Wednesday, July 9, 2014

More on Washing Before Kiddush

Linked post from

"In the old days, there was a very widespread custom that was stamped out by leading rabbis who felt that it did not sufficiently conform to the Talmud. This despite explicit approval of the practice by scholars of the highest tier.

No, I am not referring to any example of the so-called Haredization of the Jewish community in the twentieth century. I am talking about a development in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the practice is washing one's hands (with a blessing) prior to reciting kiddush over wine and then proceeding directly to reciting a blessing over the hallah.

The Talmud (Pesahim 106b) records a view that one who washes his hands may not recite kiddush, presumably because the kiddush is an interruption between the washing and reciting the blessing over the hallah. Another view is then presented that if one wishes, one may recite kiddush over hallah rather than wine and, presumably, wash one's hands before the kiddush. The simple understanding of this passage is that one may not wash before kiddush unless one is reciting kiddush over the hallah."


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