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Weekly Shabbos Halacha Series
Halachos Series on Hilchos Shabbos

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Published by
Pirchei Shoshanim

A Project of
The Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Written by

Rabbi Dovid
Ostroff, shlita


These Halachos were shown by Rabbi Ostroff to
HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shlita



Questions for the Week of Emor


Hilchos B'rachos part XXXI

Hilchos Zimun Part III

            The laws and customs of bentching with wine Siman 182-183

When should one bentch with wine or grape juice?

            We find various opinions amongst the Rishonim as to whether one should bentch with a .

            Tosefos learns that whenever one bentches, one must bentch with a and recite at the end of bentching. According to this opinion, if two people dined together, each must have his own , just as each person bentches on his own. If three people dined together, one person can recite Birkas Hamazon and be the other two diners and one will suffice. [1]

            Midrash Ruth cites that one is required to bentch with a when three dine together. A single diner is not required to bentch with a .

            The Rif and Rambam learn that even three are not obligated to bentch with a .

The Vilna Gaon writes [2] that all opinions agree that if one has wine (or grape juice) in ones home than one should bentch with a .

            How does the Shulchan Aruch pasken?

The Shulchen Aruch cites these three opinions and does not direct us to a psak. The Bach and Maharshal rule that one is obligated to bentch with a but the custom is to follow the third opinion and not bentch with a .

            The Rama writes [3] that nevertheless (even though one is not obligated to bentch with a ), it is a [4] to do so. Consequently the Mishna Berura writes that when one has wine or grape juice, it is a to do so when three people or more dine together. [5]

            Rav Benzion Abba Shaul ztzl [6] also writes that one should try to bentch with a when three adults dine together.

It seems that most people do not bentch with a during the week, only on Shabbos. [7]

            When should everyone refrain from speaking?

The person reciting the zimun should not talk once handed the cup of wine to say zimun. The other diners must not speak once the mezamein begins zimun until he drinks from the , unlike those who talk once they have concluded their own Birkas Hamazon.

There are opinions that learn that the other diners follow the example of the mezamein, and from the point he may not speak, they may not either. The Mishna Berura writes that it is right to follow that opi;nion. [8]

            Who drinks from the ?

Obviously the mezamein drinks, and he drinks first. [9] He then passes the wine to his wife to drink, because a wife is blessed from her husbands . It is a for all diners to sip from the . [10]

            When is it a mitzvah for other diners to drink from a ?

            The Shulchan Aruch writes [11] with regards to drinking wine Friday night that it is a for all participants to sip from the . We see that the Mishna Berura wrote that all diners should also sip from the , which would seemingly apply to the of Sheva Berachos as well, and yet many refrain from doing so. Is there a source for that?

            Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztzl points out [12] that the Shulchan Aruch rules [13] that after one drinks from a cup one should not hand it to someone else to drink from, lest that person would rather avoid drinking from someone elses cup. Because he is handed the cup he is embarrassed to decline even though we see that it is a mitzvah to drink after the mekadeish or mezamein. He says that perhaps this is the halachic source why people, other than family, do not usually drink from the .

            For Kiddushah Rabah (the Shabbos day Kiddush), it is known that the Brisker Rav was meticulous that people sip from the [14] and yet most people do not have that custom. [15]

            How much of the should the mezamein drink?

            Halachically it is sufficient to drink the majority of a Reviis [16] but then one encounters the problem of a bracha ahcharona, because there are opinions that hold that one recites al hagefen after drinking a kzayis, so the Shulchan Aruch says [17] that one should imbibe the entire reviis and subsequently recite al hagefen.

[1] Siman 182 and MB 3.

[2] Cited by MB siman 182:4.

[3] Siman 182:1.

[4] Preferred and special merit.

[5] MB siman 182:4.

[6] " " '.

[7] HaGaon Rav Sternbuch shlita.

[8] Siman 183:22.

[9] Siman 183:4.

[10] MB siman 183:19.

[11] Siman 271:14.

[12] See SSK48 footnote 69 and the .

[13] Siman 170:16.

[14] Because the day Kiddush is only and if one does not drink, one has not had Kiddush.

[15] See SSK 50:9 and footnotes 17-18.

[16] More than 44cc.

[17] Siman 190:3.


Vort on the Parsha

The says that Hashem created the world to last for six days, where Shabbos grants the world another six days. This concurs with the Zohar Hakadosh that says that the six days of the week draw their bracha from the Shabbos.

In that sense, one who keeps Shabbos is a partner with Hakodosh Boruch Hu in creation. We can deduce that the more kedusha and enthusiasm one infuses into ones Shabbos, the more bracaha one will have during the week.

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