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Is Saying ’Shabbat Shalom’ Enough to Fulfill the Mitzvah of Sanctifying Shabbat?

Rabbi Nachum Chaimowitz explains how to sanctify Shabbat according to various opinions in Jewish law

Is Saying ’Shabbat Shalom’ Enough to Fulfill the Mitzvah of Sanctifying Shabbat?
Question

Dear Rabbi,
I came to learn in Israel and at Yeshiva and we had an argument about reciting Kiddush on Friday night, and some of the studious students claimed that the mitzvah of Kiddush today is only D’Rabbanan since we say beforehand “Good Shabbos” or “Shabbat Shalom” and I argued that I know for sure Kiddush is a mitzvha from the Torah as my father was careful all the years to use only the big kiddush cup Friday night and never the smaller ones that he used during the day. He said the reason was because one needs a “shiur d’orayta”. Please clarify this issue for us. Thanks
 
Answer

To the Questioner,
 
The answer in short is that you’re both right. But in order to explain it to you, we’ll have to review a few key sources together.
 
See first the Torah source for having to make Kiddush, which is derived in the Mechilta (halachic Midrash) Shmos (20:8): “Zachor es yom HaShabbat l’kadsho” – and the Mechilta adds the word: “B’vracha – from here they [the Rabbanan] said: we make Kiddush on the wine at [the time of] its entrance”.
 
This means to say, that the Mechilta is learning that the pasuk telling us to ‘Remember the Shabbat’ is coming to tell us that we should remember and do something special at the time that Shabbat enters. A different Midrash on this pasuk has already told us what it is that we have to do (Torat Kohanim, Bechukotai, parsha 1:2):  “Zachor es yom HaShabbat l’kadsho” – “Remember the Day of Shabbat to sanctify it”: Could it be [remembered just] in your heart? When he [the Torah] says “Shamor” - “Guard [the Day of Shabbat to sanctify it]”- behold, guarding [its sanctity (by not doing work)] in one’s heart is [already] mentioned; therefore, how do I fulfill “Zachor” – “To Remember”? That you articulate it [i.e. the fact that it’s Shabbat] with your mouth”. What we need to remember and do special at the time that Shabbat enters is to articulate that it’s now Shabbat.

We can now understand that the first source, the Mechilta, as coming to tell us that the specific words we need to articulate and announce in order to fulfill this Torah mitzva of “Kiddush” are words that are in the form of a Bracha.
 
The Rambam, who was amazingly precise in his description of all the mitzvot, defines this mitzva of Kiddush as being the obligation “to say words… that is to say, ‘Remember it [the Shabbat] a remembering of Praise and Sanctity’” (Hilchot Shabbat 29:1). Clearly the Rambam’s source is from the Midrashim that were mentioned above, that cite the obligation to ‘Remember the Day of Shabbat’ as being: “with your mouth – by [saying] a Bracha”. The Rambam is describing in that first halacha of perek 29, in a general and “abstract” way, what type of words would have to be used for this mitzva: such words that include a sense of Praise for this day of the week – in that it is different than all the other days of the week because of its added Sanctity. The Rambam then goes on in the second halacha of that perek (29:2) to cite the specific Bracha that was composed by Chazal to include in it those ideas: the Bracha of Mekadesh HaShabbat.
 
It follows from everything that was said up till now, that fulfillment of the mitzva of “Kiddush” from the Torah is done by reciting the specific Bracha that was composed by Chazal to be said, and to say it sometime close to the starting time of Shabbat. Additionally, the Gemara in Pesachim (106a) adds (from a Braissa) that Chazal have instructed that the fulfillment of this mitzva should be done over a cup of wine. So now the mitzva from the Torah of “Zachor es yom HaShabbat l’kadsho” takes on the form of the “Friday night Kiddush” that we are all familiar with.
 
It is therefore correct what you saw your father doing – that he was always careful at the Friday night Kiddush to use a becher that holds the “shiur d’oraitta” – since essentially the Kiddush we make Friday night is the actual fulfillment of the mitzva from the Torah of “Zachor es yom HaShabbat l’kadsho”.
 
