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Arvei Pesachim #15: 106a

  • Rav Yair Kahn

Gemora Pesachim

Yeshivat Har Etzion


SHIUR #15: 106a

by Rav Yair Kahn




Techilat Yoma Ba'i le-Kiddushei


The gemara assumes that, logically, reciting kiddush at night is more reasonable than reciting kiddush during the day. Reciting kiddush during the day as well requires an additional textual source. Why is the obligation of kiddush at night considered more central, as opposed to that of the day?


In contrast to Yom Tov, Shabbat is not sanctified by an act of Sanhedrin or the Jewish people. It commences automatically as the day begins. Therefore, it is reasonable to view the kiddush on Shabbat not as an act of sanctification, but rather as an independent requirement to glorify Shabbat due to its sanctity, and to praise and thank Hashem for having bestowed the Shabbat with all its sanctity upon us. (See Rashba Responsa 4:295) The most appropriate time for this praise is at the very onset of Shabbat, when we first begin to experience it, which corresponds to kiddush at night.


However, the phrase "ba'i le-kiddushei" (requires sanctification) strongly suggests that kiddush (at least at night) DOES function as an act of consecration. In fact, the Maharam Chalawa comments: " 'The more critical kiddush is at night' - this means as Shabbat begins, SIMILAR TO THE WAY IN WHICH BEIT DIN SANCTIFIES THE HOLIDAYS." The comparison of kiddush on Shabbat to the sanctification of holidays by beit din clearly indicates that we are dealing with actual consecration. Similarly, the Ramban, in his commentary on the Torah (Shemot 20:8), refers to our gemara: "However our rabbis derived an additional idea from the word 'le-kadsho', that we should sanctify it, similar to 'and you shall sanctify the fiftieth year,' which demands the sanctification of beit din who are required to state on the jubilee 'mekudash mekudash'. Here as well we are commanded to mention the day of Shabbat and thereby sanctify it ...".


Based on the above, Rav Soloveitchik zt"l argued that, despite the automatic nature of kedushat Shabbat, the Jewish people nonetheless play an active role in its sanctification. Thus, kiddush is an act of consecration, on Shabbat as well as on Yom Tov. Obviously, since kiddush sanctifies the Shabbat, albeit in a limited sense, the proper time for the kiddush is at night so as to include the entire day.


Tosafot s.v. Zakhreihu


According to Tosafot, the obligation to recite kiddush over a cup of wine is of rabbinic origin. Although the gemara seems to derive this requirement from the biblical verse, this is in actuality only an "asmakhta" - the artificial use of biblical verses to support rabbinic law.


[Note: Precisely what is the significance of "asmakhta" is the subject of a dispute among the commentators. There is no doubt, however, that the status of such a law is rabbinic; i.e., the verse quoted is NOT the legal source.]


Tosafot prove that the wine requirement is rabbinic from a gemara at the beginning of Nazir (3b). The gemara there claims that a nazir, who is not permitted wine, cannot drink wine of mitzva. The gemara then tries to identify the precise case of mitzva wine which is prohibited to the nazir and suggests kiddush and havdala. At this point (as Tosafot understands the text), the gemara asks rhetorically: Is the wine of kiddush and havdala required by Torah law, such that a specific biblical verse is necessary to prohibit it to a nazir? This clearly indicates that the requirement of wine during kiddush is not of biblical origin.


Alternatively, Tosafot suggest that the derivation of wine for kiddush is biblical. However, this only obligates that kiddush be RECITED in a glorified fashion, over a cup of wine. The requirement to DRINK the wine after the kiddush is completed is only rabbinic. The discussion of the gemara in Nazir revolves around the obligation to drink the wine, not the use of a cup of wine during the recitation of kiddush.


Tosafot in Nazir (4a s.v. Mai) quote another interpretation of the gemara. Accordingly, the gemara asks how can the prohibition to drink wine, which is self-imposed by the nazir on himself, take effect in situations where drinking wine is biblically demanded. This interpretation of the gemara leads us to the conclusion that the actual drinking of the wine, after kiddush is completed, is a biblical requirement.



