Promoting Mussar with innovation & appeal !

Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 183 – Cup of wine for Birkas Hamazon

  1. A kos shel beracha requires to be rinsed or wiped clean inside and outside. If it is already “clean” (definition: no wine-soaked bread inside) no rinsing is required, although it is still better to, anyhow. (ShA1 – MB1,2,3)
  2. There is a minhag to put a drop of water into the kos shel beracha at the beginning of Birkas Ha’oretz even though our wines do not need to be diluted. (MB6)
  3. Best practice is to pour the wine from the bottle “l’shaym beracha” just before bentching (and before mayim acharonim – BaH181:1). (Rama2 – MB8)
  4. Kos shel beracha should be filled all the way till the rim even if some will spill. Some people fill it so it won’t spill, and it still fulfils the mitzva of being “full”. (Rama2 – MB9)
  5. If the kos isn’t full, b’dieved it’s okay so long as there is a r’viis inside. You can raise the level by dropping something into the kos. Even a piece of bread will do, as long as the wine doesn’t become disgusting. (MB9 –MB Siman 182:32)
  6. The cup itself should l’chatchila be perfect: not missing even a bit on the rim, not broken or cracked even at the stem or base. (ShA3 – MB10,11)
  7. A yoray shomayim shouldn’t bentch with only a yarmulke on his head – wear a hat. This applies even when bentching by yourself and without a kos. There are those who do the full “ittuf” by also donning a jacket. (MB11)
  8. Receive the kos with both hands to show an endearment for the mitzva. Then, hold it only with your right hand (showing importance) to show that it isn’t a burden for you. If indeed it is a strain on your right hand, do not touch the kos with your left hand – instead, support your right hand from underneath. (ShA4 – MB12,14)
  9. Remove your glove (where applicable) and hold the kos in your palm. Have your fingers pointing upwards all around the cup. (MB15)
  10. Hold up the kos at least a tefach above the table so all can see it and focus on the beracha. (ShA4 – MB16,17)
  11. Afterwards, the cup should be sent to the lady of the house to drink from. The guests should also be offered to taste a little bit. If it is a guest who blessed on the kos, he should give some to the host. (ShA4 – MB19)
  12. A lefty should hold the kos in his left hand. (ShA5)
  13. The halachos from #15 until #21 are only l’chatchila for hiddur mitzva. (MB10,20)
  14. Once the mevoraych is given the kos for Birkas Hamazon, no one should talk until after he drinks from it at the end of bentching. (ShA6 – MB21,22)
  15. Be very careful from speaking during bentching, even a bit and even between the berachos. B’dieved, just continue to bentch from where you interrupted. (MB25)
  16. Here is a case that you must go back and bentch from the beginning of the beracha: you paused in silence for enough time it takes to say the entire bentching from beginning to end and the pause was because of a matter beyond your control. (e.g. an urge for the bathroom, the room became unclean). (MB25)
  17. Nowadays, since a lot of us don’t concentrate well, it is proper for each person to whisper along each beracha of the bentching with the mevoraych who bentches out loud. (ShA7)
  18. It is wrong practice that after answering “Boruch she’ochalnu…” each person begins bentching out loud by himself. Rather, the mevoraych should be the only one bentching loud for all to hear (at least for the first beracha while all others whisper along). They should proceed to finish each beracha just before the mevoraych so they can answer omayn. (Rama7 – MB28)
  19. For extra good and correct procedure inform everyone to keep quiet and have kavana to fulfil the first beracha from the mevoraych and inform the mevoraych to exempt the others. This will only work if you know that all in the crowd can concentrate and they understand Lashon Hakodesh. (MB28)
  20. Give the kos only to a person who dislikes money and is generous to spend on others. (Rama7 – MB29)
  21. It is forbidden to interrupt Birkas Hamazon in order to respect someone – just as the laws of Shemoneh Esray. (ShA8
  22. L’chatchila, you must sit and concentrate and bentch with fear. No walking around, standing or reclining. The only case you are allowed bentch while walking is when you ate your bread while on the road. If you would stop to bentch, you would feel delayed and lose concentration. (ShA9,11 – MB36)
  23. The requirement to sit includes also the fourth beracha, even though it is d’rabbonon. (MB31)
  24. The beracha Al Hamichya must also be said while seated. (MB35)
  25. You aren’t allowed to bentch or say any berachos while involved in your activities. (ShA12 – MB37)

Log In

Need a Mussar Stories account? Create an account