The kiddush cup – the star in the opening act of most Jewish festivals

The kiddush cup is the main item used in the kiddush ceremony. This is a ceremony is of great importance, performed at the beginning of many Jewish festivals, including Sabbath. Read about it and become a expert in no time:

First things firs, what is the kiddush?

Kiddush is the reciting of a blessing over the wine, prior to eating a festive meal. By doing this you sanctify the sabbath or the festival. The ceremony itself revolves around a special win goblet most commonly known as the kiddush cup. You may also know it as the ceremonial Cup. The kiddush act is a simple but most meaningful one, lets see how is done…

The simple but meaningful act

On Friday evening, the Jewish family gathers round the dinner table for the festive meal. The senior male fills the kiddush cup with wine and recites the blessing. The cup must be filled to the top. After the kiddush has been made, the goblet is passed around the table. All present will share the wine by taking a sip and honoring the sabbath. Some people are under the misconception that wine is the only beverage permitted in the kiddush ceremony. This is not correct!

It’s not only for wine!

Sweet Israeli wine is most recommended to use. If not, you can use any other wine or alcoholic beverage available (such as beer or arak). They all will work, just long as you don’t use water!

A tip for those of you stranded with no alcoholic beverage…

I have another solution to offer incase you have no liquor available. It is permitted to make the blessing over two loaves of challah bread – they symbolize the sanctification as well.

A single cup with many purposes

As you read in the opening passage, the goblet is often used at other ceremonies such as weddings and circumcisions. On these occasions, the blessing symbolizes the sanctification of these events as well. A last and most magical ritual in which the cup is used is the havdallah ceremony. This ceremony marks the end of the sabbath – you can read about it by clicking this link

Do you want to know what the fuss is all about?

I hope by now you know most everything there is to know about this goblet. Now let us get to the heart of things – What is this goblet and what makes it so special? Traditionally kiddush cups were made of gold or silver. But nowadays you can find many modern cups made from a variety of materials such as glass or porcelain. Many are etched with images of fruit, often grapes (that represent the wine). Sometimes you can see the cups with printed images of animals or birds. Another common design is an inscription of people’s names or biblical passages.

A Great ides for a gift

It is most common for people to give kiddush cups as gifts for special occasions such as Bar Mitzvahs or weddings. The cup is considered a precious item that may be passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom.

Curios to see some beautiful kiddush cups?


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