Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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2 February, 2003


I am very confused about the rules with drinking leftovers and sending a cup of wine. Could you please explain the proper procedure for making kiddush when the wife is niddah (where the husband makes kiddush and she drinks some of the wine).


Harchakot are intended to minimize the couple's sense of physical intimacy while the wife is niddah. Of course not all couples (or individuals) experience the same emotional response to any given activity. However, halacha restricts certain behaviors even if a particular couple feels that they have no effect on them. Proscribed behaviors include: passing items, sharing the same cup or plate, the husband drinking the wife's leftovers, and the husband sending "a cup of blessing" to his wife. All of these have potential impact on the method of making kiddush. Therefore,

Your husband should not send you a cup of wine. 

If the two of you are alone, the simplest procedure is for your husband to put the kiddush cup down in front of him after drinking, and for you to take it and drink.

If you are in the presence of others, you can often follow your usual procedure. If he pours the wine into another cup and passes it around, you may drink from it. If he passes the kiddush cup itself around, you may also drink from the kiddush cup. (He should not begin by passing you the cup; he can pass it to someone else first, or he can put it down in front of himself and you can take it.) If he pours the wine into several little cups, you may take one.  But he should be sure not to designate a specific little cup for you.

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