However, the Magen Avraham (271:1) quotes an interesting Gemara in Brachot that tells us the possibility of there being another way to fulfill the mitzva of “Kiddush” from the Torah, in addition to saying it over a cup of wine when we come home Friday night.
 
In Brachot 33b, when discussing a question in regard to Havdalah, the Gemara inadvertently presents a certain description of the mitzva of Kiddush in order to derive from it a conclusion in regard to Havdalah. The Gemara says in regard to Kiddush: “We find that by Kiddush, even though a person makes Kiddush in [the midst of his] davening (prayers), he is [nonetheless still] required to make Kiddush on a cup [of wine]”, etc.  We can learn from this indirect statement of the Gemara, that each person actually “makes Kiddush” already in the midst of his davening at the prayers in Shul on Friday night, even before he makes the Kiddush later when he comes home on a cup of wine.
  
The Magen Avraham learns from this, that in order to fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush, it’s sufficient with the “Kiddush” – i.e. the words of Bracha – that are said in the Ma’ariv Shmoneh Esrei of Friday night. Since the Rambam (Shabbat 29:6) has written (and Tosfos in Sukkah 38a [piece beginning mai] says this as well), that the mitzva of Kiddush from the Torah is really just the saying of words, and the requirement to say those words over a cup of wine is only D’Rabbanan – it follows that by saying the words of Bracha about Shabbat in the Ma’ariv prayer, one has already fulfilled his obligation from the Torah, even though they were not yet recited over a cup of wine.
 
It comes out that there are now two ways that one can fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of “Zachor es yom HaShabbat l’kadsho”. The “classic” way that is familiar to us, is by reciting the Bracha of “mekadesh HaShabbat” over a cup of wine. The second way is by reciting the Bracha of “mekadesh HaShabbat” in the Ma’ariv Shmoneh Esrei, even though it is not recited yet over a cup of wine.
 
It now follows that by the time we come to make Kiddush at home on a cup of wine, we have already fulfilled the mitzva of Kiddush from the Torah by having said the Bracha of “mekadesh HaShabbat” in the Ma’ariv Shmoneh Esrei.
 
This is what your friends at Yeshiva meant to say that the mitzva of Kiddush that we say on a cup of wine before the meal is today only D’Rabbanon - based upon the Magen Avraham who says that we all have already fulfilled the mitzva from the Torah through the davening in Shul.
 
However, your father’s practice – to relate to the Kiddush that we say on a cup of wine before the meal as being from the Torah - is also still correct. This is based upon a chidush (nuance) by the Chasam Sofer in his tshuvos (Orach Chaim 17, 21). He writes that once Chazal have officially instituted M’D’Rabbanan that Kiddush should be said before the meal on a cup of wine, everyone’s intent is now to fulfill the mitzva from the Torah when saying Kiddush before the meal - and not to fulfill the mitzva when saying the Bracha of “mekadesh HaShabbat” in the Ma’ariv davening.

He writes that this is true even to the extent of “Bet Din makes a condition”; that even if people did not have anything specific in mind when davening their Ma’ariv Shmoneh Esrei, it is a “condition of Bet Din” that they do not fulfill the mitzva of Kiddush from the Torah by the davening, only before the meal at home. 

Due to this opinion, it follows that one should always relate to the Bracha of Kiddush being said at home before the meal as that  being the fulfillment of the mitzva of Kiddush from the Torah. It is therefore fitting that your father is always careful to use the larger becher for the Friday night Kiddush, in order to have the “shiur d’oraitta”.
 
There is an exception though, when even the Chasam Sofer agrees that we should fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush, at the time of the davening Friday night.  When Yom Kippur falls out on Shabbat, there is no Kiddush made that evening for Shabbat on a cup of wine; nonetheless, one is still obligated to fulfill the mitzvah of Kiddush from the Torah which applies to the Shabbat. At that time, one therefore needs to have specifically in mind to fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush through the Bracha of “mekadesh HaShabbat” that he says in the Ma’ariv davening of Yom Kippur night. Since we know from Shulchan Aruch that “mitzvoth tzrichot kavana” – one needs to have in mind specifically that he wants to do the mitzva now, in order to fulfill the mitzva (Orach Chaim, 60:4), one should have explicit intent on that night to fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush through the Bracha said in the Ma’ariv Shmoneh Esrei (See Hagahot Chasam Sofer to Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 271-1 [The Chasam Sofer actually writes there that one should have this in mind by every Yom Kippur – even when it falls on a weekday - because he is of the opinion that there needs to be a statement on a Yom Tov that has only negative commandments from the Torah (i.e. Yom Kippur), that the day has begun).
 
