8

Many times I have heard that a lady should not drink the wine from Havdalah as it will make her grow a beard.

If a lady drank from the Havdalah wine will she really grow a beard?

Is there a source for this?

If there is no source that a lady will grow a beard if she drinks the wine from Havdalah, then is there any source or reason that a lady should not drink from the Havdalah wine?

14

The Shulhan Arukh 298:8 נשים חייבות בהבדלה כשם שחייבות בקידוש ויש מי שחולק: הגה על כן לא יבדילו לעצמן רק ישמעו הבדלה מן האנשים

Essentially the Maran Yosef Karo holds that women are Hayiv (obligated) and the Rama holds that they are not.

The Magen Avraham tries then to smooth over the differences:

לא יבדילו לעצמן - וב"ח כ' אפי' למ"ד שפטורות מ"מ יכולין להבדיל לעצמן כמו בשופר ולולב והמנהג שאפי' יש שם אנשים שיכולין לשמוע מפיהם מבדילין לעצמן עכ"ל ואפשר דדעת רמ"א במצוה שיש בה עשיה רשאין לעשות ולברך אבל בדבר שאין בה אלא הברכה כגון כאן אין רשאות ואפשר דמהאי טעמא לא נהגו לקדש הלבנה ועמ"ש סימן תכ"ו אבל ברא"ש פ"ק דקידושין משמע דכל ברכה שאין בה וצונו רשאים הנשים לומר ע"ש גבי הגדה ועסי' תקפ"ט ס"ו דאם כבר הבדילו האחרים אסור להבדיל לנשים ופשוט דרשאים לברך לעצמן על הבשמים ועל הכוס דברכת הנהנין הם והעיקר כדברי ב"ח: ‏

Essentially saying that the Rama only intended his psak for when men are there. The Mishna Berurah goes along the same lines.

Thus women are allowed m'ikar hadin to drink from the wine. Minhag HaMekubalim is for the wives to make Havdallah at home for themselves and their children, as the men hear havdallah in the yeshiva, and then remain after for several hours learning Kabbalah.(Adonneinu Ben Ish Hai pg. 12 discusses how Yeshivat HaMekubalim Beit El and Yeshivat HaMekubalim Nahar Shalom both have this minhag and currently study Da'at U'Tevunot of the Ben Ish Hai).

However there is a custom for women not to drink from the wine when a male has said havdallah, in Magen Avraham 298 S"K 4:

נהגו הנשים שלא לשתות מכוס הבדלה וע' הטעם בשל"ה, כ' בש"ל בה' קידוש כוס של הבדלה רגיל המבדיל לשתות כלו ואין משקה ממנו בני הבית:‏

His main source is the Shla"h Masecta Shabbat Torah Or (while overall it is pretty Kabbalistic I will bolden the part that deals directly with the issue):

