Kiddush Club

A Kiddush club is an informal group of Jewish adults who congregate during or after Shabbat (שַׁבָּת, Sabbath) prayer services to make kiddush over wine or liquor, and socialize. Traditionally it has been a male-bonding experience, especially in the Orthodox and Conservative Jewish communities. – Wikipedia

Whisky Jewbilee 2012
Image: Whisky Jewbilee, 2012

What’s the role of drinking in Judaism? From the The International Kiddush Club, a project of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs.

There have been kiddush clubs in shuls for as long as there have been shuls. Making a לְחַיִּים “l’chaim” after davening is one of the unique aspects of Judaism; our belief that the mundane parts of life can be elevated to a higher status through prayer is one of the central parts of our faith.

We eat, sleep, drink, etc. with a blessing. The blessing makes the action holy, not just through making it, but also through the reflection one gets from pausing before the act to stop and make the blessing. We think about what we are going to do and we have the intention to perform the act after a religious moment. We bring holiness to these acts through the blessing, through the thought and through our commitment.

Judaism has no prohibition on alcoholic beverages, in fact, one of our most important and sacred acts is to consecrate shabbat and holidays with the kiddush (blessing) over wine. If proper wine is not available, any kosher alcohol or juice may be substituted. It’s not about the drink, it’s about the kiddush.

Kiddush clubs meet any time after the Shacarit service…A quick l’chaim, a little shmaltz herring on a TamTam, maybe some smoked fish or more. Then back to the service and Musaf, refreshed, well fed and ready.

This is the traditional bracha (blessing) said before any kind of whiskey.
ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, שהכל נהיה בדברו.
Praised are you, Adonai our God, who rules the universe, through whose word all things exist.

Bulleit Siddur Sim Shalom Or Hadash


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