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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bris Wine and Baby

A recent experience caused me to rethink not the concept, nor the method, but the source of the wine we give to the baby.

As discussed in the original posting on wine, the source for giving the baby wine most likely comes from the situations in which he is the ideal candidate for drinking it because everyone else is fasting, and no one else has had any of the wine. That the wine is soothing and may act as a kind of analgesic is an added benefit - but is frankly, irrelevant after the circumcision is over (which is the point in time when most of the wine is typically given to him). 

"What happened recently?" you ask.  I'll tell you.

I was about to give some wine to the baby, when the person who had just taken a sip said to me, "I'm sick! Don't give the baby any wine from that cup."

I readily complied and dipped my gauze directly into the bottle, to give the baby "untainted" wine  

After that day, it occurred to me that while the baby is highly unlikely to catch anything from the wine, especially if the drinker merely takes a sip (which is usually the case) and particularly if he does not backwash, but still... If we are trying to keep the baby safe, shouldn't the baby have a cup of wine designated for him, which is not touched by anyone?

Now, there are some rabbis who specifically do not drink from the cup.  While they say the blessings, some wine typically drips on their fingers, and they taste the wine on their fingers, leaving the cup alone.  In those cases, the cup and wine in it remains untainted, and the wine in the cup is as "safe" as the wine in the bottle. But in most cases the one reciting the blessing sips from the cup. Wouldn't it be better for baby if there were a cup of wine dedicated for his use only, so he need not share a cup with an adult who may possibly have some virus in his mouth that could possibly be transferred...?

May be extreme, but seems logical to me... especially in light of the second source quoted here!

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