DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

      
(File size: 4.23 MB)
Must the One Who Leads Birkat Ha’mazon Hold the Cup Throughout the Sheba Berachot?

When Sheba Berachot are recited after Birkat Ha’mazon, two cups of wine are poured. One is held by the Mezamen – the one who leads Birkat Ha’mazon – who holds the cup while reciting the Zimun and throughout Birkat Ha’mazon, as usual. There is then a second cup which is brought around right after Birkat Ha’mazon to different people who recite the special blessings of the Sheba Berachot while holding the cup. After the recitation of all the special blessings, the Mezamen recites the Beracha of "Gefen" over his cup of wine.

The question arises as to whether the Mezamen is required to hold the cup throughout the recitation of the Sheba Berachot. May he put down the cup after he concludes Birkat Ha’mazon, and then lift it again when the time comes for him to recite "Boreh Peri Ha’gefen," or must he continue holding the cup during the recitation of the Sheba Berachot?

Hacham David Yosef (contemporary), in his work Halacha Berura, rules that the cup should be held throughout the recitation of the Sheba Berachot. He draws proof from the comments of Tosafot to the Gemara’s discussion in Masechet Berachot (51) concerning the proper way to hold the cup while reciting Birkat Ha’mazon. The Gemara addresses the question of "Semol Mahu She’tesayei’a Be’yamin" – whether one must hold the cup only with his right hand, or if the left hand can also be used to support the cup. Tosafot comment that this question was asked regarding unique circumstances when holding the cup with only one hand during Birkat Ha’mazon could be difficult, and they give three examples: 1) when using a very large cup; 2) on Rosh Hodesh Tebet which falls on Shabbat, when Birkat Ha’mazon is very lengthy (due to the additions of "Al Ha’nissim," "Reseh" and "Ya’aleh Ve’yabo"); 3) at a wedding, where Birkat Ha’mazon includes Sheba Berachot. The implication is that the Mezamen must hold the cup throughout the recitation of Sheba Berachot, and thus the question was posed whether one may use both hands, given the difficulty entailed.

By contrast, Rav Efrayim Greenblatt (1932-2014), in his work Ribebot Efrayim, ruled that the Mezamen is not required to hold the cup throughout the recitation of the Sheba Berachot. He writes that Tosafot might have been referring to a case where the Mezamen himself recited all seven Berachot (as opposed to the common practice of giving others the honor of reciting the blessings), and for this reason, he is required to hold the cup throughout the entire recitation. Tosafot’s comments thus do not prove that the Mezamen must continue holding his cup of wine while other people recite the Sheba Berachot.

In light of the different opinions, it would seem that the Mezamen should continue holding the cup if he can do so without much difficulty, but if he finds this hard, he can put it down, in accordance with the lenient position of the Ribebot Efrayim.

Alternatively, the Mezamen may rely on the position of the Hacham Sevi (Rav Sevi Ashkenazi, 1656-1718), who ruled that if the Mezamen has a medical condition that makes his hands unsteady, such that he cannot hold the cup of wine, somebody else may hold the cup for him during Birkat Ha’mazon. In light of this ruling, a Mezamen at a wedding who finds it difficult to hold the cup throughout the recitation of Sheba Berachot may have somebody else hold the cup for him when he feels he needs to rest his hand.

In conclusion, it should be noted that this discussion underscores the great value and importance of the Kos Shel Beracha – reciting Birkat Ha’mazon over a cup of wine, and holding it throughout Birkat Ha’mazon. The very fact that the Poskim found it necessary to discuss whether the cup may be put down during the Sheba Berachot shows us that this is a very valuable and precious Misva which should be observed whenever possible.

Summary: The person who leads Birkat Ha’mazon at a wedding or Sheba Berachot should continue holding the cup of wine after Birkat Ha’mazon, throughout the recitation of the Sheba Berachot, though if he finds this difficult, he may put it down, or, preferably, give it to somebody else to hold when he needs to rest his hand.

 


Recent Daily Halachot...
Using Voice Activation Systems on Shabbat
The Time For Ending Shabbat
May One Violate Shabbat to Protect His Property From Looters?
Customs When Announcing Rosh Hodesh in the Synagogue on Shabbat
Is it Permissible to Repeat Sections of the Torah Reading to Add Aliyot?
Moving Candlesticks on Shabbat After the Flames Go Out
Which Prayers May Be Recited by the Light of the Shabbat Candles?
Tying Neckties and Garbage Bags on Shabbat
Tying and Untying Knots on Shabbat
Is It Permissible to Trap a Deer Inside a Home on Shabbat?
Is It Permissible to Trap a Bug on Shabbat?
Trapping Explained- One of the 39 Forbidden Melachot on Shabbat
May One Ask a Non-Jew to Turn Off a Light on Shabbat?
Asking a Non-Jew to Move a Mukseh Item on Shabbat
Shabbat – If a Non-Jew Mistakenly Turned Off a Light and Then Turned It Back on for a Jew
Page of 235
3520 Halachot found