The Jewish tradition is to sanctify the Sabbath, holidays and special occasions with the blessing of wine and a cup called the Kiddush. Historically, these cups were made of silver which is known for its purity and durability. Kiddush cups are often engraved with words of prayer and symbols such as stars of David, flowers, vines and menorahs. Some people also use their own special cups which are usually heirlooms that have been passed down through generations.
The Israeli Center of Judaica carries a wide selection of beautiful sterling silver kiddush cups. These are made by skilled artisans and are truly works of art. They can be beautifully decorated with intricate filigree rims and bases or inlaid with a variety of gemstones including Israeli amethyst and lapis lazuli. Some are also shaped with a unique design which is ideal for those who want a more modern look to their cup.
There are many different types of Kiddush cups and it is up to the individual to decide what type they would like to use. A popular style is the stemmed cup that has a round base with a narrow stem that extends from it. These are very comfortable to hold and can be used for all kinds of special occasions. Another style of cup is the pewter or shinny Kiddush cup that is very lightweight and has a smooth, shiny finish. These are very easy to handle and can be used with any kind of wine.
It is important to note that the type of wine used for Kiddush must be kosher wine. The cup must be able to hold a revi’is of liquid which is about 90.7 to 161.5 milliliters. Some people prefer to use a large glass rather than a small one because it can be easier to drink from. The key is to be able to recite the blessing over the entire volume of the drink that you are holding in your hand.
In case one is unable to drink kosher wine for any reason, such as being stationed in the military or being pregnant, they may recite the blessing over grape juice which is not mevushal (cooked). There are some who add some wine to the grape juice in order to fulfill the requirements of the mitzvah.
The best way to care for a silver Kiddush cup is to wipe it down after each use with a soft cloth. It is also a good idea to keep the cup in a dark place so it will not become scratched or dull. It is also important to dry the cup thoroughly before storing it to prevent mildew and tarnish. A silver kiddush cup can last a lifetime if properly taken care of. It is also a beautiful item to give as a gift for someone who is preparing for their Bar Mitzvah or wedding.