Sunday, May 30, 2010

Overflowing the cup for kiddush and havdalah


The practice of overflowing the cup should be unique to Havdalah, and should not be borrowed for Kiddush.

The practice of overflowing comes from a Talmudic statement that “A house in which wine is not spilled like water will never see blessings.” [The idea is that one is showing he is not stingy, and particularly with what he spends on a mitzvah.] Thus at the start of the week we look for a blessing to help us through the week, and this applies only by Havdalah.

Even for Havdalah some authorities are uncomfortable with wasting wine for the sake of a “good sign,” and so they advise that one overflow minimally. Certainly, one should not borrow this for other cups of wine which are not “at the start of the week,” such as Kiddush.

(Code of Jewish Law Orach Chaim 296:1; Mishneh Berurah 296:5; Aruch haShulchan 296 at length)

Have a great day,


  1. Hi,
    First of all I would like to thank you for this wonderful daily email.
    I have been wondering about this issue for a while. If one were to use wine for kiddush from the bottle that it came in, would he be required to be toivel the bottle before pouring back into it.
    I would much appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

  2. Sorry, I meant to post this under the "kos pogum" heading.