מבדיל בין קודש לחול וכו'. ותקנו בכאן ארבע הבדלות, כנגד ארבע קליפות שסביב האצילות, והם 'רוח סערה... ענן גדול, ואש מתלקחת, ונגה לו סביב' (יחזקאל א, ד). ואלה הם סוד עשרה כתרים תחתונים הנקראים קליפות ליודעי חן. ואלה הקליפות הם מחיצה בין ישראל לאביהם שבשמים כשגורמים העוונות, ועל זה כתוב (ישעיה נט, ב) 'כי אם עונתיכם היו מבדילים' וגו'. ושכינה מתלבשת בהם בימות החול, לקיים (תהלים קג, יט) 'ומלכותו בכל משלה', ולקיים (שם מז, ט) 'מלך אלהים על גוים'. והוא סוד 'בכל צרתם לו צר' (ישעיה סג, ט). וכתיב (תהלים צא, טו) 'עמו אנכי בצרה', בסוד גלו למצרים שכינה עמהם וכו' (מגילה כט א), והוא בשביל לשמור את בניו, והם כמשל הגרזן ביד החוצב, והם הרע שבעץ הדעת, והדברים עתיקים. ודע, כי בשבתות וימים טובים מתלבש הקדוש ברוך הוא בפאת הטוב שבעץ הדעת, והם סוד בגדי קודש. ובמוצאי שבת מתפשט מהם, ומתלבש בקליפות הנזכרות להנהיג העולם. ולפי שהלבושים של שבת הם כדרך בריאה ויכולים להתערב בהם אלה הקליפות, תקנו לנו להבדיל במוצאי שבת. וזה סוד כלאים ושעטנז, והמערבם, עליו הכתוב אומר (במדבר יט, כ) 'כי את מקדש ה' טמא'. אבל המאורות העליונים שהם בדרך האצילות, אין שום טומאה נוגעת שם ולא מתערבת עמהם. וזהו סוד ההבדלה, המבדיל בין קודש לחול, המאורות העליונים בגדי קודש, והתחתונים חול, ובין אור לחושך סוד המאורות העליונים שהם האור הנעלם, והחושך שהם הקליפות. ובין ישראל לעמים, ישראל נטלו נוף האילן מקום קדוש, והגוים טמאים דבוקים במקום טמא, והם הקליפות הנזכרות, וצריך להבדיל ביניהם, ובין יום השביעי שהוא קודש לששת ימי המעשה הנזכרים שהם חול, והמבדיל ביניהם הוא העושה הטוב בעיני השם, עכ"ל (תולעת יעקב). עוד כתב (תולעת יעקב, סוד מוצאי שבת, אות כ"ב) וזה לשונו: וכבר ידעת מה שאמרו רבותינו ז"ל (ברכות מ א) בסוד העץ שחטא בו אדם הראשון, גפן היתה. ואמרו (בראשית רבה פי"ט ס"ה) מלמד שסחטה ענבים ונתנה לו, והם 'סורי הגפן נכריה' (ירמיה ב, כא), 'קבעת כוס התרעלה' (ישעיה נא, יז), כוס חמתו. וכנגד זה בא לאשה דם נדות, סוד הזוהמה שהטיל הנחש בחוה (שבת קמו א). ולפי שנתכוונה להבד(י)ל מאדם על ידי היין, אין הנשים טועמות יין של הבדלה. ועתיד [כבוד] הקדוש ברוך הוא להתפשט מן הקליפה ולהראות לישראל פנים בפנים בלי שום מחיצה, כענין שכתוב (שם ל, כ) 'ולא יכנף עוד מוריך והיו עיניך ראות את מוריך', וזה יהיה בזמן שיתקיים מה שכתוב (שם כה, ח) 'בלע המות', וכתיב (שם כד, כג) 'וחפרה הלבנה ובושה החמה', (סוד השר הידוע ובת זוגו), ואז יתקיים בשני הדודים 'והיה אור הלבנה כאור החמה ואור החמה יהיה שבעתים כאור שבעת הימים ביום חבש ה' את שבר עמו ומחץ מכתו ירפא' (שם ל, כו), עכ"ל (תולעת יעקב).ל, כו), עכ"ל (תולעת יעקב). ‏

Here is my rough translation of the key piece:

The vine was the secret of the tree with which Adam HaRishon sinned. As it is said (Bereshit Rabba) “That she squeezed grapes and gave them to him, and they are degenerate shoots of a foreign vine (Yeremiyahu 2:21) “the dregs of the cup of reeling” (Yeshyahu 51:17) And corresponding to this comes to the woman blood Niddah, the secret of the serpent came upon Eve he injected a lust into her (Shabbat 146A). Since the intention is that it will be separated from the man by means of the wine, women do not tasted of the havdalah wine.

In short there is no source that a lady will grow a beard. However, there is a source for her not drinking from the Havdalla wine under the proper (or improper as the case may be) circumstances. Obviously if she makes havdallah for herself (as is a custom in many communities) she must drink from the wine. However, when she doesn't then it is better for her not to do so.

  • the ialcut iosef brings that it is the custom to women not to drink the wine of havdala, if I remember correctly he doesn't makes a difference if a man does the havdala or not. of course if is is not possible for them to hear havdala from a man they should not refrain from doing it herselves since this is a custom and not a real prohibition. – Avraham Dec 27 '10 at 14:31
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    How can a woman make a bracha on wine and then not drink it? That would by definition be a brakha l'vetalla. – Rabbi Michael Tzadok Dec 27 '10 at 15:50
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I think I once heard as follows (hope the details are correct): There are questions about whether a woman is obligated in the brachah of "Borei Meorei HaEish," and if not, her "Amein" after that brachah is considered an interruption after the brachah on the wine. It would thus be problematic for her to drink the wine without a new brachah. Since most people would not properly understand the particulars of this reasoning, there was just a blanket minhag that woman don't drink the havdalah wine. The beard thing was probably just an added "incentive" for those who might doubt minhagim, but would never mess with the spooky stuff. (That's my own theory, at least.)

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No. She will not grow a beard from drinking Havdalah wine. For an excellent article on this question and on whether she may drink from the wine read this article by Rabbi Zivotofsky in the latest volume of Hakirah (Volume 10). It will be available in full for free when the next volume ships out.

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There is a Machlokes whether Havdalah is a mitzvah D’orasia (Rambam) or a mitzva d’rabbanan (Maggid Mishna). The difference is whether havdallah is connected to kiddush which women are obligated in, or whether havdallah is a separate time bound mitzvah from the Rabbanan that women are exempt from. The Shulchan Aruch seems to pasken that women are obligated, but since others disagree the Rama suggests that women shouldn’t make havdalah for themselves, but rather listen to a man.

