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Sit or Stand For Kiddush

Rabbi David SperlingAdar I 3, 5774
817
Question
Dear Rabbi, I grew up with parents who were not themselves fully practicing the day to day rituals of Jewish life. Nonetheless, my older brother and I have been completely frum for many years. My father’s family is of German Jewish origin and my brother and I generally do our best to follow the minhagim of that community. Although we are to a limited degree part of a German Jewish community where we live, determining minhagim to follow has been difficult especially for minhagim that are practiced at home. For years my brother and I stood for the whole kiddush on Friday night and Shabbat day. This practice began early on, before we began our attempt to learn our minhagim, and it continued until recently because of habit. Baruch Hashem, recently my brother and I both got married and as a result the question of whether to stand or sit for kiddush has resurfaced. After a little research on line (http://www.kayj.net/en/forum/minhogim/84-standingsitting-at-kiddush-in-home), it seems that the accepted practice is to stand for the Psukim and to sit for the Brachos both at night and during the day. However, another minhag that existed in the past and today is more common, is to stand both at night and in the day, throughout the whole Kiddush. When my brother got married he did research and decided to stand for the whole kiddush on Friday night and Shabbat day, since that is what we have always done. When I got married a number of months later, I did research and I thought that we should adopt the practice of standing for the psukim and sitting for the brachos, since that appears to be the accepted and more common German Jewish minhag. What should we do?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. As you are aware there are many customs when it comes to standing or sitting for Kiddush (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Haim, 271, 10). Nearly every possible variation and combination of standing and sitting is practiced by some community. They are all acceptable (see the Aruch HaShulchan ibid). In general it is a good idea to stick to one practice, and as you have always made Kiddush standing it would seem like a good idea to continue to do so. The fact that there is a more common German custom does not mean that you should not continue to stand for all of Kiddush, which is certainly also practiced amongst Germanic Jewry. However, as you have recently married (Mazal Tov!), you should also take into consideration the customs of your spouse (all the more so if your husband has family customs himself – but even if it is your wife who has customs, as you are not so certain of your own practices, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to follow hers). So, in conclusion, I would say that if all else if equal then you should continue to stand for Kiddush. If your spouse has a different custom, you may certainly continue to stand for the verses and sit for blessings, as you have been doing since your wedding. As I wrote above, all the customs on this question are equally acceptable, and the main thing is to find one consistent practice that takes into count your family heritage, your spouses feelings, and your personal practices over the years. Blessings.
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