7

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 42:12 writes

When you drink water, you should not drink in the presence of others, rather, turn your face away; but when drinking other liquids, you need not turn your face away.

Mishna Berura (OC 170:13) writes similarly.

What is different with water that it improper to drink it in front of others - while other drinks are OK ?

1
  • 3
    Pesachim 86b might be a relevant source. Rav Huna brei DRav Nosson drank a cup [of wine] in front of his hosts. They were surprised he didn't turn away from them when he drank, and he inferred from a Mishnah that it's unnecessary. Maybe the commentaries there might say something. If anything I see from there it's never necessary...
    – robev
    Feb 2 at 5:13
9

Water is explicitly mentioned as problematic in the Talmud.

Bechorot 44b

אמר רבי אבא בריה דרבי חייא בר אבא משתינין מים בפני רבים ואין שותין מים בפני רבים ותניא נמי הכי משתינין מים בפני רבים ואין שותין מים בפני רבים

R. Abba b. R. Hiyya b. Abba reported in the name of R. Johanan: It is permitted to urinate in public, whereas it is not permitted to drink water in public. So indeed it has been taught: It is permitted to urinate in public, whereas it is not permitted to drink water in public.

(Soncino translation)

Tosafot there suggests that water is unique in that it is drunken only by someone thirsty, whereas other things are normally consumed by people together:

נראה דנקט מים לפי שאין רגילין לשתות כולן מים אלא הצמא בלבד אבל שאר דברים רגילין לשתות יחד

1
  • Do you understand the rationale for this?
    – larry909
    Feb 5 at 9:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .