Volume 28 Number 03
                      Produced: Tue Oct 27  8:05:31 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Reason for not eating prior to havdalah // Havdalah-bench unity
         [Russell Hendel]
Sheva Berachot at Seudah Shelishit (7)
         [Avi Feldblum, Miriam Fleer, David Jutkowitz, Steven White,
Rachel Swirsky, Yitz Etshalom, Jordan Hirsch]


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Subject: Reason for not eating prior to havdalah // Havdalah-bench unity

In my postings I always advocate trying to resolve issues by
        * going to the root reason of the custom
        * trying to do both things simultaneously

Well: It is simple enough to do both things simultaneously: Simply
have the Groom make havdalah over the Wine -- he can then certainly
drink it and there is no interruption to havdalah.

On a deeper level however, I think we should look at why we don't eat
anything till we say havdalah: The reason is part of a general principle
that we should do Mitzvoth as quickly as possible. Similarly we don't
eat anything till e.g. we blow shofar or bench lulav or say sefirah etc.

Since the reason is >>to do mitzvoth as quickly as possible<< it follows
that it is only secular things that do not have precedence. But if we
have another mitzvah at hand...the sheva bracoth cup of wine...then of
course it can be drunk before havdalah (Since we have not violated the
principle >>do mitzvoth as quickly as possible<<.)

I might add by way of support that Havdalah, a rabbinic mitzvah should
not be more stringent than Reciting the Shma, a biblical mitzvah. And it
is an explicit law that e.g. if you were eating, or having a haircut, or
involved in a lawsuit you do not interrupt for reciting the shma even
though to begin with you should not start these activities. Similarly,
you should not go out of your way to drink wine, but if you are already
involved in sheva bracoth you may continue.

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 07:56:21 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Sheva Berachot at Seudah Shelishit

Well I was lazy in the first place (partially on purpose to get
discussion going) in presenting the question, without giving some of the
sources. So to enhance the discussion, here are the basic sources in the

The Shulchan Aruch in Siman 299 (Seif 4) (my loose translation):
	On Shabbat, if one is eating and it became dark .... if one has
two cups of wine available, one says Birchat Hamazon (hereafter B"H) on
one and makes Havdalah on the second.

The Magen Avraham there:
	And it is permitted to drink from the cup of B"H ... And it
appears to me that one who is not careful all year long to use a cup of
wine for B"H, as he follows the opinion that B"H does not need a cup,
now too he is forbidden to drink from it.

The Mishna Brurah:
	And it is permitted to drink from the cup even though it is
before Havdalah, since the cup of B"H pertains to the (previous)
meal. But this only applies to one who is careful to always use a cup
for B"H, but for those who sometime say B"H without a cup, as they rely
on on the opinion of the poskim who say it does not require a cup, he is
now forbidden to drink from the cup of B"H before Havdalah.

The above I had reviewed several years ago. My question here to members
of the list is whether they see a difference between the way the Magen
Avraham brings down the ruling and the way the Mishna Berurah does. I
think that even though it may be subtle, it may be pointing to a
difference in the social/custom realities of their times. More later.

In continueing to look, I did find the following:

Chosmas Shelomo
	It was asked to me what is the law regarding the cup of marriage
blessings (Sheva Berachot) and I answered that it appeared to me to
forbid drinking from it, even though by the marriage blessings we are
always accustomed to use a cup, nevertheless, since there is also the
cup of B"H and for the cup of B"H the custom is not to drink from it, so
now if one drinks from the cup of the marriage blessings and not from
the cup of B"H, one may come to act carelessly with the cup of B"H so
therefore one should not drink from it at all. However, one who does the
opposite, one should [not consider him haughty?? Hebrew term is Ain
Mezechichim oso, found in Chulin 6b. My translation would appear
derogotory of person doing opposite, context of term as used in Chulin
is not derogatory, as far as I can see. (side note, I did not see this
in the gemarah directly yet, want to check to make sure it is in our
version, this is quoted by R. Sherira Gaon in his Iggeret, which we are
currently learning in my shul)]

I was looking to see if members of the list had any additional sources,
and before I sent this out, I saw the response of Miriam Fleer who had
included some sources on both sides, as well as the reference by David
Jutkowitz, which I will now need to get to review. Any volunteers to

For those in Highland Park, you now have some of the references for the
next Chabura.

From: Miriam Fleer <fleer@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 09:38:56 +0200
Subject: Sheva Berachot at Seudah Shelishit

Aryeh Kaplan, z"l, addresses the issue you are concerned with in *Made =
in Heaven*, p. 232 n. 13, which reads, in part:

"After the third meal, the cup cannot be tasted; Baer Hetiv, Orach
Chaim 299:5. Other authorities, however, maintain that it can; Hagahoth
Chokhmath Shlomo, Ibid.; Teshuvot Zikhron Yehudah, Orach Chaim 87;
Shaarim Metzuyanim BeHalakhah 149:4. Some say that only the bride can
sip the cup; Likutey Maharich."

