This responsum, written for Aish.com’s “Ask The Rabbi” column, explains the halachic reasoning behind some of the different customs regarding whether the nighttime and daytime Kiddush ceremony should be recited while standing or sitting.
Kiddush: Stand or Sit?
Whenever I go to someone’s house for Shabbat, I notice that on Friday night we stand for Kiddush, and on Saturday morning we sit. Why?
The reason why many stand on Friday night is because when a person makes Kiddush he gives testimony that God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:31 – 2:3) Since testimony before a court must be said standing, so too when Kiddush is said at nighttime it must also be said standing.
During the day, however, we do not say those same verses of testimony – so we can sit. Indeed, since we are required to make Kiddush in the same place we have our meal, it is preferable to sit, since that helps establish the place where we are going to eat.
Actually, the requirement of making Kiddush in the place where we eat also exists at nighttime. Therefore, many have the custom to stand during the first part of Kiddush on Friday night, and then sit for the blessings – in order to establish the place for the meal. (Code of Jewish Law – OC 271)
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