Friday Night Ritual: Wine Resources

Created by: OneTable Team

Friday Night Ritual: Wine Resources

Raise a Glass: Sanctifying the Wine

Raise a glass. There are many ways to enjoy Shabbat rituals + Friday night dinners, so we asked five OneTable hosts to share their unique practices, challenges, and inspiration.

Explore how they sanctify the wine and adapt the ritual to meet their needs.

Sanctifying Wine with Healy
See how OneTable host Healy brings family traditions to today’s Shabbat table.
Sanctifying Wine with Dani
See how OneTable host Dani uses the blessing over the wine as an invitation for guests to leave something behind from the week that passed.
Sanctifying Wine with Jacob
See how OneTable host Jacob uses the Kiddush to elevate his Shabbat rituals.
Sanctifying Wine with Mel
See how OneTable host Mel brings gratitude into her practice.
Sanctifying Wine with Ruby
See how OneTable host Ruby offers a gender-inclusive take on the blessing over wine that empowers their guests.
Sanctifying the Wine at Your Next Shabbat Dinner

Kiddush—the blessing over the wine—formally sanctifies time, using wine to distinguish between every day and the holiness of Shabbat. There are many old and new traditions around the wine. Here are some elements you might consider.

  • What: Wine, grape juice, mocktail, or cocktail. A special drink in a special cup (ornate or just set aside for the ritual).
  • When: After lighting the candles and before blessing the challah.
  • Who: All genders are welcome to bless the wine. Everyone can partake by singing along or saying “Amen” at the end.
  • How: Pour a glass of wine or grape juice. Allow the kiddush cup to overflow. You may sit or stand, and raise your glass with one hand or two as you say the blessing. After saying the blessing, take a sip of your newly sanctified beverage. If blessing isn’t your thing, no problem. You could also sing a song, read a poem, or offer a short guided meditation.
  • Pro Tip: As Kiddush is being recited, consider asking guests to look into their own glasses of wine for the sparks of light twinkling back at them.

In Judaism, wine represents joy. By taking a moment to bless the wine, we acknowledge joy as a value unto itself, not as it serves something else. Through the blessing of the wine (kiddush), one acknowledges two of God’s greatest gifts: creation of the world and the exodus from Egypt.

Kiddush also creates a moment to express gratitude for Shabbat. It is composed of two blessings: to bless the wine and to sanctify the day. It’s not about the wine itself, it’s about what it has the power to do when we raise our glass with intention.

That’s the magic of kiddush, from the Hebrew word for holy — our ability to demarcate time, to say that this Friday night, this Shabbat dinner, this exact moment, which has never occurred before and never will again, is special. Cheers to that!

Explore our Shabbat guides to make your Shabbat dinners even more magical.