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Eating or Drinking Before Kiddush

 

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin

As a general rule, it is forbidden to eat or drink once Shabbat has begun, until one recites (or hears) Kiddush.[1] It is also forbidden to eat or drink before Kiddush is recited once one has accepted Shabbat, either by lighting the Shabbat candles or by reciting ma’ariv.[2] This is true even if one had accepted Shabbat quite some time before sunset.[3] It is, however, permitted for one to brush one’s teeth or otherwise wash one’s mouth before Kiddush.[4] So too, even if one was in the middle of a meal as Shabbat begun, one would be required to stop eating and recite Kiddush before continuing with one’s meal. This often happens on a Purim which falls out on a Friday, if one’s Purim feast extends into Shabbat.[5]

One who accepted Shabbat early, and then became exceedingly hungry or thirsty some time later, is permitted to go ahead and recite Kiddush in order to be able to eat or drink. This is true even though one had not yet recited ma’ariv and will not be doing so for quite some time.[6] If one is unable to recite Kiddush at this time, some authorities permit one to eat or drink in cases of extreme discomfort, without reciting Kiddush, if it still before dark.[7] A woman who is about to light candles but wishes to eat after doing so should make a declaration that she is lighting candles on condition that she be permitted to eat after her candle lighting.[8] Children are allowed to eat before Kiddush.[9]

There seems to be greater room for leniency for women with regards to eating or drinking before Kiddush. This is because women are generally dependent upon their husbands to return home from the synagogue in order to recite Kiddush for them. As such, a woman who feels the need to take a drink of water or other beverage before her husband is ready to recite Kiddush would be permitted to do so as long as it is before dark.[10] It is interesting to note that there were Rebbes who would fulfill the mitzva of tasting the Shabbat food, or otherwise eat or drink, before reciting Kiddush even if it was past sunset on Friday night.[11]

It is also permissible for one to swallow a pill with water before Kiddush. This is because one’s intention for the accompanying water is merely in order to assist in swallowing the pill.[12] If one foresees that one will be unable to recite Kiddush due to the unavailability of wine or bread, one would be permitted to eat without first reciting Kiddush.[13] The nighttime Kiddush of Yom Tov is a rabbinical mitzva, and as such, there is additional room for leniency in a case of need. In fact, there were Rebbes who were known for having a glass of tea at the start of Yom Tov and would continue drinking up until dark.[14]

The Kiddush of Shabbat day is generally treated more leniently than the Kiddush of Friday night. This is because according to most authorities, the Shabbat day Kiddush is rabbinical in nature, and as such, maintains a lesser standing.[15] Although eating a meal before Kiddush on Shabbat day is also forbidden,[16] there is greater room for leniency for those who feel the need to eat or drink before Kiddush.

It is also interesting to note that the obligation to recite Kiddush on Shabbat day only comes into effect after one has recited shacharit.[17] Therefore, one who feels the need to eat or drink before praying Shabbat morning are not truly required to recite Kiddush.[18] Women who have recited shacharit, or at least the prayers that they are accustomed to recite each day, should make Kiddush before they eat.[19] Some authorities rule that eating before Kiddush is only truly prohibited once one has recited mussaf. According to this approach, those who are feeling weak or thirsty before mussaf would be permitted to partake of something light without having to recite Kiddush.[20]

There is also a minority view that women are actually exempt from the Shabbat day Kiddush altogether. As such, in a case of great need, a woman may eat before actually reciting (or hearing) Kiddush on Shabbat day.[21]Some authorities hold that a woman whose husband has not yet prayed, and therefore has no obligation to recite Kiddush himself, is permitted to eat before making Kiddush even if she herself already prayed.[22]


1 O.C. 271:4

2 Rambam Shabbat 29:10, O.C. 271:4,5, Aruch Hashulchan O.C. 271:12

3 Kaf Hachaim O.C. 271:21

4 Be’er Heitev 271:4, Kaf Hachaim O.C. 271:19, Mishna Berura 271:13

5 O.C. 271:5, Kaf Hachaim 271:26

6 Be’er Heitev O.C. 271:4, Kaf Hachaim O.C. 271:22

7 Minchat Elazar 1:33

8 Rema O.C. 263:10

9 Magen Avraham 269:1; Mishna Berura 269:1.

10 Piskei Teshuvot 271:3

11 Minchat Elazar 1:33, 2:11

12 Shraga Hameir 6:124

13 Mishna Berura 289:10

14 Nitei Gavriel;Yom Tov 2:29

15 Kaf Hachaim 289:7

16 O.C. 289:1, Rambam Shabbat 29:10

17 Mishna Berura 287:7

18 O.C. 289:1, Igrot Moshe 2:26

19 Shemirat Shabbat K’hilchata 52:13

20 O.C. 286:3, Mishna Berura 286:9, Minhagei Eretz Yisrael (Gallis) 20:49

21 Minchat Yitzchak 3:28

22 Igrot Moshe O.C. 4:101

 

