Thursday, March 30, 2006

Eating before "kiddusha rabbah" - Rambam vs. Ra'avad

The Rambam (Shabbos ch 29) paskens that it is forbidden to eat before kiddush during the day ("kiddusha rabbah") just like at night. The Ra'avad disagrees, arguing that since one can say kiddush over bread, and kiddusha rabbah is no more than a birchas hane'henin, there can be no issur of eating before kiddush because the bracha on the seudah IS kiddush. The simple approach to understanding the Rambam is that he holds one may not say kiddush over bread during the day. The seudah requires some way to demarcate it as a seudas shabbos beyond saying hamotzi. I am more concerned with the Ra'avad's objection. Why did the Ra'avad not think there can be an issur of eating before kiddush? Even if you assume you can say kiddush on bread, what if I wanted to eat an apple before kiddush - that is certainly not a seudah which qualifies as seudas shabbos, so according to the Ra'avad, how was I yotzei kiddush before eating?
It seems to me that the dispute between the Rambam and Ra'avad is how to understand the issur of eating before kiddush. According the the Rambam, it is an issur gavra independent of what one is saying kiddush on. According to the Ra'avad, it is a din in seudas shabbos, i.e. that seudas Shabbos must be preceded by kiddush. Therefore, there is no kashe from eating an apple - since by definition that is not a seudas Shabbos, there is not halacha (acc. to Ra'avad) which would prohibit eating it without kiddush.


  1. I am throwing this idea out without really t hinking it through.

    There is a chakirah in whether kiddush b'mokom seudah is a din in seudah or a din in kikddush. If it is a din in seudah that means you have to be koveia teh seudah over kiddush to make it seudas shabbos.

    Could this chakirah be tied to this Ramban vs Raavad?

  2. Addendum:
    Actually after rereading your post it seems this is exactly what you are saying. Is that right?

  3. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Isn't the reason that it's assur to eat before kiddush the same reason that it's always assur to eat before a mitzva (e.g. tikiyas shofar, hadlakas neiros chanuka, b'dikas chametz, kriyas shema, etc.). That is, we're afraid that you will become involved in the eating and forget to perform the mitzva. If so, what is the basis of the Ra'avad (according to the way you are understanding him)? Why would there be a unique "issur achila" by seudas shabbos, as opposed to other mitzvos?

  4. Yes, Chaim M., that is along the same lines.
    Bill S. - the Brisker Rav discusses your exact chakira by havdalah: whether the issur achila there is because of the chovah of havdalah (like all other mitzvos) or a seperate issur. By kiddush, how would you understand the man d'amar that if you ate, you can no longer say kiddush? If the issur achila is a din like by other mitzvos, where else do you find such a thing? However, if the mitzva of seudah is what is mechayeiv kiddush and that is why you can't eat w/o kiddush, once the seudas shabbos is over the opportunity is lost until the next meal.

  5. P.S. Thank you both for the he'oros and have a good shabbos

  6. Anonymous1:46 PM

    the man d'amar that if you ate, you can no longer say kiddush

    It's been some time since I learned O.C. 271-273 (is that it?), but I don't remember such a shita...could you please provide a source? Thanks.

    Also, even according to that shita, I could entertain the idea that kiddush would be different then other mitzvos...after all, m'ikar hadin Kiddusha Rabba is merely a bracha rishona. So, if I made the bracha without intention of being mikadeish, I've "lost the mitzva" because I already performed it incorrectly! How can I re-eat, re-mivareich, and re-mikadeish?

    On the whole, though, I am maskim that that shita leans more towards your understanding of the Ra'avad.

    Finally, where's the Brisker Rav? (Not him - I know where he is. His piece on this.)

  7. Pesachim 106b is the sugya. I saw the GRI"Z in the back of the edition of GR"Ch stencil I have - there is a "kuntres moadim" from the GRI"Z and this piece is there.