As discussed here, the Yerushalmi (Pesachim 10:1) notes that some Amoraim suffered tremendous headaches from drinking the Arba Kosos that lasted for weeks, if not months. (I'm not sure what the events are to which the Yerushalmi refers.)

רבי יונה כדעתיה דרבי יונה שתי ארבעתי כסוי דלילי פסחא וחזיק רישיה עד עצרתה רבי יודה בי רבי אלעי שתי ארבעתי כסוי דלילי פיסחא וחזיק רישיה עד חגא

R' Yonah, according to R' Yonah's opinion, drank four cups of wine on Pesach night, and his head hurt until Shevuos. R' Yodah, of R' Ela'i's academy, drank four cups of wine on Pesach night, and his head hurt until Sukkos.

Are we talking about a little annoying headache, or are we talking about a massive migraine? How much pain must one suffer before he can resort to a chamar medinah?

  • As you know from the linked question, I have wanted to know this for a while as well.
    – ezra
    Apr 28, 2017 at 3:36
  • @ezra The reason this came up is because someone I know just discovered he's allergic to grapes, though not fatally. Glad he discovered this after Pesach. Obviously CYLOR; I'm asking for purely academic purposes.
    – DonielF
    Apr 28, 2017 at 3:41
  • Atzeret is usually Shavuot. Note they didn't have grape juice back then on Pesach. Note also not everyone agrees Chamar Medina is worth anything in this context.
    – Double AA
    Apr 28, 2017 at 4:01
  • 1
    @Dr.Shmuel What doesn’t it have to do with anything?
    – DonielF
    Jan 27, 2019 at 2:05

1 Answer 1


This Gemara is not referring to leniencies in getting out of drinking wine. It is telling you how long one must endure pain for, even until Sukos. And that in general it is recommended to push oneself in this endeavor. The Gemara in Nedarim (49) says a similar thing.

אמרה ההיא מטרוניתא לרבי יהודה מורה ורוי אמר לה הימנותא בידא דההיא איתתא אי טעימנא אלא קידושא ואבדלתא וארבעה כסי דפסחא וחוגרני צידעי מן הפסח עד העצרת אלא (קהלת ח, א) חכמת אדם תאיר פניו

The Gemara cites related incidents: A certain gentile lady [matronita] said to Rabbi Yehuda, whose face was ruddy: How can one teach the Jews and be a drunk at the same time? He said to her: I place my integrity in the hands of this woman and should no longer be deemed credible if I ever taste any wine except for that of kiddush, havdala, and the four cups of Passover. And after I drink those four cups I tie my temples from Passover to Shavuot, as wine gives me a headache. Rather, my complexion is explained by the verse “A man’s wisdom makes his face to shine” (Ecclesiastes 8:1).

Beis Yosef stresses this point that one must indeed push himself, and uses your example as a threshold.

Beis Yosef, 472.15:

וצריך כל אדם לשתות ד' כוסות על הסדר שנפרש וכו' שם במשנה כתב הרשב"א שאלת מי שאינו שותה יין כל השנה כולה מפני שמזיקו או שונאו מהו שיעשה כל הסדר על הפת תשובה מסתברא שכל שיש לו יין צריך לדחוק עצמו ולעשות כר"י ב"ר אלעאי דלא הוה שתי חמרא ושתי ד' כוסות ואמר חוגרני צידעי מפסחא ועד עצרת וכר' יונה דגרסינן בירושלמי ר' יונה שתי ד' כסי בלילא דפסחא ומזיק ראשיה עד עצרתא והא דר"י בר אלעאי איתא בנדרים (מט:):

Hilchos Chag B'Chag (p. 420) mentions that if one will seriously fall ill he may be excused, for this is not the way of freedom. However, there is a hierarchy between 'chmar medina' and wine. First try to mix the wine with some water. If not that, try grape juice. Still no good, try soaking raisins in water. The last resort being 'chmar medina'.

  • Most of this answer seems to be a semantics game. I understand that one should push himself - but until what point is one obligated to push himself? That you don’t answer.
    – DonielF
    Jan 27, 2019 at 1:33
  • Did you see the last part? There is a difference between the head hurting for a few months and falling ill (like in a bed). Also, semantics game? I don’t follow
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Jan 27, 2019 at 1:42
  • You spend the large majority of the post expanding on “The Gemara is not referring to leniencies in getting out of drinking wine,” which has nothing to do with the question at hand.
    – DonielF
    Jan 27, 2019 at 1:55
  • And the end giveing an eitza
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Jan 27, 2019 at 2:02
  • So edit the post to be just that! The rest of the post is entirely irrelevant.
    – DonielF
    Jan 27, 2019 at 2:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .