A kibtza kiddush cup is an elegant piece that is used when the blessing is said over wine to sanctify the Sabbath. Traditionally it is made from silver or gold, but now there are many other options such as pewter or fine china. They are often ornately decorated with images of fruit, usually grapes to represent the wine or grape juice being blessed. They may also have animals or birds on them. Many people have their own special cup that they use for Kiddush and may even pass it down from generation to generation. Many of the cups have initials, names or bible passages engraved on them as well. These cups are also a common present for Bar or Bat Mitzvahs for boys and girls.
Technically any cup can be used for kiddush as long as it holds a revi’it (3.8 fl oz or 112 ml). In practice it is considered preferable to use a silver cup, since it elevates the mitzvah of kiddush and makes it look more special. If one does not have a silver cup, then a glass, plastic or styrofoam cup is acceptable as long as it does not leak or have cracks in it.
In addition to being used for kiddush on Fridays, a kiddush cup is also brought out to be used for havdalah at the end of Shabbat, Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah or Passover seder, and even for wedding ceremonies. The Cup of Elijah is also often brought out during these important events to represent the hope that the prophet will soon be back to announce Moshiach, the Messiah. kiddush cup