In regard to your friend’s mention of the idea that since we say beforehand “Good Shabbat”, the Kiddush we say at home is only D’Rabbanan, the source of that opinion is from the great Gaon Rebbe Akiva Eiger’s notations on Shulchan Aruch.
 
He writes at the beginning of Siman 271, when discussing the fact that no extra Kiddush is made on Yom Kippur night that falls on Shabbat - and therefore it must be that everyone has in mind to fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush by davening - that it is not only by mentioning Shabbat in davening that a person can fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush, but even through any mention of the Shabbat that he mentions from the time of the Shabbat entering: even just by saying the words: “A Good Shabbat” - he already has also  fulfilled his mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush.
 
The source for this chidush of Rebbe Akiva Eiger, seems to be from the wording of the Rambam. At the beginning of perek 29 of Hilchot Shabbat the Rambam writes: “It is a positive mitzva from the Torah to sanctify the Shabbat with words as it says: “remember the Day of Shabbat to sanctify it”, that is to say, ‘Remember it [the Shabbat] a remembering of Praise and Sanctity’”.

In the Sefer Hamitzvot (Mitzvat Aseh 155) the Rambam also says: “Mitzva 155 is that He has commanded us to sanctify the Shabbat and to say words at [the time of] its entrance and at [the time of] its exit; [when] we recall through them our exit from Egypt and the sanctity of the day and its importance, and its separation from the other days which proceed it and [from those] which come after it, and this is His saying may He be Blessed, “Remember the Day of the Shabbat to sanctify it”: that is to say, “Remember it and Sanctify it with a Bracha”.

The Rambam emphasizes in both places that “the saying of words” to remember the Shabbat is the definition of the mitzva. Therefore, Rebbe Akiva Eiger extrapolates from here that at the most basic level, any words that proclaim that it is Shabbat would be enough to fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush.
 
However, as we saw before, it is clear from the words of the Rambam in the Sefer Hamitzvos that the requirement to fulfill the mitzvah of Kiddush from the Torah specifically requires to say the words in the form of a Bracha. Even more importantly, the source of the Rambam to define and describe this mitzva was from the Mechilta (that we quoted initially at the beginning of this tshuvah); and from the Mechilta itself it is clear that a major part of this mitzva is to say a Bracha about Shabbat when it enters. So while it is true that the main definition of the mitzva is to say words to remember and discern that today is Shabbat, it seems clear from the Midrash and the Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvot that those words need to be said in the form of a Bracha. If so, one could only really fulfill the mitzva from the Torah of Kiddush through saying a Bracha that proclaims it’s Shabbat (as we do when we daven Ma’ariv Friday night) and not just by saying any words that mention it’s Shabbat.
 
SUMMARY: If someone tells you that your mitzva of Kiddush from the Torah was already fulfilled because you said “Good Shabbat”, you now know that this is based upon the opinion of Rebbe Akiva Eiger. Based upon the wording of the Mechilta and the Rambam, however, it is clear that one is not yet exempt from his obligation from the Torah to say “Kiddush” until he says words which are in the form of a Bracha.

The Magen Avraham brings a proof that one can therefore fulfill his obligation from the Torah to say “Kiddush”, through the paragraph of the Bracha of “mekadesh haShabbat” that is said in the Ma’ariv Shmonah Esrei; but the Chasam Sofer says that this is only when a person has specifically in mind to fulfill his obligation for Kiddush at the time of the Ma’ariv davening (such as on Yom Kippur that falls on Shabbat).

On a regular Friday night, however, when a person does not have specifically in mind to fulfill his obligation for Kiddush at the time of Ma’ariv, his intent is “automatically” to fulfill his Torah obligation for Kiddush at the time of his reciting the Kiddush on a cup of wine before his meal; and so therefore the Kiddush one makes at home should be viewed as the fulfillment of a Torah mitzva.
 
With blessings,
Rav Nachum