By Yosef Brecher
How should one distribute the wine after reciting kiddush?
As we mentioned last week, 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 from the reciter’s cup. We also mentioned that, like the reciter, the listeners should drink 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). These two halachos, however, lead us to a halachic problem: If the reciter performs kiddush, drinks from his cup of wine and then pours from his cup to those of the listeners (so that they can partake of the kiddush wine), then the wine being given to the listeners is pagum (it is from a cup that has already been drunk from). How can kiddush wine be distributed to the listeners in a way that does not cause it to become pagum? The following are a few possible approaches:
(1) The Shulchan Aruch Harav (190:5) writes that if each listener has a cup of wine in front of him 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 from their own cup of wine and do not need to drink from that of the reciter. In this way, they are drinking wine that is not pagum, but has had kiddush recited over it. According to this opinion, however, there may be an additional halachic requirement regarding the wine that the listeners are drinking. If the cup that each listener has in front of him is considered to be a kos shel bracha (i.e., a cup of wine upon which a bracha is being recited), then it would seem logical that the usual requirements of kos shel bracha should apply. That would mean that each listener must have at least a rivius of wine in a non-disposable cup that is filled to capacity.
(2) The Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 271:17) writes that if the listeners do not have their own cups of wine, then after the reciter has finished reciting Kiddush he should pour wine from his cup into the cups of the listeners. The Shulchan Aruch explains, though, that the listener should be careful to pour the wine from his cup before drinking from it. This way the wine being given to the listeners is still not pagum because it comes from a cup that has not yet been drunk from. At first glance, this approach appears to constitute a hefsek (i.e., a delay between the recitation of the bracha and the performance of the action) – the reciter is delaying between his recitation of borei peri ha’gefen and the actual drinking of the wine. The Shulchan Aruch Harav (ibid.), however, explains that this is not the case. Since the reciter’s delay (distributing the wine) is necessary in order to facilitate the listeners’ proper fulfillment of mitzvas kiddush (by allowing them to drink from non–pagum wine), we can view this delay as part of the kiddush process.
There are, however, other possible problems with the above option. The Mishna Berura (O.C. 271, s”k 51) cities the opinion of Tosfos who holds that when drinking from a kos shel bracha, the cup must still contain a rivius of wine at the time of his drinking. According to this opinion, if the reciter is using a cup whose capacity is exactly a rivius, he cannot distribute any wine from his cup into that of the listeners’ before drinking from it himself. If he were to do so, there would be less than a rivius of wine in his cup at the time he drinks from it. One using the above approach (distributing from the kiddush cup before the reciter drinks from it), should therefore be careful to use a cup that is significantly bigger than a rivius. This way, even after pouring from his cup into those of the listeners, there will still remain a rivius of wine in the cup at the time he drinks from it.
(3) The Mishna Berura (Shaarei Tzion 271:89) cites yet another option. He writes that after completing kiddush and drinking from his cup, the reciter can pass his cup around to the listeners to drink from. The Mishna Berura explains that since they are drinking from the original cup of wine itself, the wine inside is not considered to be a pagum. Wine only becomes pagum, he explains, once it transferred out of the original cup that has been drunk from. The Shmiras Shabbos Kehilchoso (perek 48:11, note 68), however, writes that Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach took issue with this option based on the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 170:16) that it is dangerous for two people to drink from the same cup. Rav Shlomo Zalman was bewildered by the apparent minhag to disregard this halacha when with dealing with a kos shel bracha.
(4) Another possible solution would be for the reciter to add fresh wine to his cup after drinking from it. As we have mentioned (Kiddush Friday Night Part 4) one can “fix” wine that is pagum by adding new wine from the bottle into the cup that was drank from. This option, though, would be problematic for the same reason as the previous one was (it is forbidden for a person to give someone to drink from a cup from which he has already drunk).
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: email@example.com. ©2013 Yosef Brecher