1. Is there any minhag to fill a cup of wine to the point where it overflows?
  2. Do some people overflow their cup because of Kos Pagum or does Kos Pagum apply to a cup which is not filled near enough to the top to be considered full?
  3. Is overflowing one's cup ba'al tashchis or davar megunah?
  4. Where is the halachic source that overflowing one's cup at havdalah is considered a berachah?

1 Answer 1


Four questions is a nice, traditional number :)

  1. Is there any minhag to fill a cup of wine to the point where it overflows?

    Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 86:7
    כשמוזג את הכוס להבדלה, ימלאו על כל גדותיו עד שישפך קצת ממנו, וזהו לסימן ברכה
    When pouring the Havdala cup, they fill it to overflowing until a little bit spills out, and this is a good sign.

  2. I don't know about the second half of your question, but the kitzur quoted above does not give kos pagum as a reason. However Rema (Orach Chaim 296:1) says that we "spill a little wine on the floor because of kos pagum. Filling the cup to overflowing ensures that this will happen so there does appear to be some relation

  3. Apparently not, as long as it isn't overdone. (Note that both the Kitzur is careful to say a little wine)

  4. Rema Orach Chaim 296:1

    ונוהגין לשפוך מכוס של יין על הארץ קודם שסיים בורא פרי הגפן כדי שלא יהיה הכוס פגום וטעם השפיכה דאמרינן כל בית שלא נשפך בו יין כמים אין בו סימן ברכה
    And it is customary to spill some wine on the ground before finishing borei p'ri hagafen so that the cup is not pagum (lit. incomplete/damaged) and the reason for spilling is that it is said "any house in which wine is not spilled like water (i.e. flows freely without concern for the expense) is not displaying blessing.

(As usual all translations are my own, and not quite literal unless otherwise noted.)

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