the Days of Selichot, but the custom is to rise early to recite Selichot.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

When Moses ascended the mountain that first, fateful day of Elul, the shofar was sounded daily in the Camp of Israel, heralding his expected return.

Because the words of Torah gladden the heart, studying Torah is forbidden when Tisha B’Av is on a weekday, except for passages in Scripture that deal with the destruction of the Temple and other calamities.

On Shabbat during the nine days, one may don freshly laundered clothes, eat meat and drink wine, including Havdalah wine.

The combination of the severity of the punishment and the ease with which the prohibition may be forgotten require that the smallest amount of chametz – chametz bemashehu – be prohibited.

If the sick person is thrust into a situation where he is compelled to face his sickness head on, we who are not yet sick can encourage him by facing it with him.

Less clear, however, is whether the concept applies to the area of civil law such as the law of transfer of property.

Conversely, no part of the Land within the boundaries delineated in Numbers 34 may be relinquished for any purpose whatsoever.

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: