Following an ancient custom from the days when wayfarers and the poor lodged in synagogues, some congregations recite the Kiddush at the end of the Friday evening service in the synagogue—except on the eve of Passover (Pesaḥ), when the recitation is reserved for the seder service. The Kiddush that is recited after the morning service of the Sabbath and of the festival is preceded by appropriate readings from the Bible.
Kiddush, also spelled Qiddush (Hebrew: “Sanctification”), Jewish benediction and prayer recited over a cup of wine immediately before the meal on the eve of the Sabbath or of a festival; the ceremony acknowledges the sanctity of the day that has just begun. Chanting, or recitation, usually performed by the head of the household, may involve several or all members of the family, depending on the custom; each then sips wine from the cup, which was held in the right hand during the benediction. In the Ashkenazi (German) tradition, two covered loaves of bread (halloth) on the table symbolize the double portion of manna gathered before the Sabbath by Israelites during their years of wandering in the wilderness. If no wine is available, bread may be used as a substitute.
The Kiddush cup is part of Jewish tradition indicating that this day or holiday has started when you pour the wine in the Kiddush cup and say prayers over it.
This is part of the Jewish tradition to express that a holiday has started which is why it is called a ‘Kiddush’ cup and not a ”holiday cup”.
The kiddush cup especially has been made from different materials such as silver or other metals but you can also find it in glass, regular ceramic or even wood. In Israel, there are even cups made from olive tree wood.
The special thing about this kind of cups is that they get make-overs by adding designs with paints on them so when people celebrate their son’s Bar Mitzvah they put money aside for getting him his own personalized Kiddush cup.
What does the “Kiddush Cup” represent?
The holiest place on earth is where the Temple once stood. The holiest spot on earth today, according to Jewish belief, is the place on Mt. Moriah where the Holy Temple once stood.
Jews believe that on this spot of Mount Moriah, Jews will gather again in the Messianic times and rebuild a Holy Temple for G-d. This site is referred to as “the Temple” even though there is no actual building situated upon it at present, but merely an open plaza paved over with stones taken from the former structures which had occupied this holiest of spots under Jewish dominion during recent centuries before their destruction by Rome.
What is a kiddush cup and why do you need one for a Jewish wedding?
In Judaism, celebrating and marking an occasion as holy means drinking wine or grape juice. Since weddings involve both celebrating and sanctifying the occasion, wine or grape juice serves an integral part of the ceremony. “Kiddush” is the name of the blessing recited over wine and grape juice, and the kiddush cup holds the wine over which the blessing is recited.
Along with placing a bottle of wine on the table under your huppah, you’ll also need a kiddush cup. You could use pretty much any type of cup, but if your rabbi specifies using kosher wine, you’ll need a cup that’s kosher. That means the cup has only been used for kosher beverages, or the cup has never been used before.
The blessings can play out several ways during the wedding ceremony. Sometimes the couple drink right after the Kiddush blessing, and sometimes they wait until additional prayers are recited. Sometimes only the couple drink, and sometimes the rabbi takes a sip as well. Ask your rabbi or officiant for their preferred approach as you plan your wedding.
Some couples share one cup during the ceremony, and some use two cups –-one for each person. Ask your officiant if they have a preference as to how many cups you use.
It’s also a good idea to have a small plate or coaster to set the cup on so that any drops of wine that run down the cup don’t stain any tablecloth or mark the table.
If you don’t have a suitable cup, you can borrow one. Or, a wedding makes a great occasion to purchase a new kiddush cup, looking ahead to when you entertain a table filled with friends and family in your home.