shabbos candles

The Shabbos Weekly
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

shabbos candles

Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Based on the Shiurim Given by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita

developed from the Chabura of the
Pirchei Shoshanim Shulchan Aruch Learning Project

These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita


Questions for the Week of Parshas Vayikra

May one dally before making Kiddush on Friday night?

The Shulchan Aruch writes [1] that “one should eat as soon as one has arrived home”. What is the reason for this haste?

We learn from the gemora in Pesochim 106a from the possuk - 'zachor es yom hashabbos l'kadsho' that one should make kiddush on wine at the onset of Shabbos. The Tur explains this to mean that one should hurry to recite the kiddush. The reason being that although Shabbos is holy in its own right, we are instructed to usher it in with kiddush and therefore the sooner one ushers it in with kiddush the better.

We could compare this to the announcing of a distinguished guest. A guest is announced upon arrival and not after arrival.

But the Mechaber says that one should eat immediately and makes no mention of kiddush?

The Magen Avraham [2] was perturbed by this anomaly and he explains the Shulchan Aruch to mean that one must make kiddush as soon as possible, in order to usher in the Shabbos as early as possible. [3] The conclusion being that one should recite kiddush as soon as possible.

If one does not have an appetite may one wait a while before reciting the kiddush?

Initially one would think that based on the above one should make kiddush immediately, regardless of whether one is hungry or not. However, quite to the contrary,  R’ Menachem Azariah from Pano (the Rama MiPano)[4] ruled that if one does not have an appetite, one may wait a while before reciting kiddush. The reason for this “leniency” is because optimally the Shabbos meal should be eaten with an appetite, [5] which is reason enough to postpone the kiddush until one does have an appetite.

As for the mitzvah of ushering in the Shabbos with kiddush, the Rama MiPano says that since one has mentioned kiddush in ma’ariv, by which one achieves the biblical mitzvah of ushering in the Shabbos even without wine, one may postpone the meal and kiddush until one has an appetite.

Who comes first, my guests or my appetite?

The Mishna Berura [6] is quite adamant in stating that one’s shalom bayis, guests and servants come before one’s own appetite or lack thereof. Therefore, if others will suffer while the host is waiting for an appetite, he may not wait at all and should make kiddush as soon as possible.

Can a woman make kiddush for a man?

The rule for this halacha is that one person can “be moitzi” (include) another when the person reciting the kiddush (or any other verbal mitzvah, including shofar blowing etc.) is of the same level of obligation or higher. For example, an adult can be moitzi a child, because the adult’s level of obligation is higher than that of a child, but a child cannot be moitzi an adult (in most cases).

Women are obliged to make kiddush just like men and therefore a woman may recite kiddush for a man, if necessary. [7] The poskim add [8] that out of modesty a woman should not recite kiddush for men other than those that are her immediate family.

Why should women be obligated to recite kiddush when it is a mitzvas aseh she’hazman g’rama? [9]

Although women are exempt from performing mitzvos that are time bound, such as shofar, sukkah, lulav etc. the gemora teaches that just as they are obligated to adhere to the prohibitions of Shabbos, so too they are obligated to recite kiddush.

The reason being that the Shamor and the Zachor mentioned in the Ten Commandments were uttered by Hashem simultaneously and therefore both equally apply to men and women. Shamor refers to the Shabbos prohibitions and Zachor to reciting kiddush.

If the father is not home, who should recite the kiddush, the mother or a child?

If the child is below bar mitzvah, the mother should recite the kiddush. The child cannot be moitzi the mother, as his obligation is only one of chinuch – training, whereas the mother is fully obligated. [10] If the child is an adult they are both equally obligated and either one may recite the kiddush.

[1] Simon 271:1.

[2] Simon 271:1.

[3] See the Mechaber simon 273:3, as mentioned in the Eshel Avraham 271:1.

[4] Cited by the M”A 271:1.

[5] The M”B 271:1 calls it a mitzvah min hamuvchar.

[6] Simon 271:1.

[7] Simon 271:2 and M”B 3.

[8] Mentioned in M”B 271:4.

[9] Women are exempt from mitzvos that are time bound.

[10] If the mother has not davened she might be obligated mid’oraisso. Even if she has davened she is obligated mid’rabanan. It is possible that if the child has not davened and the mother has, that they will have the same level of obligation – d’rabanan.


Food For Thought

What does wine have to do with Kiddush and havdalah?

What can be used instead of wine or grape juice?

Which meal should be more elaborate, the night meal or the day one?

Is one permitted to drink or eat before kiddush?

Answers coming be"H next week.

Vort on the Parsha

A poor person who sins is obligated to bring two birds as atonement, one as a chatas (atonement for sin) and another as an olah (a burned offering, usually to atone for evil thoughts). On the other hand a wealthy person must bring an animal as a chatas but he does not have to bring an olah. Why the difference?

The Torah had mercy on the poor person and exempted him from the extra expense but it is possible that the person, when realizing his poverty, might think that his predicament is unjust and for that heretical thought he is obliged to bring an olah which atones evil thoughts. (Rav Sternbuch in Ta’am Veda’as).

For a printed version, click here.



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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.