For those who hold that leaving water out uncovered is an issue (Cf. The Gr"a), the same stringency applies to any water-based beverage - like tea, coffee, sugary drinks etc. However, the halacha applies equally to milk and wine (Cf. Kashrus, by R. Fuchs).

Question 1: The source for keeping this stringency is the Gr"a but I can't seem to find it.

Question 2: Does anyone know if the other Shaar Mashkin are equally forbidden (olive oil, honey, blood - not for eating, but for sprinkling on the mizbe'ach) and the source for this?

Question 3: It would seem that any liquid should be forbidden - since the main argument is that a snake may drink from it and cause the water to be poisonous. In such a case then, why should it matter whether it's only water, wine and milk? Perhaps it's simply practical - snakes don't drink olive oil, blood or eat honey?

  • 1
    How do you know the source is the Gra? Isn't it explicitly in the Mishna?
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 22:19
  • "However, the halacha applies equally to milk and wine". Your usage of "however" confuses me. Also, to clarify, your third question is predicated that #2 is "no"?
    – robev
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 0:03
  • there are 7 mashkin, it would seem that the halacha only applies to water, however it also applies to other mashkin - wine and milk. So it's predicated on it being no? That doesn't detract from the question.
    – user18362
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 0:13
  • Note night time has nothing to do with it.
    – Double AA
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 1:17

1 Answer 1


That the Gra was very careful about the Talmudic prohibition against uncovered beverages is recorded in Maaseh Rav #95.

The details of this prohibition are recorded in the Tur (YD 116) and earlier by the Rambam (Rotzeiach 11:6-15). You may be interested particularly in Law #7 there:

ואלו הן המשקין האסורין משום גילוי--המים, והיין ואפילו מזוג, ואפילו התחיל להשתנות טעמו לחומץ, והחלב, והדבש, והציר; אבל שאר כל המשקין--אין מקפידין על גילויין, שאין בעלי ארס שותין מהן.‏
These are the liquids which are prohibited when uncovered: water, wine even when diluted and even when beginning to taste like vinegar, milk, honey, and brine. But other liquids, we aren't careful about their being covered for poisonous creatures don't drink from them.


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