Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kiddush on Liquor

Can you fulfill the obligation of kiddush Shabbos morning by saying it over a shot glass of liquor? Ideally, it should be said over a glass of wine that is the size of a revi'is (at the very least 3.3 fl. oz.). A shot glass is less than half a revi'is (1.5 fl. oz.).

The Maharsham (Responsa 1:175) permits using a smaller amount because liquor is normally drunk in that way. R. Tzvi Pesach Frank (Har Tzvi 1:159) says that those who would require a final blessing (berakhah acharonah) after drinking a shot glass of liquor would allow you to fulfill the obligation of kiddush with such a small amount as well.

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However, the Mishnah Berurah (190:14) rules that you do not recite a final blessing on such a small amount, and to my knowledge that is the standard practice. If so, even according to R. Tzvi Pesach Frank you would not fulfill your obligation with only a shot glass.

R. Gedaliah Schwartz (link) allows people to rely on the Maharsham, although the reason he attributes to the Maharsham seems to be that of R. Tzvi Pesach Frank. I did not see it in the Maharsham's responsum. I am also not sure whether R. Schwartz requires such people to always recite a final blessing after drinking one shot of liquor.

It is worth noting that the Minchas Elazar (Nimukei Orach Chaim 272:1) rules explicitly that you do not fulfill your obligation with liquor regardless of how much you drink.

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