Hi Rav Sperling,
Is it correct to say Kiddush before eating on Shabbat morning, before davening? I am by myself (a woman) and have been saying Kiddush before I eat and after I say morning blessings and before any further davening.
Sometimes it just feels too early for Kiddush.
Thank you for your question. The laws of when to say kiddush are not simple, especially for a woman – and, as you can imagine, there are many opinions.
Basically you can only make kiddush after one has first davened. The question is "what is considered davening"? Most simply one would say after having finished the Amidah (the silent prayer) of the morning service (shcharit). And for men this is certainly the case. However, there are some women who are not accustomed to praying the Amidah every day, and make do with only saying a small prayer, such as the morning blessings. (There is much debate as to the validity of this practice, but, without going into all the opinions, let's just say that there are Rabbis who rule that this is acceptable). If so, then such a woman would have to say kiddush straight after morning blessings if she wanted to eat or drink – even if she did plan (on that particular Shabat) on saying the rest of davening.
So, to answer your question – it depends. If you regularly say the Amidah, then you should wait until you have said it before saying kiddush. You may drink after morning blessings (and eat something light if you really need to) after morning blessings without kiddush. If though you usually rely on the morning blessings alone for your davening, then you should make kiddush straight after saying them, before drinking or eating.
Time-wise, one does not have to worry that it's "too early for kiddush", as long as the sun has risen.
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