Blessing for Different Wine

While there is a well-known tannaitic teaching that one says a blessing – בורא פרי הגפן (Creator of the fruits of the vine) – over wine (mBerakhot 6:1), one of the interesting blessings that is created during the period of the amoraim is that over drinking different wine (bBerakhot 59b): אמר רב יוסף בר אבא […]

Purim Drinking II: Which Beverage(s) to Drink?

Having begun a discussion of drinking on Purim, (and what got me re-interested in this topic), I wanted to do an initial post on which beverage one should drink in order to intoxicate oneself on Purim.      Curiously, in neither Rabbi Jacob, son of Asher‘s Four Divisions1 nor in Rabbi Joseph Karo‘s Set Table2 is any specific beverage mentioned in order to intoxicate, […]

Purim Drinking I: Prolegomenon

With Purim occurring two months from today, my mind turned over shabbat towards one of the most well-known aspects of the festival: drinking.  The amusing thing about drinking being a(n in)famous aspect of the holiday is that it was not initially a main part of the festival – it was not a Tannaitic element (the primary ones were reading the megillah, […]

Bentsching Over A Cup

If one were to open the Shulhan Arukh on the topic of saying the ברכת המזון (grace after meals) with a cup (for instance, see Berakhos 51a), one would find that Rabbi Yosef Karo wrote the following (OH 182.1): יש שאומרים שברכת המזון טעונה כוס אפילו ביחיד, וצריך לחזור עליו, ולא יאכל אם אין לו כוס לברך עליו אם הוא מצפה […]

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