Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev

Volume XIII - Issue 5

The DRS Weekly Torah Publication










The Two Hands of Esav
By Dani Scheinman, 12th Grade
D¹R3\¹Þ D¹¬3"
KISLEV 14, 5772
DECEMBER 10, 2011

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e find an interesting conversation that transpired between Yaakov and Eisav. Yaakov had sent a large gift
of hundreds of animals to appease his brother, Eisav. After their initial meeting, Eisav said to Yaakov
that he appreciated the gift, however, he had ―plenty,‖ and therefore did not need the gift. Yaakov re-
sponded by telling Eisav that he should take the gift, since he has ―all” that he needs.
If one analyzes the terms that the brothers used, one would learn a tremendous lesson in the proper approach
to accepting and appreciating the gifts that one gets in this world. Eisav was a wealthy man who controlled a huge
army, and owned his own country. Yet, as wealthy as he was, he was not satisfied with what he had, and wanted
more. A story is told of a Roman Emperor who was in charge of Eretz Yisrael. He was the great-grandson of Eisav.
He had asked his servants to prepare a large banquet with every possible delicacy. When he arrived at the party, he
went to examine all the different delicacies that were there. As he walked though the aisles, he became agitated and
turned to his servant and asked why he could not find a particular nut. The servant responded that the nut was out of
season, and therefore could not be attained. At that moment, the Emperor became furious and turned over all of the
(Continued on page 5)
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What Does It Mean to Be Rich?
By Elly Deutsch, 11th Grade
ושע דימ יחא דימ אנ ינליצה
“Rescue me, please, from the hand of my brother, the hand of Esav.”

