- Question: [Shabbos, 27th Mar Cheshvan, 5781]
Is it true that when somebody makes kiddush then all the open wine on the table is considered used under that kiddush, and as if kiddush was already made on it, and can no longer be used for kiddush? Basically, what happened was is that while I was saying the introductory parts of kiddush with my wine glass full somebody else made kiddush and people were saying that now I can no longer make kiddush over my cup of wine.
Indeed, I as well have heard this from people, and it seems to be a common misconception amongst even those who are supposedly learned, but are evidently not experts in Halacha. Unfortunately, the above is full of mis-statements and in the generation where we love to call out fake news we must also learn to call out fake Halachas. There is no basis whatsoever to say that the wine in other people’s cups become invalidated when somebody makes kiddush and it is fully proper for them to continue and make kiddush over that cup without any problem whatsoever. Halacha is established by the words of the Talmud and Poskim through studying their texts and receiving the teachings from them as to what is Jewish law, and not by hearsay, irrelevant of how common the hearsay is. The fact is, that there is no such invalidation ever recorded in the Poskim, and on the contrary, it is evident from many cases that it is not true and there’s no reason to assume that such an invalidation should exist. This is unanimous amongst the Poskim and is not something under debate. How is it that all of the Poskim throughout all the generations in the three chapters dealing with all the detailed laws and invalidation’s of making kiddush somehow forgot to mention this important invalidation which is well known hearsay. Fact is, that it is not true. So let us establish the true facts regarding this case, as brought in Halacha.
- When somebody drinks from a cup of wine it becomes blemished and may not initially be used for kiddush until it is “fixed” by having more unblemished wine added to it. Wine cannot become unblemished simply because somebody said kiddush while it was exposed.
- Wine that was exposed too long being left out in the open without a cover for many hours can become invalidated for kiddush if it’s taste and/or smell becomes spoiled. However, a momentary exposure of a few minutes does not pose any problem at all even though initially we try to be particular to not expose the wine unnecessarily even for a moment. Thus, one should cover the bottle of wine as soon as he is done pouring it into the kiddush cup. There is also a tradition recorded from the Besht regarding this matter, however none of this has anything to do with invalidating the wine. Perhaps this stringency is what has led some people to think that wine becomes invalid if it was revealed when somebody made kiddush, even though in truth one has nothing to do with the other and the reason for covering it is simply so the taste of the wine does not dissipate.
Sources: See Admur 272:1 that momentary openness does not disqualify the wine. Likewise, making Kiddush in the presence of an open bottle, which is considered as if he made Kiddush on the bottle as well [See Admur 271:28], does not make the wine Pagum, and does not cause the wine to be any worse than any other wine, other than the fact it was left open, which is relevant to be before and after Kiddush as well. Thus, one may even initially use this wine for Kiddush even though it was left open during Kiddush and had Kiddush said over it as wine only becomes Pagum when one drinks from it and not when one says Kiddush over it. [See Admur 182:4 and 190:5 and 272:19-20]