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  • Halacha
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How much water to drink


Rabbi David Sperling

Elul 5, 5781
Does this apply even if one drinks less than a kezais during the first sip?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The short answer to your question is “yes” – this ruling applies even if the first sip was very small (less than a revi’it of water, or even less than a keziet). Even then the first bracha “covers” the continual drinking, as long as the conditions mentioned above are followed. Now for a little more depth. The reason you ask is that we do find that according to some opinions the first bread eaten after ha’motzie should be the size of a keziet (see Shulchan Aruch, O.H. 167 mishna brurah 15 there). There are various reasons given for this ruling (which not everyone agrees with). One of them, (that of the Degul MeRevava ibid) is that in order that the other foods being eaten can be “covered” by the original hamotzi bracha, one has to eat a keziet immediately after the bracha. Once the bracha covered the first keziet, it is then considered as an important enough bracha-eating that can “drag” the additional foods eaten later on in the meal, and “cover” them also. Based on this, you might have thought that it would apply also to our case of the water. However, that is not so. Even despite the fact that there are many who disagree with the ruling of the Degul MeRevava, it makes sense to say that he is only talking about the blessing over bread. There, all the other foods that are going to be eaten are exempt from a blessing because they are included in the meal of bread. There it makes sense that the first blessing over the bread has to be of a size that makes it into a meal. But in our case, the first bracha is over water, and that same shehakol applies equally to all the other water drunk. Additionally, there is a question if one did drink a revi’it at the start of his continued drinking. That is, if there will be a long time between the sips, it could be that one could loose out the after bracha on the revi’it they drank. Let is imagine someone who said “shehakol” and then drank more than a revi’it. They then continued (based on that first bracha) to have small sips, say an hour later (taking care with all the conditions we wrote in the first answer). By the time they finish drinking, the first measure of drink (which is enough for an after bracha), is no longer satiating them – and they have lost the after bracha. The sips they continued to take are not enough, in and of themselves, for an after bracha. Based on this, some Rabbis prefer one not to take a large drink at the start. But those who do, have many opinions on who to rely. Many blessings.
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