he Ramban, in his discussions on this Parsha, begins with an introduction
about the lessons we can learn from it. One of the concepts he mentions,
known as Maasei Avos Siman Labanim (the actions of our forefathers are
signposts for the children), seems to be a recurring theme throughout Sefer
Bereishis. Everything that occurred to our forefather Yaakov before and during
his confrontation with Esav will continually recur between Esav’s descendents
and us. It is therefore fitting for us to follow the path of our righteous forefather
Yaakov. We should prepare ourselves for confrontation in the three ways he pre-
pared himself: prayer, gifts to appease Esav, and preparation for battle if neces-
The Ramban notes that the Chachamim use this Parsha as a guide in deal-
ing with Esav’s descendents. He cites a Medrash that states that before Rav Yan-
nai would have dealings with the government, he would study this Parsha to pre-
pare himself. He would specificly study this Parsha because it contains the
(Continued on page 3)
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לה ןמ םיאצויה םירבד “ ב
The Torah (32:25) tells us that the fight between
Yaakov and the mysterious man took place when Yaakov
was alone, as it states ―VaYevaser Yaakov Levado (and
Yaakov was left alone) VaYei‟aveik ish imo ad alos
HaSchachar (and a man wrestled with him until the break
of dawn).‖
Chazal (Bereishis Rabbah 77:3) explain that this
―man‖ was the guardian of Eisav. Furthermore, we see that
he waiting until Yaakov was alone to fight him. Based on
this we could observe that there is a different, and special
degree a person has when he is alone, for the guardian of
Eisav went through the effort to fight Yaakov specifically
then. But what is this unique degree that Yaakov had by
being ―left alone?‖
On the passuk (Yeshaya 26:4) ―Ki b‟kah (yud hei)
Hashem Tzur Olamim (for in God, Hashem, is the
strengths of the world)‖ Chazal explain in Gemara
Menachos (29b), that this refers to the two worlds that Ha-
shem created, one with the letter ―hey‖ and one with the
letter ―yud‖ – this world by ―hey,‖ and the World to Come
with a ―yud.‖ The Gemara goes on to explain that this
world was created with a ―hey‖ because it is similar to an
―Achsadrah,‖ or a type of porch, which anyone who wants
to leave can leave. Secondly, the reason why olam haba
was created with a yud is that there are very few tzadikim
that enter.
This Gemara is extremely difficult. Out of the sev-
eral, tremendous tzadikim that fill our world, only a few of
them are going to reach olam haba? Moreover, The Mish-
na in Sanhedrin (90a) says ―All Jews have a portion in the
World to Come!‖ It appears from this that all the righteous
people of this world should all reach the World to Come,
yet Chazal also says in Menachos that only a few reach the
World to Come?
Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus Tz’l answers with the
following explanation: In the World to Come there are dif-
ferent levels; Some levels are higher than others. The Pas-
suk of ―VaYevaser Yaakov Levado‖ is explained by Chazal
(Bereishis Rabbah 77:1) to mean that Hashem does to tza-
dikim in this world that which He plans to do with them in
the future, and just as Hashem is described (Yeshaya 2:17)
(Continued on page 5)
Torah Teasers
By Rabbi Moshe Erlbaum
תשרפ חלשיו
1. Where do we find a question used as an answer?
(2 times)
2. a) Who asks the questions ―הֶ לֵ א־י ִ מ‖ - ―Who are
these?‖ b) Who else in the Torah asks ―הֶ לֵ א־י ִ מ‖ -
―Who are these?‖?
3. a) Who died during childbirth? b) Where in the
םינושאר םיאיבנ did a woman die during childbirth?
4. Name two descendants of ושעwho share a name
with relatives of ונבר השמ.
5. Name a grandson of ושעwho shares a name with
a grandson of בקעי.
6. a) Which married couple in the השרפhave names
that begin with the same letter? b) Which other
married couples in the הרותhave names that begin
with the same letter? (2 couples - one found in י"שר)
1. After the ךאלמchanges the name of בקעיto לארשי,
בקעיinquires from the ךאלמto divulge his name.
The ךאלמresponds with a question: ― לאׁ שִ ת הֶז הָ מָ ל
י ִ מׁ שִ ל‖ - ―Why then do you inquire of my name?‖
(ל:בל). After בקעיberates ןועמשand יולfor killing
the city of םכש, they respond ―ונ ֵ תוחֲ א־תֶ א הֶ שֲ עַי הָנוזׁ כַ ה‖
- ―Should he treat our sister like a harlot?‖ (אל:דל).
2. a) When ושעsees the family of בקעיhe asks בקעי-
―הֶ לֵ א־י ִ מ‖ - ―Who are these?‖ (ה:גל). b) In יחיו תשרפ,
when בקעיsees the children of ףסוי, he asks ףסויthe
same question - ―הֶ לֵ א־י ִ מ?‖ - ―Who are these?‖(ח:חמ).
3. a) לחרdied when she gave birth to her son ןימינב
(חי:הל). b) The wife of ילע ןב סחנפdied in childbirth
when she gave birth to דובכיא (אכ:ד 'א לאומש).
4. לאוערand חרקare both descendants of ושע ( ד:ול -
ה). לאוער was another name of ורתיthe father-in-law
of השמ (י"שר ןייע א:חי תומש). חרק was the cousin of
השמwho rebelled against השמin the רבדמ ( רבדמב
5. חרזwas the son of לאוערthe son of ושע (גי:ול).
חרזwas also the name of a son of הדוהי, the son of
בקעי (ל:חל). Thus, bothושעand בקעיhad a grandson
named חרז.
6. a) ושעwas married to הדע (ד:ול). b) In אראו תשרפ
it states that ןהכה ןרהאwas married to עבשילא ( תומש
גכ:ו). Although it is not explicitly stated in the , הרות
י"שר comments that the wife of חנwas המענ, the
sister of ןיק לבות (בכ:ד י"שר).
By Jeremy Teichman, 11th Grade
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev 3

לארשי ומש תא ארקיו ךמש היהי לארשי םא יכ בקעי דוע ארקי אל בקעי ךמש םיקלא ול רמאיו
“And Hashem said to him, „Your name is Yaakov: You shall not be called Yaakov anymore, but Yisrael shall be
your name‟; and He called his name Yisrael.”