From: David Jutkowitz <etzdavid@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 19:49:07 +0200
Subject: Re: Sheva Berachot at Seudah Shelishit

You may find a summary of the various opinions and minhagim, in
"Hanasoin Ka'Hilchatam" By Rabbi Binyamin Adler, Vol 2 Page 455-6.
David Jutkowitz

From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steven White)
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 09:31:53 EST
Subject: Re: Sheva Berachot at Seudah Shelishit

I would think that even if there are aspects of this cos shel beracha
that are associated with the meal that precedes, in at least one aspect
it must be considered "new" drinking: having said Birkat Hamazon
already, one must now say "Beracha ahrona me'ein shalosh" [one beracha
in place of three, commonly known as "al hamichya," or more properly in
this case, "al hagefen"].  Might one in this case have to be careful not
to drink a sufficient quantity of wine to trigger saying an

From: <Rachel_Swirsky@...> (Rachel Swirsky)
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 18:53:19 -0500
Subject: Re: Sheva Berachot at Seudah Shelishit

The sheva brachot issue came up for us not too long ago.  What the rabbi
told us to do was that we should drink from the cup for sheva brachot, but
the person leading bentching should not.  Wine from these cups was then
used for havdala and the person who led benching had to have some of the
wine after havdalah.


From: Yitz Etshalom <rebyitz@...>
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 20:06:44 -0800
Subject: Re: Sheva Berachot at Seudah Shelishit

>From: Avi Feldblum <feldblum@...>
>The fundimental question is whether the wine following the saying of
>Birchat Hamazon is associated with the meal just finished, or whether it
>should be viewed as a new drinking of wine.

I'm not sure that this is the only way to view the dilemma. Those who
always, as a rule, say Birkat haMazon on a Kos, are doing so because
they are scrupulous about those opinions that "Birkat haMazon T'unah
Kos" (see OC 182:1) - and their wine-drinking after Birkat haMazon is an
absolute Hiyyuv, which "overrides" the prohibition of drinking before
Havdalah.  OTOH, those who do not insist on always saying Birkat haMazon
on a Kos (the general custom), are relying on those opinions that
"Birkat haMazon Ein T'unah Kos".  Therefore, their wine-drinking on
those occasions is in the realm of Hiddur Mitzvah - which cannot be used
to override the prohibition of drinking before Havdalah. In either case,
the Kos is associated with the meal.

If that reasoning is accurate, then it follows that in the case of Sheva
B'rachot the wine would have to be drunk, since saying Sheva B'rakhot -
which are, to all authorities, Kos-dependent - is a Hiyyuv.

Even if this assessment is accurate, we still have to clarify if all of
the usual imbibers (Hattan, Kallah and Mezamen) would drink - are they
drinking as a result of distinct obligations (Hattan & Kallah may be
drinking as a measure of Simchah and the Mezamen as part of Birkat
haMazon on a Kos) or is there a uniform motivation for their post-Birkat
haMazon drinking?

B'virkat haTorah,

Yitzchak Etshalom
p.s. good to have you back...

From: <TROMBAEDU@...> (Jordan Hirsch)
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 09:37:14 EST
Subject: Re: Sheva Berachot at Seudah Shelishit

In a message dated 10/26/98 7:37:18 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<feldblum@...> writes:

<< The fundamental question is whether the wine following the saying of
 Birchat Hamazon is associated with the meal just finished, or whether it
 should be viewed as a new drinking of wine. Since most of us do not have
 the custom to always use a cup of wine when we finish the meal, the
 opinion has been to view the wine as a new drinking, and therefore since
 Shabbat is over, needs to wait until after Havdalah. However, I question
 if this is correct in the case of Sheva Berachot, as there from the
 point one sits down, the groom and bride know that a kos shel beracha
 will be used, and it seems likely that it should be associated with the
 meal that is finishing. >>

Might it not also be a question as to whether or not the Kos Shel Bracha
itself requiresa us to drink at all, or is the main part of the halacha
to have recited the birchat hamazon on the Kos. If the main point is to
have a Kos while benching with a m'zuman, than the Borei pri hagafen
loses some of its urgency, which is why an overriding halacha like not
eating before havdalah can apply. ( Although as I am writing this, it
occurs to me that the minhag is to use the kos from seudah shlishit at
havdalah. Hmmm...) But where the Borei Pri Hagafen is one of the actual
Sheva Brachot, that overriding halacha may itself be pushed aside.  Just
something to think about. I have absolutely no source for this, I am
merely thinking off the top of my head, but I would be curious to know
if any of this makes sense.
 Jordan Hirsch


End of Volume 28 Issue 3