Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kiddush with a paper cup, expanded


[Adding to an earlier post, here]

May I recite kiddush or havdalah using a disposable cup?

Three halachic considerations are relevant here:
• We require that the cup be "chai", which means that it must be whole. Some authorities rule that a disposable cup is inherently flawed; others argue that we only require that the cup be complete.
• We require that the cup be a "kli", an implement meeting certain halachic criteria, and some contend that a disposable cup does not meet those standards.
• We try to perform mitzvos in a beautiful manner. Disposable items, by definition, are inexpensive, and they are often unattractive.

Because of these considerations, we avoid using a disposable cup for these mitzvos. However, one who has no other option may rely on the authorities who accept disposables.

(Igrot Moshe Orach Chaim 3:39; Minchat Yitzchak 10:23; Tzitz Eliezer 12:23; Shemirat Shabbat k'Hilchatah 47:11; Beer Moshe 5:55; Contemporary Halachic Problems II 12; Rivivot Ephraim 1:150:2; Az Nidbiru 6:49; Yalkut Yosef 271:42)

Have a great day,


  1. But what if the alternative is to not make kiddush at all? If you don't have a "whole" cup but you do have kiddush wine, shouldn't you make kiddush with a paper cup, even though it is preferable to use a complete cup.

    I can think of many contexts in which this might be the case, including at least two shabbats in my own life.

  2. Hi Betsy,

    Yes, that's why I included my last line - "However, one who has no other option may rely on the authorities who accept disposables."