I have seen people (mainly sefardim) put a few drops of water into the wine before havdallah. Why do they do this?

  • According to Ben Ish Chai shana 2 parshas #8 says in the name of Rav Chaim Vital to never ever put water in the kos for havdala. He supposes the extra admonition is so as to preclude putting water in both after the wine, and before the wine. – user6591 Dec 15 '14 at 1:23

Probably to ensure it's not Pagum.

I.e.: If somebody already drank from that wine, it cannot be used for Kiddush or Havdala unless wine or water is added to it, as Paskened in Shulchan Aruch.

סימן קפב - דין כוס ברכת המזון, ושלא יהא פגום

ו: יְכוֹלִין לְתַקֵּן כּוֹס פָּגוּם עַל יְדֵי שֶׁיּוֹסִיפוּ מְעַט יַיִן, וַאֲפִלּוּ עַל יְדֵי שֶׁיּוֹסִיפוּ עָלָיו מַיִם מִתַּקֵּן. ‏

Some people always add some water, *just in case * somebody drank from the bottle and they didn't notice. I've seen Hasidim do it for Kiddush.

  • So for people who, do not drink from the bottle, it is not neccessary, right?! – havarka Dec 14 '14 at 14:04
  • In principal (which is why most people I know don't do it.) Unless you're worried that they drank from the barrel before they bottled it? or maybe you don't want to ever forget, so you always do it? – Danny Schoemann Dec 14 '14 at 15:20
  • I don't think this answer is the correct justification – Double AA Dec 14 '14 at 15:58

As wine used to be much stronger than today, drinking wine undiluted was considered bad manners. Oppositely, whereas at the time, wine could be very diluted and still be considered wine, we fear that dilution will remove its status as wine. Therefore, we add a few drops to not drink it undiluted, but also not risk losing its status.

  • +1; Interesting. Do you happen to have a source? – Ypnypn Dec 14 '14 at 20:58
  • @Ypnypn Brachot 51. Wine for a Kos Shel Bracha should be Mazug. This answer is correct. – Double AA Dec 14 '14 at 22:26

Maybe it's because of this idea, seen on torah.org:

According to the "Kol Bo," "some have a tradition to draw water [from a well] Motzei Shabbos, because Miriam's Well supplies all the wells each Motzei Shabbos, and one who does so and drinks will be cured of illness" (Orach Chaim, 299:10)

See also the last paragraph of bais yosef 299.

  • What does the "last paragraph of bais yosef 299" say? – MTL Dec 14 '14 at 20:43
  • @Shokhet The question asked about sefardim I did not the michaber bring this Kol Bo, but the Bais Yosef brought the complete quote of the Kol Bo, it includes a story about anger – hazoriz Dec 14 '14 at 21:42
  • @Shokhet thank you for editing i was lazy to translate it – hazoriz Dec 15 '14 at 4:18

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