Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Kiddush Cups Of The Chofetz Chaim And The Vilna Gaon

(Picture courtesy of

Moshe David Tokayer commenting on Halachic Measurements Chart:

Ok. Here's the skoop on the Chofetz Chaim's kiddush cup:

1. I heard that the cup is in the hands of Rav Hillel Zaks, a grandson of the Chofetz Chaim. He is a Rav in a section of Kiryat Sefer called Brachfeld.

2. Rav Karp in a Hilchos Chag BeChag by Rav Karp in the volume on Pesach, Chapt. 19 footnote 11 writes that the Chofetz Chaim's grandson said that the cup holds 100 grams.

100 grams is the shiur of 2 medium size eggs in their shells. The Chafetz Chaim in O.C. 271, seif katan 68 and the Biur Halacha there says that this is the shiur for Derabanans and Kos shel Bracha. For D'Oraisas like Friday night Kiddush, it is proper to be machmir like the shita of the Tzalach (size of eggs are half now what they were at the time of the Gemara) and use a shiur of 3 eggs in their shells which is a cup that holds 150 grams.

Another interesting item that Rav Karp brings is that the Einayim LeMishpat, a descendent of the Vilna Gaon had the Gaon's kiddush cup and said that it held 120 grams.


100 grams = 3.4 fluid ounces
120 grams = 4 fluid ounces
150 grams = 5 fluid ounces

According to Rabbi Avraham No'eh, the shiur for kiddush cup should be 3 fluid ounces and according to the Chazon Ish it should be 5 fluid ounces.


At June 14, 2007 at 10:30:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

Altho it's been almost 26 years since we lived in America, the number 4.2 fluid ounces still resounds in my mind. I think that was HaRav Moshe Feinstein ZT"L's shita [Halachic opinion].

At June 14, 2007 at 10:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

The chart in the back of my Kitzur Shulchan Aruch says that R' Feinstein's shiur was 4.42 fluid ounces.

At June 14, 2007 at 11:13:00 AM EDT, Blogger Moshe David Tokayer said...

I think there is confusion between fluid ounces and ounces. 150 grams = 5.3 ounces which is a dry measure. It refers to the weight of the eggs. However, this amount of egg displaces 5 fluid ounces of liquid.

At June 14, 2007 at 11:18:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you for the correction. I have made the correction in the posting and will make the correction in the chart as well.

At June 14, 2007 at 11:30:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Chabakuk Elisha: It looks like our kiddush cup is more machmir than the shiur of the Tzlach!


At June 14, 2007 at 1:37:00 PM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

CE, "Man dachar shmei" [who mentioned him?]. Yes, you're right Rav Moshe's psak was 4.42 fl. oz., which would come out to 132.6 grams.

At June 15, 2007 at 2:56:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gematrai of כוס is 86. This is Rav Chaim Na'eh's shiur in grams.

The gematria of כוס הגון is 150. This is the Chazon Ish's shiur in grams.

At June 17, 2007 at 3:03:00 PM EDT, Blogger J. "יהוא בן יהושפט בן נמשי" Izrael said...

Take note that grams are weight measures and [liquid] ounces are volume measures. As most Torah & Chaza"l measures, zeisim, beitsim and reviis are are also volume measures - Hence the more correct definition would be 100 ml (milliliters) = 3.4 fl. oz.

Also no one enlightened me yet on wheteher R Chaim Noeh agrees or not to the TSLA"CH's shita?


At February 12, 2015 at 2:12:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 oz is 120 grams, water is 1 gram per ml not wine.


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