January 9, 2015
Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC's Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message that is featured at the top of the JCC's weekly email newsletter. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, January 9, 2015.
The Sabbath meal begins with the special blessing over wine, the Kiddush:
Boruch attah Adonai Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, Borei Pri Hagaffen.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
Why wine? Wine, in the Jewish religion, is a symbol of Joy. After all, we are told in the Book of Psalms, “Wine makes glad the heart of man.” Therefore, wine is blessed before every Jewish joyous occasion: Sabbath, Holidays, family occasions such as circumcision ceremonies and weddings. Usually, the kiddish is only the one line blessing cited above – but sometime there’s a second blessing to mark the specific occasion... there are seven blessings at weddings that are part of the kiddush! On the Sabbath, there’s a special longer second blessing that commemorates the giving of the Sabbath, and the Exodus from Egypt... the two reasons that the Ten Commandments give for observing the Sabbath.
Although the “kiddush cup” can be a simple glass – even a jelly glass, throughout the centuries, Jews have made or commissioned elaborate silver, or carved wood, or blown glass, or even gold kiddush cups – making the saying of the kiddish a particularly beautiful event.