When Hashem told Yaakov for the first time that his name would be changed, he prefaced it by stating,
―Your name is Yaakov.‖ Why is this necessary? Surely Yaakov was aware of his own name! Secondly, when
Yaakov fought with the angel of Esav and defeated him, the angel told him, ―No longer will it be said that your
name is Yaakov, but rather Yisrael.‖ Thus, it would seem that the name change had already taken place. What
was Hashem adding at this time?
The Rambam explains that that one of these questions provides the answer to the other one. Although the
angel of Esav had indeed told Yaakov that his name would be changed, the angel had not been given the mission
to actually change it. The angel was merely informing Yaakov that at some point in the future, his name would
become Yisrael. Because of this, Hashem began his message here by stating: At this point, your name is still
Yaakov, because it was not the angel’s right to change your name. Now, however, I will indeed call you Yisrael.
Although the Pasuk seems to say that Yaakov would no longer be called Yaakov, the commentators note
that this is not the case; we find in a later Pasuk that Hashem Himself refers to Yaakov by that name. In addition,
although we find in reference to Avraham that once his name was changed from Avram, it was forbidden to call
him Avram, with Yaakov that is not the case; The Chachamim in Masechet Berachos (13a) state that Yisrael be-
came the principal name, while Yaakov was the subsidiary name.
R’ Dovid Feinstein suggests that this too is hinted at in Hashem’s opening statement in the Pasuk, ―Your
name is Yaakov.‖ I.e., Hashem is telling Yaakov: I am not renaming you as I did Avraham, so that your original
name may no longer be used. Rather, your name Yaakov is still usable; I am simply giving you another name as a

Have a good Shabbos.

