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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 Vayechi


Hilchos B'rachos part XX

         The Bracha for Wine

Shulchan Aruch writes [1] that the bracha recited over wine incorporates all beverages. The poskim explain that wine is the prime beverage and all other beverages are considered of lesser importance.

So if I recited a over wine, I do not recite shehakol for coffee?

That is correct. If for example you made kiddush on Shabbos day and drank grape juice or wine, and you would like to follow that up with coffee and cake, you would recite a mezonos on the cake and no bracha on the coffee.

Is it the wine that is important or the bracha?

It appears from most poskim that wine is an important beverage, which causes other beverages to be considered subservient thereto. However, from the Levush one can understand that it is not the beverage that is important rather the fact that wine has a unique bracha and wine is used at important functions. Another explanation is [2] that the praise stemming from the bracha covers other beverages as well, because it is common to drink other beverages with wine.

Does the coffee need to be on the table when you recite ?

Several opinions [3] hold that the coffee must be in front of you when you recite the , while others [4] hold that it suffices to have in mind that you want to drink coffee. It is therefore correct to have the coffee and other beverages on the table when reciting .

Must a specific quantity be imbibed to include other beverages?

This is indeed problematic. The Chayei Adam holds that wine can only include other beverages if one sits down to drink wine, but not if one merely drinks one or two glasses. Many others [5] however disagree and hold that imbibing any quantity of wine will negate the need to recite a bracha for other beverages.

Consequently, the Biur Halacha  [6] suggests that it is correct to drink a substantial quantity of wine, which is equivalent to a cheek-full of wine ( ), [7] and thus include other beverages in the bracha.

But what do I do if I dont drink enough?

Based on the above, imbibing less than of wine or grape juice creates a problem of whether one must recite a shehakol on Coke or coffee imbibed after the wine or grape juice. Many have the custom, when being yoitze kiddush from someone else, to drink a small amount of kiddush wine, but as mentioned this creates a problem.  Accordingly it would seem that the best discourse is to either not drink wine at all [8] (as it is totally accepted to be yoitze kiddush without drinking any wine at all) or to make sure that one drinks .

Another option is to recite a shehakol on something else, for example on a piece of herring or candy, which will cover the necessary shehakol for the beverage.

What is the halacha with regards to bracha acharona?

Just as includes all beverages in the bracha rishona, so does , which is recited after imbibing wine, include all beverages in the bracha acharona. [9]

Practically, this means that one who imbibed the required quantity of wine or grape juice (which is a ) [10] and also had a soft drink, water or any other beverage, will not recite a , as the includes it.

Birkas Hatov Vhameitiv  

            Chazal instituted a special bracha to be recited over additional wine, to praise Hashem for His benevolence of affording one this special treat. [11]

Several conditions must be met to facilitate this bracha.

1.      The first bottle of wine was not depleted. If the first wine is depleted one will not recite on the additional wine. The idea is that one still has wine and is lavishing oneself with more wine. [12]

2.      At least two people are sharing both wines, because means good for me and for another. [13]

3.      The drinking parties must have equal rights to the wine, i.e. both parties may drink without asking permission from the other party. This practically means that the host should say to the guest that he may drink freely from the wine. Ones wife and children are considered partners in the wine. [14]

The second wine must not be inferior to the first wine. One need not know that the second wine is superior wine, it suffices to know that it is not inferior. [15]

[1] Siman 174:2.

[2] Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ztzl, cited in " '.

[3] Taz, see Shaar Hatsiun 174:5.

[4] Shulchan Aruch HaRav, see Shaar Hatsiun 174:6.

[5] See Shaar Hatsiun 174:5.

[6] Siman 174 " .

[7] 40cc 1.35 fluid ounces.

[8] Minchas Yitzchak cited by " .

[9] Siman 208:16.

[10] 86cc or 150cc 2.9 or 5.07 ounces (R Chaim Naeh or Chazon Ish).

[11] Siman 175:2.

[12] MB siman 175:3.

[13] Siman 175:4 and MB 15.

[14] MB ibid.

[15] Siman 175:2.


Vort on the Parsha

R Zelmaleh of Volozin remarked that two major foundations of Yiddishkeit are present in the possuk . The concept of is explained when Yaakov Avinu said I shall lie - and he did not say I shall be buried, which portrays that his demise is temporary.

with my fathers portrays that there is a neshama and he is going to join his fathers.

For a printed version, click here.



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Note:  The purpose of this series is intended solely for the clarification of the topics discussed and not to render halachic decisions. It is intended to heighten everyone's awareness of important practical questions which do arise on this topic.  One must consult with a proper halachic authority in order to receive p'sak.