What Is the Kiddush?

Sanctifying Sabbath and holidays, with special blessings over wine.

Kiddush, which means holiness, is the prayer over wine (or grape juice) that sanctifies Shabbat.

On Friday night, the Kiddush is recited over a full cup of wine or grape juice before sitting down for Shabbat dinner and before saying the Motzi, the blessing over the challah. Traditionally, the Kiddush was recited by men. Today, in many households women or men recite the Kiddush. After the Kiddush is recited, the cup is passed around so that everyone can take a sip from it. Many families have a special cup, called a Kiddush cup, reserved for this purpose. Kiddush cups can be purchased at Judaica stores and online.

Scroll down for text and audio of the different versions of the Kiddush.

On Saturday morning, the Kiddush is said after Shabbat morning services and before lunch. The Shabbat morning version of the Kiddush focuses on God’s commandment for Jews to observe the Sabbath and make it holy.

Slightly different versions of the Kiddush are said on holiday eves and days.

The word Kiddush is also used to refer to a communal gathering held immediately following Shabbat morning services at synagogue. A synagogue Kiddush can range from a quick get-together over wine or grape juice and challah to a full buffet lunch. Often synagogue members who are celebrating a simcha, or joyous occasion like a bar/bat mitzvah or wedding, will sponsor the Kiddush, usually meaning they cover the costs of the food and/or catering.

Text of the Friday Night Kiddush

Hebrew and Transliteration

וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בקֶר
יום הַשִּׁשִּׁי. וַיְכֻלּוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ וְכָל צְבָאָם
וַיְכַל אֱלהִים בַּיּום הַשְּׁבִיעִי מְלַאכְתּו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. וַיִּשְׁבּת בַּיּום הַשְּׁבִיעִי מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה
וַיְבָרֶךְ אֱלהִים אֶת יום הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיְקַדֵּשׁ אתו. כִּי בו שָׁבַת מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּו אֲשֶׁר בָּרָא אֱלהִים לַעֲשׂות
סַבְרִי מָרָנָן וְרַבָּנָן וְרַבּותַי
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אַדָנָי אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם בּורֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעולָם. אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְותָיו וְרָצָה בָנוּ. וְשַׁבַּת קָדְשׁו בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצון הִנְחִילָנוּ. זִכָּרון לְמַעֲשֵׂה בְרֵאשִׁית. כִּי הוּא יום תְּחִלָּה לְמִקְרָאֵי קדֶשׁ זֵכֶר לִיצִיאַת מִצְרָיִם. כִּי בָנוּ בָחַרְתָּ וְאותָנוּ קִדַּשְׁתָּ מִכָּל הָעַמִּים וְשַׁבַּת קָדְשְׁךָ בְּאַהֲבָה וּבְרָצון הִנְחַלְתָּנוּ
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אַדָנָי מְקַדֵּשׁ הַשַּׁבָּת

(Quietly: Va-y’hee erev, va-y’hee boker.)
Yom ha-shishi. Vay’chulu hashamayim v’ha-aretz v’chol tz’va’am. Vay’chal Elohim bayom hash’vi’i milachto asher asa. Vayishbot bayom hash’vi’i mikol milachto asher asa. Vay’varech Elohim et yom hash’vi’i vay’kadesh oto. Kee vo shabbat mi-kol m’lachto asher bara Elohim la’asot.

Savri maranan v’rabanan v’rabotai. Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, borei p’ri hagafen.

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’ratza vanu, v’shabbat kod’sho b’ahava uv’ratzon hinchilanu, zikaron l’ma’aseh b’reishit. Ki hu yom t’chila l’mikra-ay kodesh, zaycher l’tziat mitzrayim. Ki vanu vacharta v’otanu kidashta mikol ha’amim. V’shabbat kod-shi-cha b’ahava uv’ratzon hinchal tanu. Baruch ata Adonai, mi’kadesh ha Shabbat.

English Translation (courtesy of Sefaria)

The Sixth Day: And they were completed – the Heavens & the Earth & all their Hosts. And G·d finished, on the Seventh Day, all the work that He had done & He rested on the Seventh Day from all the work that He had done. And G·d Blessed the Seventh Day & sanctified it, for on it He rested from all His work – that G·d created to make.

[The One Saying Kiddush Says] Hearken, Our Masters! [Diners Answer:] To Life

Blessed are You, L·rd, Our G·d, King of the Universe, Who creates fruit of the vine.

Blessed are You, L·rd, Our G·d, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His Commandments & has favored us & His Holy Shabbat, with Love & favor did He bequeath to us, a remembrance of the act of Creation, the beginning of all holy callings, a remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt, & Your Holy Shabbat with love & favor, You bequeathed to us. Blessed are You, Lord, Who sanctifies the Shabbat.

Find the Hebrew, English and transliteration for the Saturday morning Kiddush here.

Audio of the Different Versions of the Kiddush (courtesy of Mechon Hadar)

Shabbat Evening (Friday)

Festival/Holiday Evening

Shabbat Morning (Saturday)

Shabbat/Festival Morning (Blessing the Wine, Not the Full Kiddush)

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