―chapter of exile,‖ the source of information for proper conduct in exile.
The Beis HaLevi learns a similar lesson from the actions of Yaakov, which is relevant in all periods of Ga-
lut. Yaakov prayed to Hashem: ―Rescue me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esav, for I fear
him, lest he come and strike me down, mother and children.‖ Why, asks the Beis HaLevi, must Yaakov repeat the
word MiYad, from the hand, a second time? Yaakov could have simply said, ―Rescue me from the hand of my
brother Esav!‖
According to the Beis HaLevi, Yaakov understood that Esav’s approach presented two separate dangers, and
that he needed protection from both of them. First, he saw the imminent danger of Esav waging war with him and
attempting to kill him. But Yaakov knew that even if Esav could somehow be appeased, he would still present a
danger. If Esav were to start treating Yaakov with love, this too would pose a threat, as good feelings and love from
Esav would constitute a spiritual danger to Yaakov.
Thus, Yaakov made two separate requests of Hashem: Rescue me from the hands of Esav, the wicked one
who is coming to kill me. Also rescue me from my ―brother‖ – from the loving, caring behavior that Esav might
(Dani Scheinman — Continued from page 1)
(Continued on page 4)
The Name Game
By Yitzie Scheinman,
10th Grade
לה ןמ םיאצויה םירבד “ ב
Everyday we say in Benching “K‟Mo Shenisbarchu Avoseinu… Bakol Mikol Kol.” Why do we mention three
times the word Kol? It’s the same word with just an extra letter added to the beginning each time?
The story of Yaakov and Eisav in Parshas Vayishlach provides the answer. The Passuk says, “V‟Chi Yesh Li
Kol.” Yaakov says to Eisav, “I have it all.” Rashi comments and says, “Kol” means I have everything I need. However,
with respect to Eisav, he says “Yesh Li Rov,” which means that he’s not satisfied and he craves for more. From this Rashi,
we see that there is a fundamental difference between Kol and Rov. Yaakov was satisfied, while Eisav desired.
Yaakov is blessed with the Midah of satisfaction, only because of the positive influence of his father and grandfa-
ther. They too were blessed with ―Kol,‖ and it was expressed in different ways.
The first time the word ―Kol‖ is in connection with Avraham. There it says, “V‟Hashem Berach Es Avraham
B‟Kol,” Hashem blessed Avraham with all. Rashi says that the word B’Kol—52 is equal numerically to the word Ben—
son, meaning that Avraham’s blessing was Yitzchak. The Seforno adds and says that Avraham was worried about
Yitzchak. One, that due to his old age, he won’t be able to see Yitzchak get married, and also, he was afraid the girl won’t
be the ―right one‖ for Yitzchak. The Gemara in Baba Basra explains that B’Kol is to include that during Avraham’s life,
he didn’t see his descendants as sinners, and he lived a complete life (Yishmael did Teshuvah, and Eisav was too young to
act improperly).
Yitzchak too said the word Kol. After Yaakov received the Brachos, he told Eisav, “V‟Achal Mikol,” ―I ate from
all.‖ The Medrash Rabbah says regarding this phrase that Yitzchak ate from fruits that were from the Six Days of Crea-
With this background, we can answer our question with respect to benching. When the Torah says Kol in connec-
tion with Avraham and Yitzchak, they were explained in terms of spirituality. By Avraham, his Kol is having a complete
family, and a complete life. By Yitzchak Kol means that he tastes something not from this world Me‟ein Olam Habah.
The word Kol by Yaakov can also mean something spiritual. This understanding teaches us an important lesson: The only
time a person can be satisfied, like Yaakov, is if it’s spiritual, like family and personal life, which are spiritual blessings.
However, if someone focuses on the worldly and secular accepts of life, he will be an Eisav, a person who has Rov, and
will never be content. This also explains why we say “Bakol Mikol Kol.” These three words represent the way the Avos
looked at satisfaction (Avraham was Bakol, Yitzchak was Mikol, and Yaakov was Kol). This is what we daven to Ha-
shem for, that we too should learn the same Midah of satisfaction like the Avos. May it be that we should learn and un-
derstand what the true meaning of Kol is, just as the Avos did, and grow from this understanding.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!
Having It
By Moishy Rothman,
10th Grade
The Beis HaLevi concludes by noting how these two ―hands‖ of Esav have continually appeared throughout
our lengthy exile. First, nations would issue harsh decrees on the Jews, and inflict pain and death on them. Then,
Hashem has mercy and saves us from their wicked hands. Later, the nations try to befriend us and give us equal
rights, offering to ―travel together with us‖ as Esav himself did. We must realize that these gestures of friendship
are all too often only a ploy, meant to detach us from our strong commitment to the Torah. We must constantly re-
member that both of these ―hands‖ pose equal danger to the continued existence of the Jew.

Have a wonderful Shabbos!
(Dani Scheinman — Continued from page 3)
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev 5

tables of food. The Emperor had every possible deli-
cacy know to man, except for one nut, and that gave
him no pleasure in life. He was not satisfied with
what he had, and always needed more.
Yaakov on the other hand, responded to his
brother that he had everything. This implies that he
was completely satisfied and did not need more. As
we find from a Mishnah in Avos (4:1), ―Aizehu Ashir,
Hasomeiach Bichelko,‖ ―He who is rich, is happy
with what he has.‖ The Sfas Emes explains that true
wealth is attained by the individual who recognizes
that Hashem has allocated him his proper portion.
Such an attitude is based upon the unshakable belief
that Hashem compensates every individual with all
his needs. We know the famous concept, of ―Ma‟aseh
Avos, Siman L‟banim,‖ ―The actions of the forefa-
thers are lessons for future generations.‖ Yaakov was
teaching us that one should always be satisfied with
what he has received in this world, and recognize that
he needs no more. Yaakov knew that if he needed
more, Hashem would have given it to him.
Just like Eisav’s grandson learned from his
grandfather to never be satisfied, we too must inter-
nalize the teaching of Yaakov; we should be satisfied
with our portion of material wealth in this world. On-
ly in the area of Ruchnius, should a person not be sat-
isfied, rather he should strive for greater heights. A
similar idea is expressed in last week’s parsha: Yaa-
kov was dreaming about a ladder going to Shamayim.
This dream symbolized Yaakov’s desire to grow spir-
itually. He was lying on the ground and he was look-
ing for ways to climb the ladder to become closer to