The Magen Avraham 296:11 writes from the Bach that women are allowed to recite havdallah even though they are not obligated to just like by mitzvos of lulav and shofar. However, there is an earlier Magen Avraham 296:4 which writes that women have a tradition not to drink from the havdallah wine based off the Kabbalistic reason brought by the Shlah Hakadoshc(he brings that Chava took grapes from the eitz hadaas and gave it to Adam to separate from him and in fact dam niddah(separation) was brought upon women because of it, therefore they refrain from drinking the wine of havdallah [the idea of separating],Others offer different reasons as well). Halacha L’maaseh(Magen Avraham ,Mishna Brurah 296:35 if there is no one who can make havdallah for a woman then they can make it themselves and drink the wine . It is also brought by the Magen Avraham 296:4 that the one who makes havdallah should drink all of it by themselves anyhow and not give out to others. The Aruch Hashulchan 296:5 also notes that not all women had the minhag of refraining from the havdallah wine.

In conclusion, we see that women who drink the wine from hvadallah have not done something forbidden, but rather some refrain because of a minhag. So where did the legend of growing a beard come from? Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky suggests that this superstition came about from a cryptic remark found in the Hashmatot of the Sefer Matamim which writes that the reason women are prohibited from drinking the havdallah wine is because they do not have beards (This can easily be misconstrued into the well-known superstation we know today). Another source is from the gemara Moed Kattan 9b which talks about what things women can do during Chol Hamoed. The gemara talks about using lime to enhance ones appearance, the gemara then explains that אמר רב נחמן רב ביבי דשתי שיכרא בעיין בנתיה טפלא (Rav Nachman said that in Rav Bivi’s house they drink beer and therefore they needed to smear themselves with lime to enhance their appearance… [Rashi writes on this בעיין בנתין טפלא. דשכר מגדל השער ומעבה את הבשר – that beer causes hair to grow. In Europe it was common for people to use beer for havdallah (wine was too expensive, or hard to get) and this could be a source for such an idea that women would grow a beard if they drank from the havdallah.

In short, a woman will not grow a beard from drinking havdallah wine, but as we have seen there is a minhag and halachic considerations that bar women from drinking the havdallah wine. [ summary of the article of Rav Zivotofsky]

  • that article was cited already above judaism.stackexchange.com/a/4846/759 – Double AA Jan 22 '17 at 19:24
  • I ddint see anyone summarize the article – sam Jan 22 '17 at 21:31
  • A small point on "The Aruch Hashulchan 296:5 also notes that not all women had the minhag of refraining from the havdallah wine." I believe he is also surprised by the notion that the "minhag" of not drinking the wine could overtake the mitzva - which involves drinking wine - when women are the ones doing the mitzva. – WAF Jan 23 '17 at 2:34
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I don't have a Shulchan Aruch by me but the Mogen Avraham writes that women should not say or drink havdala. Someone probably made a joke or pun about that and it became lore. (Personally, I think the Mogen Avraham wanted a woman to avoid the whole issue of saying a bracha on the NER (candle) of Havdala and he felt just simpler for women not to do havdala at all and just hear from a male. Similar to Dave below.)

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As far as I know, this is the most comprehensive article on the subject: Wine from Havdalah, Women and Beards. To make a long story short, there is a מדרש that says that if women drink beer they will grow a beard, and due to unavailability of wine havdalah was made on beer, so women refrained from drinking it.

0

The Mishnah Berurah (296:6) wrote in the name of the Magen Avraham (296:4), which in turn is in the name of the Shaloh Hakadosh and earlier the Tola'as Ya'akov, that women should not drink the havdalah wine. It's well known that they fear that doing so will cause them to grow a beard. Once, some kids stood near the Chazon Ish after he had made havdalah over wine, and he distributed leftovers to them from the mitzvah wine. One of the Chazon Ish's relatives was there with his young daughter, and the girl was pushing on the line to get wine from the Chazon Ish. Her father yelled at her, "אל תקחי יין, יצמח לך זקן", i.e. don't take wine, you'll grow a beard. The Chazon Ish heard this and said, "עולם טועה,לא מי ששותה יצמח לו זקן, אלא מי שיצמח לו זקן שותה", i.e. people are wrong: it's not that one who drinks will grow a beard, but that one who will grow a beard drinks.

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! As noted, posts here must contain English translations or summaries. Hopefully you choose to stick around the site and keep gaining and sharing knowledge. – mevaqesh May 17 '17 at 18:12
  • Welcome to the site. I've edited your answer so it satisfies the site rule that all questions and answers be in English. In the future, please do so, yourself, if you're able. Also, if you can edit this post so it includes a citation for th story, that would help: meaning, how do you know the story is true? – msh210 May 17 '17 at 22:52

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