A silver kiddush cup is used to hold the wine or grape juice that is blessed during Jewish rituals such as a wedding ceremony, Shabbat, or Passover. It can be engraved with many different kinds of designs, depending on the individual’s personal preferences and what is most meaningful to them. These cups are usually crafted out of silver and may also be made out of other materials such as pewter, fine china, or even ceramic. They are often ornately decorated with fruit; grapes to symbolise the wine that is going to be blessed, and they also feature many different types of symbols including religious icons such as menorahs, shofars, or stars of David. They can be personalised with initials, names or a biblical passage and they are often engraved with simple town scapes featuring synagogues or other places of worship.
The reason why a Kiddush cup is often made out of silver is that it is believed to be a more sacred material for this purpose. Aluminum at one time was a common choice for Kiddush cups but it has since been discovered that this metal reacts with the wine and creates an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Silver, on the other hand, is known to be antibacterial and also anti-fungal which makes it a very suitable material for use in Kiddush cups.
Silver is also very easy to clean and can last a lifetime when properly taken care of. Silver should not be placed in a dishwasher as this can damage the surface of the cup and it should be washed by hand with lukewarm water. The cups should not be cleaned with any abrasive chemicals such as toothpaste or salt and they should be dried immediately after washing to avoid staining.