Have a great Shabbos!
(Elly Deutsch — Continued from page 1)
other visitors from Franz Joseph's government. And when
they reached the "forbidden room," the Emperor asked to
go inside and see what was there.
Anshel explained that that was the one place he
could not show anyone. After the Emperor insisted, Anshel
gave in, and agreed to show the Emperor the secret room.
He took out his keys, opened the door, and invited the Em-
peror to enter. Franz Joseph looked, and was amazed at
what he saw. There, in a small room, was a simple pine
box, and some plain white cloth on a table. That was all
there was!
"What is this all about?" asked the Emperor.
"We Jews have strict rules about burial customs,"
explained Anshel. "When a person dies, he must be buried
in a very simple coffin, a plain pine box. And his body
must be enveloped in a plain white shroud. This is to main-
tain the equality of all G-d's creatures. No one is permitted
to be buried in a fancy, expensive coffin, or in luxurious
clothing. Though some may live affluent lives, and others
may suffer dire, abject poverty, in death all are equal."
"But why is this here in this room?" asked the Em-
peror, impressed but still confused.
"At the end of each day, I come to this room, and
view the coffin and the shrouds, and I am reminded that
even though I have great wealth and power and I have im-
portant influence in the highest echelons of the Austrian
Empire, I am still one of G-d's simple creatures, and at the
end of my life, this is the end I will come to like all of G-
d's other children. I do this lest after a day filled with high
finance and major financial transactions, I think too highly
of myself, and develop a bloated sense of myself."
Franz Joseph was amazed, and in fact, he was
speechless. His respect for Anshel Rothschild grew even
greater than before. He never questioned the sincerity, hon-
esty or integrity of Anshel again.
(Stories of Greatness — Continued from page 8)
as ―V‟nisgav Hashem levado (Hashem alone will be exalted),‖ so too Yaakov is described as ―Vayevaser Yaakov
One of the 13 Ikarei Emunah written by the Rambam is the belief that Hashem is the ―First and the Last.‖
Meaning, before there was literally anything in existence, Hashem existed alone. Then Hashem created the world
for the sake of His Name and for the purpose of having reward and punishment and earning Olam Haba, which
each member of Klal Yisrael has a portion to. However, when the day comes that Hashem will be ―V‟nisgav Ha-
shem levado b‟yom hahu,‖ on that day that Hashem will be praised alone, was what Chazal referred to when dis-
cussing the World created with ―yud,‖ and ―B‟yom hahu – on that day,‖ only the most unique and special few will
be remaining. On that day that Hashem is exalted alone, as described by Yeshaya, only the most exclusive of tza-
dikim, who also have the exceptional characteristic of ―Vayevaser levado‖ will merit to reach it.

Have an amazing Shabbos!
(Jeremy Teichman — Continued from page 2)
לה ןמ םיאצויה םירבד “ ב

