Must one cover Mezonos foods that are on the table during Kiddush

Must one cover Mezonos foods that are on the table during Kiddush?[1]

Background:

One is required to cover the bread upon making Kiddush on Shabbos night and day.[2] There are several reasons recorded behind this law and custom, and understanding these reasons is the key to determining whether one is also to cover Mezonos foods upon reciting Kiddush both by the Shabbos night and day meal. The following are the reasons recorded:

  • Honor of Shabbos:[3] In order to show that the food was brought to the table for the sake of honoring Shabbos, as when the food is covered during Kiddush and then uncovered at the completion of Kiddush, it is considered as if it was now brought to the table in honor of Shabbos which was mentioned in the Kiddush.
  • Commemoration of Mun:[4] This is done in order so the Chalas rest in between two cloths, in commemoration of the Mun which was covered with dew both on top and on bottom.
  • Cover shame of bread:[5] In order to “cover” the shame of the bread, as the blessing over bread receives Halachic precedence over the blessing over wine, and hence although one must precede the blessing over wine in this case, the bread should be covered.

The ramifications: According to the 1st reason, possibly the requirement to cover the bread would apply likewise to Mezonos foods, and perhaps even other foods, in order to show that the food was brought to the table for the honor of Shabbos.[6] On the other hand, perhaps this concept only applies to bread.[7] According to the second reason, it would seemingly not apply to Mezonos. However, according to the 3rd reason it would appear that one is required to cover the Mezonos foods, as the blessing of Mezonos foods precede that of Hagafen[8], and hence its shame is to be covered just as by bread. Practically, this matter is debated amongst the Poskim, as explained next:

 

The ruling:

Some Poskim[9] rule that the Mezonos foods on the table are to be covered.[10] This especially applies if one plans to fulfill his Mitzvah of Makom Seuda with the eating of this Mezonos product.[11] Other Poskim[12], however, rule that there is no need to cover foods other than Challos, even if one plans to eat Mezonos after Kiddush.[13] [Practically, if there are Challos on the table, then only the bread needs to be covered and there is no need to cover any of the other foods, including the Mezonos foods that are on the table.[14] If, however, there are no Challas on the table, and one plans to eat Mezonos after Kiddush, then one is to be stringent to cover it as rules the first opinion.[15] This, however, only applies if the Mezonos is made of wheat or barley, in which case it precedes the blessing of Hagafen. If, however it is made of spelt, rye or oats, then it does not need to be covered, as it does not precede the blessing of Hagafen.[16]]

 

Summary:

If there are Challos on the table, there is no need to cover any of the other foods, including the Mezonos foods that are on the table. If, however, there are no Challas on the table, and one plans to eat Mezonos after Kiddush, then one is to be stringent to cover the Mezonos foods if made of wheat or barley.

Q&A

Does it suffice for the Mezonos to be covered by a plastic see-through bag?[17]

Yes. Thus, if the Mezonos is still in its package it does not require a second covering, even if the Meoznos can be seen through the package.

The custom of the Rebbe:

Rabbi Label Groner related through a written correspondence that the Mezonos was always covered on the table when the Rebbe made Kiddush by Farbrenegens, however, he is unaware of what the Rebbe did in private, when he would make Kiddush in his room prior to going downstairs.

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[1] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:18-19

[2] Admur 271:10 and 17; 289:1 regarding Shabbos day; 299:14 regarding if bread is on the table by Havdalah; 473:44 regarding night of Seder that when cup is raised the Matzos should be covered so they do not see their shame; Rav Yehuda in name of Shmuel in Pesachim 100a

[3] Admur 271:10 and 17; M”A 271:7; M”B 271:15; Sheilasos of Rav Achaiy Yisro 54; Hagahos Maimanis 29 Kuf; Tur 271; Tosafus Pesachim 100b; Rashbam Pesachim ibid

[4] Admur 271:17; Taz 271:12; M”B 271:41; Tur 271; Sefer Hateruma 246; Hagahos Maimanis 29 Kuf; Tosafus Pesachim 100b;

[5] Admur 299:14 regarding if bread is on the table by Havdalah; 473:44 regarding night of Seder that when cup is raised the Matzos should be covered so they do not see their shame; [Omitted from Admur 271:10 and 17; 289:1 regarding Kiddush]; Rama 473:7; M”A 299:12; 473:30; Aruch Hashulchan 299:14 that so is main reason; M”B 271:41; 299:31; Tur 271 in name of Yerushalmi; Igur 798; Hagadah Shel Pesach of Rebbe “Ulichasos Hapas”

