After saying Birkat HaMazon with a cup of wine, the Shulchan Aruch rules in OC 190:3, that at least a cheekful of wine must be drunk. If this was at a zimmun and the leader of the zimmun does not want to drink, the Shulchan Aruch rules in OC 190:4 that he can pass off the cup to one of the participants to drink the required minimal amount.

At a meal I attended this past Shabbat a woman initially volunteered to drink the wine. (In the end, the leader took grape juice and drank it himself.) At the time, I reasoned that this would have been acceptable, as women joining a meal of 3 men are obligated in zimmun just like the men (Shulchan Aruch OC 199:7).

Does anyone have any sources that indicate one way or the other?


1 Answer 1


The Baal Hatanya, in his Shulchan Aruch (190:4), states that the cup can be passed to a child. (In footnote כז there it is noted that this is by analogy with various other cases where this may be done, such as havdalah on Motzaei Shabbos of the Nine Days, or a bris on Tisha B'Av.) The reason, he says, is:

לפי שגם על המברך לא חל החיוב כלל שלא חייבוהו אלא לומר שירה על היין שישתה ממנו איזה אדם מישראל שיהיה שתיה שהיא חשובה הנאה לו (ואפילו תינוק בן יומו)‏

For even the one reciting the berachah didn't thereby incur an obligation [to drink] at all; he is required only to recite a song over a cup of wine from which some Jew will drink an amount that is significant to him (even a day-old child).

Which would imply, then, that the same applies to giving the wine to a woman to drink.

  • Peculiar that the drinking is so disconnected from what the kos is being used for.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 17:27

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