Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've heard there is an opinion that the daled cosos by the Pesach Seder are m'doraisa. What is the source for this (if there is one? I vaguely remember a source being in the Yerushalmi?)

What Seforim speak about this? Are there any nafkei minah that are brought or discussed?

share|improve this question

According to the Rambam, Chametz UMatzah 7:11 (in the Mechon Mamre order) there are two distinct obligations in the four cups, the obligation of the four cups (a cup of blessing on each of the four Mitzvos of Kiddush, Haggadah, Birchas HaMazon and Hallel) and the obligation of showing oneself to be free. And the Rambam explains that there are ways to end up drinking the four cups in a way to fulfill one of those without the other.

The four cups aspect is Rabbinic, however the freedom aspect is easily understood as a Torah obligation, derived from specific Pesukim (Rambam there Halacha 8).

So by drinking the four cups mixed to be sweet to the taste of the drinker is a specific way to fulfill the Torah obligation of showing oneself to be free.

[It seems pretty obvious that the Torah requirement could be fulfilled in other ways, but that this is a way to do it, and the Rabbis (according to the Rambam, and the Rif agrees) specifically instituted this way to do it. Much like we say hearing Parshas Zachor is a Torah obligation, but the structure of hearing it in a Torah reading in public on the Shabbos before Purim is Rabbinic].

In terms of a Nafka Mina, I haven't heard of any.

share|improve this answer
A source would be nice, but I like! +1 – Double AA May 15 '14 at 2:31

During the shabbos hagadol drasha this year (5774) our rav mentioned the statement that each of the arba kosos is regarded as a separate mitzva. He stated that many mitzvos must be performed 'al hakos'. Thus the cups themselves are not mi'd'oraisa, but the mitzva they are drunk for are torah prescribed. Other mitzvos that are required al hakos are bris milah, birchat hamazon, or kiddush hayom.

The four mitzvos in hagaddah are kiddush hayom, magid, birchat hamazon, and hallel. Each mizvah has a bracha said al hakos for that mitzvah.

In the case of the question as asked it would appear that the answer would be "no", in one sense, and "yes" in another sense. That is, it is not the matter of the cups themselves that is from the torah, but the associated mitzva. Then again, perhaps the association may be what is being asked about (that is is the association of kos with the mitzva from the torah)

share|improve this answer
Also Birchos Erusin, Nissuin, Dam Betulin, Pidyon haBen, Tanchumei Avelim, and Havdala. – Double AA Apr 13 '14 at 2:29
@DoubleAA yes, I just gave the most obvious. I suppose I should have included havdalah 'as if that makes a difference' (:-) especially as we "just" made havdalah. – sabbahillel Apr 13 '14 at 2:46
How exactly does this answer the question? – Double AA Apr 13 '14 at 14:33
@DoubleAA The rav said that the kos itself is not a matter of min hatorah, but the mitzvah that is said al hakos is what is being considered. Thus, when the Magen Avraham (for example) says that they are four separate mitzvos, then it is the mitzvah that it is attached to that is min hatorah or not. Thus, since birchat hamazon is min hatorah and it is said al hakos, then you would say that that kos is min hatorah. similarly kiddush hayom, magid and hallel. His main discussion was about bracha rishona and brachah acharona and about the hefsek involved in kiddush bemakom seudah. – sabbahillel Apr 13 '14 at 16:08
@DoubleAA is right, the question was not addressed at all – Yehoshua Apr 14 '14 at 11:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.