 
 
The opinions and facts here are presented solely by the author. Torah Musings assumes no responsibility for them. Please address religious questions to your rabbi.
 

25 Responses

  1. Dov Kaiser says:

    In the Gerrer Shtiebl in Melbourne, they drink tea and coffee on Shabbos morning after shacharis, before krias hatorah. The explanation I heard is that shacharis is not really finished until after krias hatorah.

  2. aenkin says:

    Thank you to a reader from Manchester who caught an error in what I wrote in the last sentence.

    Yasher Ko’ach!

    Ari Enkin

  3. JT says:

    what about Havdalah?

  4. aenkin says:

    Water can be drunk before havdalla if need be. Thats about it.

    Ari Enkin

  5. emma says:

    it seems to me there is a discrepancy between:
    “There seems to be greater room for leniency for women with regards to eating or drinking before Kiddush. This is because women are generally dependent upon their husbands to return home from the synagogue in order to recite Kiddush for them. As such, a woman who feels the need to take a drink of water or other beverage before her husband is ready to recite Kiddush would be permitted to do so as long as it is before dark.”

    and

    “Women who have recited shacharit, or at least the prayers that they are accustomed to recite each day, should make Kiddush before they eat.”

    Why shoudn’t women make kiddush for themselves at night too, then?

  6. J. says:

    Because at night we generally don’t rely on the opinions that allow mezonos for kiddush be’makom se’udah (because kiddush then is d’oraysa) and hence assume that kiddush will be conducted in the context of a meal with hamotzi, which a woman (or a man for that matter) is unlikely to want to eat by themselves, especially given the fact that the main meal will likely be starting an hour later at most.

  7. emma says:

    Thanks. I thought abt that after i posted. But “it’s annoying to have bread now” doesn’t seem like the best reason to eat before kiddush if, in fact, eating before kiddush is a problem…

  8. J. says:

    Not sure I understand. At night, when a woman is definitely obligated in kiddush and it is definitely forbidden to eat before kiddush, then a woman should not eat without kiddush. During the day, when, besides for the fact that there are minority opinions that allow both of these things, we have the additional leniency of the Igros Moshe, there is more room to be meikel. ‘It’s annoying to eat bread now’ isn’t a reason to allow a woman to eat before kiddush – it’s a reason that she may not want to make kiddush at night in the first place, which is not (as) relevant during the day, when the halachic consensus does not require using bread to fulfil the requirement of kiddush be’makom seudah.

  9. emma says:

    according to the post, a woman may drink before kiddush, as long as its also before dark, at night. a woman who wants to eat before kiddush during the day, in contrast, is encouraged to make kiddush. on closer inspection perhaps the issue is that the two cases are not comparable (thirsty at night vs. hungry by day). but then, what of a woman who is hungry at night, or just thirsty during the day? really i would guess the kicker is “as long as it is before dark,” which makes the prohibition on drinking less severe…

  10. J. says:

    Wrote this before you responded, but yes, I think you are essentially correct:
    Sorry, now I see what you mean. Without having the Piskei Teshuvos in front of me, I presume that a) it is a problem that’s why it is a kula, b) if a woman does want to make kiddush and eat bread, then that wouldn’t be fine, but she’s less likely to want to given the reason you outlined (unless you would say that according to the Igros Moshe she’s not mechuyeves in kiddush until her husband comes home and then the nighttime kiddush presents the additional issue of making a bracha le’vatala, which the daytime kiddush – which is just a birkas ha’nehenin – doesn’t), c) that here there are additional lenient factors, such as the fact that it’s before dark and only a drink which present greater room for leniency.

