When I mention a kiddush cup to my non-Jewish friends, the often ask, “what is a kiddush cup?” And their next question usually is, “You get to drink wine?” Ceremoniously, a kiddush cup is used by Jews on shabbat to hold the sacred wine we drink on that night. The cup has the name Hans inscribed into it because that was my grandfather’s German name. My grandfather, being a German-Jew, certainly has a complicated history with his home country. When he escaped Nazi Germany with his father, my great grandfather, they had to sell almost everything they owned to bribe Nazi officials to let them leave, and purchase tickets to the ship. However, my grandfather managed to keep one item, his kiddush cup. When they arrived in Ecuador, they were allowed to freely practice their faith, although my grandfather had to attend a catholic school because there weren’t any other schools in the area. In 1949, his family arrived in the United States, and he began his new life with his kiddush cup. Furthermore, the cup is not only a reminder of my grandfathers strenuous journey, but also a connection to my faith and future because of its religious significance, and as a symbol of an important family responsibility that I humbly possessed. Therefore, I would not only carry on the religious significance, but also the story of my grandfather and his journey to america in that tiny kiddush cup.
– Andrew M