Thursday, December 18, 2008

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The King's Cup

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

In this week’s Torah portion (vayeishev) we see why we are accustomed to holding the Kiddush cup in such an unusual manner. Shabbos meals are called the “delight of the holy King.”[i] These meals are meant to satisfy not only our physical hunger, but to remind us of, and hopefully satisfy our spiritual thirst too. They are a feast fit for a king. When we eat these meals, especially when we announce that it is the king’s meal, we are to act like kings.

How would a king come to have a cup of wine in his hand? Would the cup bearer simply put it on the table before him as in an elegant restaurant? No, never. That is how an ordinary man would pick up his cup. Perhaps the king would reach out and the cup bearer would hand it to him. No. Any ordinary man would be given a cup of wine like that. Then how is he to receive the cup so it shows that he is truly a king?

He simply holds his hand out, palm upward, and the wine steward standing there places the cup of wine on his palm. When we see the cup on his palm and not in his grasp we know that some other hand had to have placed it there. We see that he was served his wine like a king.

Twice this week we are told that Pharaoh’s cup bearer would place his cup in the palm of his hand.[ii] These are our finest meals of the week, both physical and spiritual. To get the most out of them, while dining we must act like kings and we must speak of the King.

[i] Kiddush for the Shabbos Day
[ii] Genesis 40:11, 40:21

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