Leaning Back While Drinking the Kosos

5

By Rabbi Berach Steinfeld

One is obligated to lean back while drinking the four cups of wine at the Seder. A problem arises when the cup is full to the brim and one cannot immediately lean back until one has sipped some of the wine. After some wine is consumed, it is possible to lean back without spilling wine on one’s clothing.

Is such a cup of wine considered a kos pagum? A kos pagum is a cup of wine that is unfit for Kiddush or birkas hamazon because a person drank from the cup. Does the person render his cup of wine a kos pagum when he drinks from the kos a little bit before leaning back? If it does, how can he be yotze the mitzvah? The Shulchan Aruch in siman kuf peh bais, seif zayin writes that b’dieved one is yotzeh with a kos pagum. It is difficult to think that we are all doing the mitzvah in a b’dieved fashion!

One may try to clarify that the din of a kos not being pagum is a din that applies while one is making the brachah. The moment one finishes the brachah, there would be no problem of pagum. This does not concur with the Shulchan Aruch in siman resh ayin alef that paskens that when one makes Kiddush he should pour off for the rest of the family before drinking so that everyone can partake in Kiddush from a kos shaleim and not a kos pagum.

We could try to answer with a yesod that the mitzvos of the night, including eating matzah and drinking wine, are separate from the mitzvah of drinking and leaning back. There is a separate mitzvah of feeling like a king on the night of the seder. The chachomim bundled this together with the mitzvah of eating and drinking insofar that if one did not drink while leaning back, one would have to do the mitzvah again. We could say that when Chazal bundled it together, it applied only if one drank the entire kos not leaning back. If one has a large kos and he drank only half of it while leaning back, so long as he had the shiur of wine while leaning, one would be yotze.

Since the inyan of pagum is a din in Kiddush, one may be yotzeh the heseiva part even if the kos is ultimately pagum.

Do you have a topic or discussion you want to read about? Please send comments or questions to hymanbsdhevens@gmail.com or berachsteinfeldscorner@gmail.com.

{Matzav.com}

5 COMMENTS

  1. Problems:

    1) One is not Yotze “leaning back” I.e. ‘Prakdon’, but rather one reclines to the left.

    2) Although reclining is required during the four cups and kezayis matza, Some Rishonim and Acharonim maintain that in an age where we don’t recline during the meal, if one forgot or was unable to recline , one need not repeat the cups. This Kulah is used for Women.

    3) The question raised is a klutz question. If a drop spills before one drinks, is it considered Pagum?

    4) Focus more on meaning than on minutiae. Don’t generate problems where none exist.

    Chag Kosher VeSameach

  2. “One is obligated to lean back while drinking the four cups of wine at the Seder.”

    To clarify, it is leaning to the side, not leaning back.

    “A problem arises when the cup is full to the brim and one cannot immediately lean back until one has sipped some of the wine. After some wine is consumed, it is possible to lean back without spilling wine on one’s clothing.”

    How about sipping/drinking a small quantity of wine/grape juice first, but not swallowing until leaning/heseiba? Could that be a solution/option?

  3. I may be mistaken but the issue of kos pagum doesnt exist here. Kos pagum exists where one drinks from the cup, then pours into a second cup. But if you continue drinking from the first cup, it is not pagum

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