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The hagadda has us say the Mein Shalosh after-bracha for wine for the 4th cup. Why do we say the after-bracha for that cup and not for each of the other 3 cups? Why are we not concerned about losing the opportunity to say the after-bracha over the first cup, for example, since the meal does not begin until the bread and it is not one long bout of drinking but rather two cups separated by considerable time.

  • Can you clarify what the bread has to do with anything? – Double AA Mar 16 '15 at 1:44
  • Incidentally, you can drink between the first two cups, no? See ShA 473:3 – Double AA Mar 16 '15 at 1:44
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See Shulchan Aruch and the mishna Berurah 473:2 and 474 (M"B 3-5).

Basic synopsis:

The first kos gets a bracha because it constitutes kiddush hayom and is considered part of the seudah, so it doesn't get an after-bracha. The second kos doesn't get any bracha at all since it's between the first and the seudah itself and is covered by the brachos from those two.

The third would normally get a bracha acharonah right after birkat hamazon, but because we already have in mind that there's a fourth kos coming, we delay making it because there's no concept of hefsek/hesech hada'as regarding the bracha achronah (d'ain hesech hada'as kovea bracha le'acharav).

The fourth kos has it's bracha rishonah covered by the third.

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    By "second kos doesn't get any bracha at all" do you mean no bracha rishon either? The hagadda I use has a bracha rishon for each of the 4 cups. – Yehuda W Mar 15 '15 at 20:27
  • @YehudaW That is a machloket rishonim and different customs exist today. Many indeed do not recite Hagefen on the second or fourth cups. – Double AA Mar 15 '15 at 20:50
  • @doubleaa What proportion do not say the bracha over the second or fourth cups? – Yehuda W Mar 16 '15 at 1:35
  • @YehudaW That's not really a statistic one would be capable of reliably figuring out... – Isaac Kotlicky Mar 16 '15 at 1:38
  • @isaac-kotlicky If it is the tradition of a particular community, one could estimate based on the size of that community. – Yehuda W Mar 16 '15 at 1:43

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