I. Introduction. At a typical Shabbat morning kiddush in most shuls,
the large majority of people make kiddush on a shot glass of
scotch or whiskey, rather than on the traditional full size cup
of wine. Often, those who sponsor a kiddush provide only a
minimal amount of wine, while ―hard‖ drinks are plentiful.
While this trend has had significant sociological implications
(teenagers learning to drink at an unsupervised shul kiddush,
adults missing major segments of davening in order to get
together with their friends to drink a few shots at a ―kiddush
club‖, etc.), we will focus this essay on the halachic consider-
ations of making kiddush on beverages other than wine. Our
discussion will center specifically on the halachot of making
kiddush on chamar medina, or drinks other than wine that are
commonly used in a particular place.
II. Using Scotch and Whiskey. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim
272:9 and 289:2) rules that in the absence of wine one may
recite kiddush over beer. The Mishnah Berurah (ibid. 272:24)
explains that this is only true in a place where beer is com-
monly drunk and may therefore be considered to be chamar
medina. Similarly, other commonly drunk beverages that fall
into the category of chamar medina may be used for kiddush
in the absence of wine.
A. Defining chamar medina. It is important to note that not
every drink that people commonly consume has the status
of chamar medina. Only beverages that are halachically
considered chamar medina may be used for the mitzvah of
kiddush. The later poskim differ as to the exact definition
of the term chamar medina. This difference of opinion has
obvious implications on which drinks may be used for
1. The opinion of the Shulchan Aruch Harav. The Shul-
chan Aruch Harav (182:2-3) rules that there are two
criteria that must be met for a beverage to attain the
status of chamar medina. First, the drink must be one
that people use as a primary beverage for a meal,
much the way it was common to drink wine with
most meals in ancient times. Second, the beverage
must not be cheap and trivial, but should have some
significance. Therefore, although borscht was com-
monly drunk with meals, due to its low stature, it
would not be considered chamar medina.
2. The opinion of Rav Moshe Feinstein. Rav Moshe
Feinstein (Responsa Iggerot Moshe, Orach Chaim II
#75) defines chamar medina as a beverage one might
serve to a guest to whom one wishes to show respect
(and not merely for the purpose of quenching his
3. Practical halacha of liquor as chamar medina. It
would seem that regardless of which definition of
chamar medina we choose, beer and liquor (whiskey,
brandy etc.) are both considered chamar medina.
Indeed, the Shulchan Aruch (289:2) rules clearly that
beer may be used for kiddush, and the Mishnah Beru-
rah (272:30) rules that liquor is considered chamar
medina. (See also Responsa Minchat Yitzchak X
B. When may chamar medina be used? Although there are
occasions when one may use drinks other than wine for
kiddush, such circumstances are rather limited.
1. Nighttime. The Shulchan Aruch (272:9) cites the
opinion of the Rosh that even if one does not have
any wine he should not recite the Friday night kid-
dush on another beverage. Rather, he should recite
the kiddush over the challah, as it is considered to be
a more prestigious food than chamar medina.
2. Daytime. The Shulchan Aruch (ibid.) rules that for the
daytime kiddush, if one does not have any wine, he
should use chamar medina rather than make kiddush
on the challah, even though challah is generally con-
sidered to be superior to chamar medina. The logic
for this ruling is based on a fundamental distinction
between the night time kiddush and the day time kid-
dush. The nighttime kiddush has a specific text
whereas the day time kiddush consists exclusively of
the beracha that is recited on the wine. When one
makes kiddush on challah at night, it is still apparent
that he is reciting kiddush, and not just making his
regular hamotzi, because he recites the entire text of
kiddush. When, however, one recites the daytime
kiddush over challah, he merely recites the beracha
of hamotzi, which is a beracha he would recite on the
bread even if he were not making kiddush. In order,
that it be apparent that the person is reciting kiddush
at the day time meal, it is important that he make a
beracha that he would otherwise not recite. (Mihnah
Berurah 272:31)
a. The stringent view. Based on the above-cited
sources it would seem abundantly clear that one
may never make kiddush on liquor on Friday
night, and may only make kiddush on liquor on
Shabbat day when there is no wine available to
him. The Mishnah Berurah (ibid.:29) recom-
mends that where wine is available, one should
only use wine for kiddush.
b. The lenient view. The Mishnah Berurah (ibid.)
records that many great people had the custom to
recite the daytime kiddush over other beverages
even when wine was available. They were lenient
based on a combination of two considerations.
First, wine was extremely expensive, and had
fallen out of common use in favor of other drinks.
Second, they felt that one may be lenient for the
daytime kiddush because the obligation to recite
kiddush during the day is only Rabbinic in nature.
Rabbi Shmuel Wosner (Responsa Shevet Halevi
III #26) suggests an additional reason to allow
other beverages even where wine is available. He
explains that in Talmudic times people drank
wine very regularly. In some towns wine was so
popular that people barely drank any water (see
Tosafot Shabbat 47a). When wine had such wide-
(Continued on page 7)
Making Kiddush on Beverages Other Than Wine
By Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz
Dvarim Hayotzim Min Halev 7