Kiddusha Rabba


The gemara derives an obligation to recite kiddush in the day, in addition to the basic kiddush of the night. However, the text we recite for the kiddush of the day is only the standard berakha before drinking wine, "boreh pri ha-gafen," as is clear from the story about Rav Ashi quoted by the Gemara. This is in stark contrast to the kiddush at night, which consists of an independent berakha whose content is the unique status of Am Yisrael as expressed by the fact that Shabbat in all its sanctity was given to us. Noting this point, the Ran claims that kiddusha rabba is only a rabbinic obligation, although the gemara seems to derive it from a biblical verse. Nevertheless, we are left to ponder, what is the nature of this strange kiddush which consists only of a regular birkat ha-nehenin (the verses customarily recited before the "boreh pri ha-gefen" are not themselves a berakha and not actually a halakhic requirement)?


This difficulty in defining the nature of kiddusha rabba is the central issue in a famous debate between the Rambam and the Ra'avad (Hilkhot Shabbat 29:10). The Rambam rules that one is enjoined from eating during the day before reciting kiddush. Furthermore, he maintains that the requirement of kiddush be-makom se'uda (see 101a) applies to kiddusha rabba as well. The Ra'avad disagrees and does NOT prohibit one from eating before kiddusha rabba. Apparently, the Ra'avad maintains that kiddusha rabba does not function as a real kiddush. Therefore, the normal kiddush-related laws do not apply to kiddusha rabba. According to the Rambam however, kiddusha rabba is considered a bona fide kiddush.


The approach of the Ra'avad, that kiddusha rabba is not a real kiddush, is discussed in detail by R. David. He claims that it does not function as a real kiddush since Shabbat was already consecrated at night. Furthermore, sanctification requires more than a birkat ha-nehenin. Therefore, R. David concludes that the requirement of kiddusha rabba responds to the necessity to enhance the quality of the Shabbat meal by introducing it with, and basing it upon, a cup of wine. The obligation is to have wine, not to recite anything in particular. According to this approach, it is clear that no more then a "borei peri ha-gafen" is warranted. Like the Ra'avad, R. David claims that there is no prohibition to snack before kiddusha rabba. Furthermore, he argues that it is reasonable to require kiddusha rabba prior to "se'uda shelishit" (the third meal), since it also constitutes a se'udat Shabbat.


The Ran defends the position of the Rambam. He agrees that the obligation to recite kiddush in the day is rabbinic, and therefore limited to "borei peri ha-gafen". Nevertheless, he argues that the rabbis instituted this berakha reminiscent of the real kiddush. Therefore, kiddush-related laws, such as the prohibition to snack before kiddush, apply to kiddusha rabba as well.


Rav Soloveitchik zt"l goes a step further in defending the Rambam. According to him there are two aspects of kiddush:

1. An act of consecration.

2. Praise to Hashem.

At night, both aspects exist. However, kiddusha rabba, which is recited after Shabbat has already been sanctified, contains only the aspect of praise. The berakha "mekadesh ha-Shabbat" relates to the aspect of sanctification. The "borei peri ha-gafen" within the context of a "kos shel berakha" does not function only as a birkat ha-nehenin, allowing one to drink the wine. It is integrated into the "shira" hymn and praise which one recites over the wine. In other words, "borei peri ha-gafen" at times functions as a birkat hashir. Therefore, claims the Rav, kidrabba, which is comprised solely of "borei peri ha-gafen", is actually a bona fide kiddush, regarding the aspect of praise.



Sources for next week's shiur:

1. 106a "Amri bnei R. Chiya... mekadesh achamra."

2. Meiri, Ta'anit 30b s.v. "kol;" Rosh, Ta'anit 4:40.

3. Rambam Hilkhot Shabbat 29:6, 29:9, Rabbeinu David s.v. "ha de-amrinan ha-notel."



1. Based on what principle can we recite havdala until Tuesday?

2. What should one do regarding havdala over wine, when Tish'a B'av falls out on Sunday?

3. Is the statement "ha-notel yadav lo yekadesh" rejected or accepted according to Rambam?






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