A kiddush fountain makes for a stunning addition to your Shabbat table. It is a beautiful silver (or sometimes aluminum) piece that not only serves to honor the Kiddush ritual that begins each Shabbat and holiday meal but also enhances and dresses up your table. A great idea that was inspired by the large gold wine fountains in the palace of King Henry VIII, it combines a tray for the glasses that functions as the baseplate, a stand with cunningly hidden pipes into which you pour the bottle, and an upright vessel into which you pour the wine. The wine is then distributed to the various glasses by a series of pipes that trickle down evenly from the main cup.
Before the actual blessing and drinking of wine, the head of the household pours from the large central cup down into smaller matching cups. In the past, the host would simply pass his or her personal cup around the table but this was not very convenient and often resulted in spillage on nice pristine Shabbat tables and on clothing and was very unhygienic.
The introduction of the wine fountain solved these problems by allowing the head of the household to serve the wine from the main fountain cup and then all the other family members and guests could drink from their individual cups, thus avoiding messy and unhygienic situations. Today, there are many different styles of wine fountains to choose from and they can be quite expensive, but a handmade one from Jerusalem or Israel will bring beauty and fascination to your Jewish home while also connecting you with the history of the Jewish people as you enjoy this special time of the week. kiddush fountain