By Yosef Brecher
What are the requirements for drinking the kiddush wine?
The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 271:13) writes that after reciting kiddush, one should drink “a cheek full” of wine from the kiddush cup. For an average person, this is equal to a majority of a rivius (for the exact size of a rivius, see Kiddush Friday Night Part 4). The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 271:14) also writes that some hold that it is okay for someone other than the one who recited the Kiddush to drink the wine, as long as he drinks a “cheek full”.
After the person preforming the kiddush (the “reciter”) has completed his recitation, it is preferable that everyone fulfilling their mitzvah together with him (the “listeners”) drink some wine. It is not clear, however, whether the listeners can fulfill this halacha by drinking any wine that is on the table, or whether the listeners should specifically drink from the wine upon which the kiddush was recited.
The Rosh (Brachos 7:15) and the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 271:17) write that if the listeners have wine that is not pagum, then they can drink from that wine without any need for the reciter to pour wine from his cup into theirs after kiddush. This ruling would seem to suggest that it is not important for the listeners drink from wine upon which kiddush was recited, as long as the wine they are drinking is not pagum. The Shulchan Aruch Harav (O.C. 190:5), however, understands the opinion of the Rosh (and Shulchan Aruch) differently. He explains that even according to their opinion the listeners must partake of wine upon which kiddush was recited. Nevertheless, if each listener has a cup of wine in front of them during Kiddush, then the reciter’s kiddush is viewed as having been performed upon the listeners’ cups as well. Therefore, after kiddush, the listeners can just drink form their own cup of wine and do not need to drink from that of the reciter. (See the next column in which we will bez”h discuss an additional requirement that may apply to the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch Harav.)
The Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchoso (48:11) writes that it is better to drink from the wine that was in the reciter’s cup during the kiddush (and not rely on the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch Harav that each listener’s individual cup can be viewed as having been part of the kiddush). A possible source for this preference may be the Sifsei Chachamim (Parshas Va’Yayra, pasuk 9 s”k 20), who writes that the “main mitzvah is to drink from the cup upon which the bracha was recited”. Another source for drinking wine from the reciter’s cup may be the Gemara in Shabbos (113b). The Gemara there writes that although taking large steps on Shabbos can diminish one’s eyesight, this loss can be restored “with Kiddush Friday night”. Rashi (ibid.) explains the Gemara as referring to “one who drinks from the wine of Kiddush Friday night”.
The Mishna Berura writes (O.C. 271 s”k 83) that, as is the case with the reciter, it is preferable that the listeners drink from wine that is not pagum (i.e., wine that has not been drunk from since it has been poured from its bottle into its cup). If all the listeners have their own cup of wine (in accordance with the opinion of the Shulchan Aruch Harav), then the wine they drink would certainly not be pagum – and therefore in accordance with the above ruling of the Mishna Berura. If, however, the listeners partake of the wine that was in the cup of the reciter (as is the common minhag today, in accordance with opinion of the Shmiras Shabbos ke’hilchoso), then a halachic dilemma arises. If the reciter preforms Kiddush, drinks from his cup of wine and then pours from his cup to that of the listeners that would mean that the wine that the listeners are is pagum. This would not be in line with the opinion of the Mishna Berura (cited above) who holds that even the wine that the listeners are drinking should not be pagum. Please see the next column, in which we will bez”h discuss the various ways one can avoid this issue.
The purpose of this column is not to render halachic decisions, but rather to provide readers with a helpful overview of basic hilchos Shabbos. All specific halachic inquiries should be directed to a local halachic authority. General questions about the content being discussed, however, are welcome and can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2013 Yosef Brecher