spread popularity we can certainly understand the
obligation to attain wine for kiddush rather than
settling for liquor or beer. Today, however, most
people, especially in the Orthodox Jewish com-
munity, do not drink wine regularly. Therefore,
other beverages are no longer considered inferior
to wine for the purposes of the mitzvah of kid-
dush. (See also Responsa Shevet Halevi V #32
where he reaffirms this position.)
C. How much must be drunk?
1. When using wine. The Shulchan Aruch (271:13) rules
that one must recite kiddush over a cup that contains
a revi‟it of wine, and he must actually drink the ma-
jority of a revi‟it. The Talmud (Pesachim 109) gives
two methods of measuring a revi‟it that practically do
not yield the same results. There is considerable dis-
cussion amongst the acharonim regarding the resolu-
tion to this problem. A thorough presentation of this
discussion is well beyond the scope of this essay (see
Tzlach to Pesachim 116, Mishnah Berurah 486:1,
Aruch Hashulchan 472:12, and Chazon Ish 39). Suf-
fice it to say, the leading contemporary poskim debate
the exact measurement of a revi‟it. The possibilities
range from 3.07 fluid ounces (Rav Chaim Naeh) to
5.36 fluid ounces (Chazon Ish). Rav Moshe Feinstein
ruled that for the purposes of the morning kiddush a
revi‟it is 3.3 ounces. Therefore, one must make kid-
dush on a cup that contains at least 3.3 ounces and
one must actually drink 1.7 ounces of wine (most of a
2. When using whiskey etc. Drinking the proper measure
of wine does not present any particular difficulty.
After all, it is common to drink a sizable glass of
wine. Drinking the proper measure of whiskey, how-
ever, can present a problem for many people. The
average shot glass can only hold one fluid ounce.
Many people have the practice to make kiddush even
on this minimal amount of liquor. We will attempt to
analyze whether there is any sound halachic basis for
this practice.
a. The stringent view. The Mishnah Berurah
(272:30) clearly rules that the measure of a re-
vi‟it is required regardless of the beverage one
uses for kiddush. Most leading poskim concur
with this view and therefore rule that one may
not fulfill his obligation of kiddush on Shabbat
morning with a one or two ounce shot glass of
b. The lenient view.
i. The opinion of the Taz. The Taz (Orach
Chaim 210:1) writes that although normally
one must drink a revi‟it of any drink in order
to be required to recite a beracha acharona,
one need not drink a revi‟it of liquor to require
a beracha acharona. The logic for this conten-
tion is that while one is not considered to have
drunk a significant amount of a beverage until
he has had a revi‟it, a much lesser amount of
liquor is already deemed significant. In fact,
most people usually drink less than a revi‟it of
liquor. Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank (Responsa Har
Tzvi I #159) extends this leniency of the Taz
to kiddush and states that according to the Taz
one may recite kiddush on less than a revi‟it of
liquor. While some poskim support the opin-
ion of the Taz (see Responsa Chatam Sofer
49), the Magen Avraham (Orach Chaim 190)
rejects the opinion of the Taz, and states that
Chazal established measurements for all liq-
uids and did not distinguish between liquids
that people commonly drink different quanti-
ties of. The Mishnah Berurah (190:14;
272:30) rules in accordance with the opinion
of the Magen Avraham.
ii. The opinion of the Kozhoglover Gaon. Rabbi
Hershel Schachter (B‟ikvei Hatzon page 41)
cites the author of Responsa Eretz Tzvi who
had a very unique approach to allow kiddush
on less than a revi‟it of liquor. He argues that
the measure of a revi‟it only applies to bever-
ages, and liquor does not have the status of a
beverage. The definition of a beverage is
something that people would drink to quench
their thirst. Any liquid that people drink for
other reasons (i.e. soup, liquor) have the status
of a food. The measurement of a food that
would require a beracha acharonah and be
considered a significant consumption is a
k‟zayit (the size of an olive-much less than a
revi‟it). While a small shot glass definitely
does not contain a revi‟it, it may contain a
k‟zayit. This argument, however, seems to be
flawed. Rav Chaim M’Volozhin (also cited in
B‟ikvei Hatzon ibid. from Sefer Sha‟ar Ra-
chamim) used the same logic that liquor is
actually a food, to prove that one may not
make kiddush on liquor at all. After all, the
most basic criteria of chamar medina is that it
be a beverage, not a food.
III. Conclusion. We have outlined the basic problems with reciting
kiddush on liquor and have surveyed the solutions and counterat-
tacks of the leading poskim. First, many poskim maintain that one
may not make kiddush on liquor at all unless there is no wine
available to him. Others are lenient even when wine is available.
Second, even if one uses liquor, most poskim maintain that one
must drink a revi‟it (or most of a revi‟it) of the liquor. While
some poskim posed arguments to be lenient in the amount of liq-
uor one is required to drink, their arguments were met with sig-
nificant criticism. Nevertheless, Responsa Maharsham (I #175)
records that many great rabbis were lenient in this area. In sum-
mation, at the nighttime kiddush all authorities agree that only
wine should be used. For the daytime kiddush, ideally one should
refrain from using liquor. Certainly, one who uses liquor should
be careful to use a cup that contains a full revi‟it, unless he has a
specific tradition to the contrary.
Have a good Shabbos.
(Continued from page 6)
לה ןמ םיאצויה םירבד “ ב

