Kiddush on Liquor

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Can you fulfill the obligation of kiddush Shabbos morning by saying it over a shot glass of liquor? Ideally, it should be said over a glass of wine that is the size of a revi’is (at the very least 3.3 fl. oz.). A shot glass is less than half a revi’is (1.5 fl. oz.).

The Maharsham (Responsa 1:175) permits using a smaller amount because liquor is normally drunk in that way. R. Tzvi Pesach Frank (Har Tzvi 1:159) says that those who would require a final blessing (berakhah acharonah) after drinking a shot glass of liquor would allow you to fulfill the obligation of kiddush with such a small amount as well.

Click here for moreHowever, the Mishnah Berurah (190:14) rules that you do not recite a final blessing on such a small amount, and to my knowledge that is the standard practice. If so, even according to R. Tzvi Pesach Frank you would not fulfill your obligation with only a shot glass.

R. Gedaliah Schwartz (link) allows people to rely on the Maharsham, although the reason he attributes to the Maharsham seems to be that of R. Tzvi Pesach Frank. I did not see it in the Maharsham’s responsum. I am also not sure whether R. Schwartz requires such people to always recite a final blessing after drinking one shot of liquor.

It is worth noting that the Minchas Elazar (Nimukei Orach Chaim 272:1) rules explicitly that you do not fulfill your obligation with liquor regardless of how much you drink.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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