The current series, which will cover Maariv on Friday night and Kiddush, is available for sponsorship. Please contact Rabbi Reingold for more information. We have finished siman 13, where the Chayei Adam discusses the halachos of the kos. Today, we will discuss the permissibility of using plastic cups for kiddush. Rav Moshe writes in a teshuva (OC 3:78) that one cannot use a disposable cup for kiddush, but if nothing else is available, maybe it is muttar. However, if one looks carefully at the teshuva, they will see that the question was asked regarding the use of a paper cup. Rav Moshe’s point is that it is not chashuv, and people do not use it for chashuv situations. This teshuva is from 1968. Rav Shlomo Zalman, in Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa (2:47), is quoted as saying that nowadays, disposable cups are used at nice events as well. Therefore, if it is a nice cup which would be used at an event (sheva brachos, etc.), there is no question that one can use it for kiddush. Regarding a paper cup, in addition to the question about its chashivus, the fact that it does not last more than one time before it begins to deteriorate questions its status as a kli. A flimsy plastic cup would arguably be similar to a paper cup. With that in mind, doubling the cup does not add anything. Rav Scheinberg and Rav Wosner are quoted in the Mosif Dirshu as saying that disposable cups are acceptable for kiddush as well. They point out that other poskim are machmir lechatchilla, but nowadays it would appear that our hard plastic cups are chashuv and strong enough that they can be used lechatchilla. Again,this only applies to hard plastic cups. Flimsy plastic cups and paper cups are not lechatchilla; flimsy plastic because it is not a nice kli, and paper cups because their status as a kli is not certain. Nevertheless, bedieved one would be yotzei with either. Rav Moshe discusses whether a disposable kli has the status of a kli or not. This has ramifications in many areas of halacha. For example, regarding Shabbos, is it considered binyan or stirah to put together or break the kli? He proves from Mishnayos Keilim that items which are meant to be disposed do not have the status of a kli for Shabbos. Nevertheless, the fact they are not considered keilim regarding Shabbos does not determine their status for kiddush, nor for other questions such as tevillas keilim. Summary
- Hard plastic cups which would be used at events can be used lechatchilla for kiddush.
- Flimsy plastic cups and paper cups should be avoided, but if one has no other cup available they may use it.