[6] See Peri Megadim 271 A”A 7 that one of the reasons behind covering the bread is to show that the food was brought to the table for the sake of Shabbos [i.e. Yikra Deashabbasa] and that initially the custom was not to bring the food at all to the table prior to Kiddush due to this [see Admur 271/17; Tur 271; Tosafus Pesachim 100b; Sheilasos Yisro 54; Rashbam Pesachim ibid], and now that we bring it to the table, at the very least one must cover it, and there is no difference between the Challah and the other foods. [P”M ibid]

[7] So is clear from the concluding wording of Admur ibid that “The custom is to bring it initially before Kiddush and cover the bread until after Kiddush”; See Hearos Ubiurim Tzemach Tzedek 7/257

The reason: Perhaps the reason for this is because the main aspect of the meal is the bread, and only by it is applicable the concept of Yikra Deshabbaso. Alternatively, perhaps it is a Tircha to cover all the foods and hence it is not done.

[8] See Admur in Seder Birchas Hanehnin 10:13-14 that if one has wine or grape juice and Mezonos products in front of him, then if the Mezonos is made of wheat or barley it precedes the blessing of Hagafen in all circumstances, even if the Hagafen is more desirable. [However, if the Mezonos is of spelt, rye, or oats, then the Hagafen receives precedence.]

[9] Peri Megadim 271 A”A 7; Kitzur SHU”A 55:5; Levushei Mordechaiy 1:46; Shvilei David 271; Orchos Rabbeinu See Piskeiy Teshuvos 271 footnote 184; 194

[10] The reason: As the blessing of Mezonos foods precede that of Hagafen [See Admur in Seder Birchas Hanehnin 10:13-14], and hence its shame is to be covered just as by bread. [Levushei Mordechai ibid based on 3rd reason recorded in Admur and Poskim ibid] Likewise, as one of the reasons behind covering the bread is to show that the food was brought to the table for the sake of Shabbos [i.e. Yikra Deashabbasa]. Now, initially the custom was not to bring the food at all to the table prior to Kiddush due to this [see Admur 271/17; Tur 271; Tosafus Pesachim 100b; Sheilasos Yisro 54; Rashbam Pesachim ibid], and now that we bring it to the table, at the very least one must cover it, and there is no difference between the Challah and the other foods. [P”M ibid] Practically, this later reason seems to be negated by Admur, as in his conclusion he writes “The custom is to bring it initially before Kiddush and cover the bread until after Kiddush”;  

[11] See wording in Kitzur SHU”A ibid; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:19

[12] Birchas Habayis 46:50; Shut Rav Akiva Yosef Shlezinger 95; Taamei Haminhagim Kuntrus Achron 365; See Ashel Avraham 271

[13] The reason: As the concept of shame only really applies to bread which is the ehad of the emal, and not to Mezonos, even though technically its blessing precedes. [Poskim ibid]

[14] Implication of Admur 271:17 that “The custom is to bring it initially before Kiddush and cover the bread until after Kiddush”; See Hearos Ubiurim Tzemach Tzedek 7/257; See Tehila Ledavid 74; Ashel Avraham 282; Az Nidbaru 2:8; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[15] Simple implication of wording of Admur in 299:14 regarding if bread is on the table by Havdalah

[16] Implication of Admur in Seder Birchas Hanehnin 10:13-14; Peri Megadim A”A 211:7-8 on M”A 211:7; Birchas Habayis 13:9

Implication of Admur: So is implied from Admur 10:13-14 which only mentions barley and wheat by Mezonos that has precedence over wine, and so is also implied from the next Halacha in which Admur emphasizes that Hamoitzi of all 5 grains has precedence to wine. Now, if it was already established in the previous Halacha that even Mezonos of the 5 grains has precedence to wine, then certainly Hamotzi would have precedence to wine and thus what would be the novelty of this ruling. Hence, one must conclude that wine has precedence to all grains which are not mentioned explicitly in the verse, which include spelt, rye and oats.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the Mezonos of all 5 grains have precedence to wine. [Rama 211:4, as explained in Mishneh Berurah 211:24]

[17] See SSH”K 47 footnote 116 in name of Rav SZ”A; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271 footnote 187 and 194

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