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QUESTION

Midwest, USA

Shalom Rabbi Linzer, if one is making kiddush on Shabbat morning in shul after Shacharit for the kehilah but there will be no kiddush food afterwards, should kiddush still be made? If so, does the one making kiddush need to eat mezonot or can they just drink, make a berakhah acharonah and then go home and make/hear kiddush again over a proper meal? Our shul hasn’t yet brought kiddush back and someone suggested that the rabbi  make kiddush in the sanctuary for those who won’t hear it at home and as a morale booster as we still slowly return to regular practices. Thank you!

ANSWER

This is a very practical and common question since it is quite frequent that there will be a shul kiddush in the morning without mezonot either because they don’t know the halakhic requirements or because they are not easily available to provide for everyone since קידוש במקום סעודה requires that everyone eats. (Shulchan Arukh OC 273:4, 6).

People rely on the position of the Ge’onim (Shulchan Arukh 273:5) that wine itself counts. But see Mishnah Berurah 25, who says that many poskim say you can only do that בשעת הדחק, and Mishnah Berurah 27, that according to some you need a revi’it of wine in addition to the kiddush wine.

Rav Moshe (Iggrot Moshe OC 4:63) rules that there are 2 dinim in קידוש במקום סעודה. First, that to be yotzei kiddush (or seudat Shabbat) it has to be accompanied with a meal that is significant enough to constitute a seudah on Shabbat. Second, to permit eating, no seudah is required. Thus, one can make kiddush in shul and eat even non-mezonot.  When one gets home s/he has to make kiddush again at the meal in order to be yotzei kiddush.

In short, it is ideal for the kiddush to have mezonot and that everyone eat the mezonot. It is possible to rely on the Ge’onim, but not clear that one is always yotzei according to them. Rav Moshe’s approach is a chidush. The normal assumption is that you need seudah even to permit eating, but it can be relied on if necessary and it is a good limud zekhut for all those who don’t have mezonot.