Kiddush Cups

The Jewish wine goblet which is used on Sabbath is called a Kiddush Cup. On Friday evening it is filled with wine, often from Israel, at the beginning of the Sabbath meal.

 

The word 'Kiddush' (which means sanctification in Hebrew) actually refers to the ceremony held at the beginning of many Jewish festivals during which a blessing is recited over wine and loaves of challah before the Shabbat or Holiday meal begins. When people do a kiddush, they make something holy out of something mundane (lekaddesh). After Kiddush has been made, everyone present shares the wine. Kiddush Cups may be used again at the Havdalah ceremony at the end of the Sabbath.

 

Traditionally a Kiddush Cup is made of gold or silver, and beautifully decorated with images of fruit, often grapes to represent the wine, and sometimes they have animals or birds on it. Kiddush Cups ofter have people's names or biblical passages inscribed on them. Cups may be passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom, and are often given as a present for a Bar Mitzvah for a boy or a Bat Mitzvah for a girl.