  11. J. says:

    b) should say:
    if a woman does want to make kiddush and eat bread, then that WOULD be fine, but she’s less likely to want to given the reason you outlined

  12. aenkin says:

    Emma-

    As someone wrote, the daytime kiddush is essentially just a bracha on wine, while the nightime kiddush is a birkat hamitzva.

    There is also the issue of the nighttime kiddush/meal being an intimate event while people often make kiddush at “the kiddush” following services, or otherwise eat before the Shabbat day meal.

    Ari Enkin

  13. aenkin says:

    Eating ‘mezonot’ is perfectly acceptable for K.B.S. whether after the daytime or nightime kiddush.

    One can them begin one’s Shabbat meal by simply washing and eating bread.

    Ari Enkin

  14. ADCWonk says:

    Can you elaborate more on the difficulty if a woman wants to make kiddush for herself, after dark (while waiting for the men to come home) in order to eat a bit. After all, it _is_ b’makom seudah, isn’t it?

  15. aenkin says:

    ADC-

    Yes, if a woman makes kiddush Friday night and eats mezonot, she is yotzai kiddush.

    But there is a family/emotional consideration for not reciting kiddush until the ‘abba’ comes home to do so. It would be odd for ‘abba’ to come home while ‘imma’ and the kids ar enot too interested or attentive to kiddush becuase ‘imma’ alread made kiddush and everyoen had something to eat.

    As mentioned, things are idfferent by virtue of the informality and lower-lever severity of the daytime kiddush. Most people have made kiddush and eaten soemthing before lunch anyways.

    Ari Enkin

  16. emma says:

    “As someone wrote, the daytime kiddush is essentially just a bracha on wine, while the nightime kiddush is a birkat hamitzva.

    There is also the issue of the nighttime kiddush/meal being an intimate event while people often make kiddush at “the kiddush” following services, or otherwise eat before the Shabbat day meal.’

    I understand why one might not want to make kiddush and hamotzi before the whole family (though often the kids are eating early anyway). I don’t undertsand why that means that, halachically, one is absolved from making kiddush before drinking (to the extent one is, which it sounds like is limited), or why the nehenin/mitzvah distinction is relevant, since according to all opinions of which i am aware a woman may make either kiddush for herself.

  17. J. says:

    R Enkin – There are opinions which express a strong preference for using bread for ‘kiddush bemakom seudah’, particularly at night. See Piskei Teshuvos Siman 273 note 68, and Teshuvos Ve’Hanhagos 1:264 here:
    http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20025&st=&pgnum=186

  18. J. says:

    ADC – ‘Kiddush bemakom seudah’ means that the ‘seudah’ is supposed to come immediately after the kiddush. See Shulchan Aruch 273:3.

  19. Yisroel says:

    There seems to be a contradiction between the 2 teshuvos quoted here from R’Moshe. In Igros Moshe OC 4:101 (quoted in foornote 22 ) Reb Moshe only allows woman whose husbands have not davvened yet, to eat before davvening without kiddush.
    However in Igros Moshe 2:26 R’ Moshe allows eating before davvening without kiddush even for men.
    I therefore suggest that woman would even be able to eat Bread before kiddush whilst Men would only be allowed to eat other non-bread foods.

  20. shaul shapira says:

    I think “13 Mishna Berura 289:10″ should be 287:10

    Also, “21 Minchat Yitzchak 3:28″ seems to be about totally unrelated topic.

    Thanks

  21. aenkin says:

    Shaul-

    Yes, that should be 4:28.

    Thank you!

    Ari Enkin

  22. SB says:

    Thank you Rabbi Enkin.

    Are you aware if there’s any justification (or room for limud zechut) for having a drink after hearing Fri night kiddish in shul, but before kiddush bemakom seudah for Fri night dinner?

  23. aenkin says:

    SB–

    In order to answer you as promptly as possible (I dont have time to go through the teshuvot now) – I would say to look at Igrot Moshe O.C. 4:63; Ein Yitzchak O.C. 12 and B’tzel Hachachma 4:2; 5:115 for a POSSIBLE stretch of a limud zechus.

    Regards,

    Ari Enkin

  24. J. says:

    There’s also a discussion of this issue in R. Zvi Ryzman’s ‘Ratz K’tzvi’:

    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=52536&st=&pgnum=196

  25. SB says:

    Wow, that was unnecessarily prompt. Thanks.

    Shabbat Shalom

 
 

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