As I recall, my mother usually discards the wine that is spilled at the Seder during the listing of the plagues. But I think she does this because, well, just because it's spilled wine and it is not worth salvaging.

But my wife's family has a strong Minhag to make sure the wine is discarded, and either a separate plate or a napkin is used to ensure it doesn't get on the food plate. The reason I was given is that, after the spilling, the wine is associated with the plagues, and so it is "cursed" (either literally or equivalently, I'm unsure).

Is there a source for this idea?

  • See Kaf Hachaim 473:165,and Baal Hatanya on haggadah. – sam Mar 5 '13 at 2:11
  • I know somebody who has the custom to spill the drops of wine into the salt water, which strikes me as a great solution to the problem of not wanting to consume it after spilling it. I don't know where she got it, though. – Monica Cellio Mar 5 '13 at 3:32
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    Purely anecdotal, but I've heard tell of saving up all the family's drops and depositing them on the doorstep of the neighborhood antisemite. – sq33G Mar 5 '13 at 9:01

From the Baal Hatanya's Haggadah:

ויכוון, שהכוס הוא סוד המלכות, ושופך מהיין שבתוכו סוד האף והזעם שבה על ידי כח הבינה לתוך כלי שבור סוד הקליפה שנקראת ארור

One should have in mind that the cup represents sod hamalchut (the secret of sovereignty), and the wine that is being poured into the broken vessel represents the secret of anger and indignation, that comes through the power of binah (understanding) into the broken vessel, the secret of klipah, which is called “arur,” accursed.

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Rivivos Efraim Orach Chaim 2 - 137 attributes this Minhag to the Baal Kneses HaGedola 261 with the following two reasons. One is not to drink wine that the name of the Makos were mentioned on. Also since it is disgusting since he dipped his finger into it.

Sefer Mekorei Minhagim - 44 mentions this in the name of the Arizal.

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  • So do you then discard the whole cup of wine, or just the spilled drops? – Seth J Mar 5 '13 at 2:22
  • @SethJ I'm pretty sure the finger part is talking about the cup specifically. – Hod - Monica's Army Mar 5 '13 at 2:23
  • @hodofhod, so to be clear, this does mean pouring out an entire cup of wine after splashing drops out with your finger as the plagues are mentioned? – Seth J Mar 5 '13 at 2:25
  • @SethJ I didn't go through the whole thing, though I may later, but it seems some hold that it would digustify the cup (which is why Chabad doesn't use a finger) and some hold it doesn't. – Hod - Monica's Army Mar 5 '13 at 2:31
  • @hodofhod that's a Minhag I hadn't heard before. Thanks! You pour the drops, then, instead of the finger splashing? – Seth J Mar 5 '13 at 2:36

My minhag is that one should not drink the wine dipped for the plagues so as not to gain pleasure from the suffering of the Egyptians the spilled drops represent. It is not cursed, rather the drinking of it is accursed.

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