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The following fascinating story, is called
“Anschel Rothchild's Secret Room”. Taken
from www.Chabad.org:

Everyone has heard of the famous,
wealthy banking family, the Rothschilds. The
"founding father" of the Rothschild clan was
Anshel Rothschild, an Orthodox Jew who
lived in the middle of the nineteenth century
in Austria. Anshel amassed a huge fortune
and established a close relationship with the
then Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph.
From time to time, the Emperor would
send visitors to the luxurious and famous pal-
ace of Anshel Rothschild. It was the most lav-
ish, luxurious and well-appointed palace in all
of Austria, and everyone wanted to see its
beauty and wealth.
During one visit Anshel took his
guest, an important government official, on a
tour of the palace. He showed him room after
room, and the guest was awed by the beauty
of the gold, the silver, the furnishings, the
chandeliers, the imported fabrics. Everything
was a sight to behold. There existed nothing
like it in all of Austria. When Anshel passed a
certain door, he continued walking, but the
guest asked to be shown the room behind the
"I am sorry," said Anshel. "This is the
one room in the palace that I cannot show
"Why not?" asked the guest. "I would
love to see every part of your remarkable pal-
"I simply cannot," answered Anshel,
and continued walking. The tour concluded,
and the official returned to his master, and
reported everything he saw. The palace was
even more than one could imagine.
"However," said the official to the Emperor,
"there was one room that Anshel refused to
show me."
"Why not?" asked the Emperor.
"I do not know. But I can guess. You
know how wealthy those Jews are. My theory
is that in that room there is a magic money-
making machine. That is why he is so
wealthy. Behind that door must be a machine
that creates the wealth of Anshel Rothschild."
The Emperor did not know whether to
believe his official, so he sent a second gov-
ernment official to see the palace of Anshel
Rothschild. The second official came back
with the same story. And a third, and a fourth.
The curiosity of Emperor Franz Jo-
seph was greatly aroused, so he decided to go
himself and visit the palace. Anshel took the
Emperor for the same tour as he did all the
(Continued on page 5)

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