Passing a Cup of Wine to One's Wife


My wife is a nidoh. Can I ask my kids to pass the wine to her on Friday night after I make Kiddush?


Passing a cup of wine to one's wife when she is a nidoh is subject to a special set of rules. There are laws governing passing items in general to a nidoh wife, there are laws regarding serving food to each other, and there is a specific law pertaining to passing a cup of wine (even for kiddush) to one's wife when she is a nidoh.[1] This last case is fundamentally different from the others in theory and in practice, since Chazal stated that such behavior causes a husband to think of his wife in an intimate manner.

Passing wine is unique in the following ways:

  1. It is forbidden even if the wine is sent through a shaliach.[2]
  2. Even if the cup is not placed in front of his wife, the husband is forbidden to pass it to her.[3]
  3. He is forbidden even to send it to her when she is not present.[4]
  4. He is forbidden to send it to her with a shinui.[5]
  5. If the wine was sent improperly, the wife is forbidden to drink it.[6]
  6. It is only the husband who is forbidden to pass wine to his wife. She may pass wine to her husband provided that she does not place it in front of him.
  7. If someone drinks from the cup between the time the husband sent it towards his wife and the time she receives it, she may drink it.[7]

Suggestions to avoid embarrassment

  1. When making kiddush for several people, the husband may pour some wine into another cup and let the guests pass it around, with each person pouring some off into his or her own cup.
  2. The husband may pour the wine into small kiddush cups to pass around. Since no one cup was specifically poured for and sent to his wife, he may send the cups around.[8]
  3. If all the guests drink directly from the kiddush cup, someone else can drink from it, after which the wife may do so as well.
  4. If the husband and wife are alone, he may drink from the cup and put it down. She then picks it up and drinks from it.[9] The wife does not have to pour some wine into another cup and drink from that unless her husband wishes to drink what is left in the kiddush cup after she has had some.
  5. After making the berochoh, the husband can pour wine off into a separate cup and drink from the second cup. Then his wife can drink from the kiddush cup that is left on the table.

BookID: 2 Chapter: 195

[1] S.A. Y.D. 195:13.

[2] Mechaber 195:13, based on Raavad mentioned in Beis Yosef.

[3] Mechaber. Chut Shoni 195:15:2 explains that the mere fact that he is sending it to her is a forbidden act of endearment.

[4] Raavad, Badei Hashulchan 195:165, Chut Shoni 195:15:2.

[5] Chut Shoni 195:15:2. See Badei Hashulchan biurim s.v. כשם.

[6] Rashbo, cited in Beis Yosef “אסירא למישתי”.

[7] Mechaber.

[8] Chut Shoni 195:15.

[9] Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:83.

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