Preparations for the Seder
9. The [wine] cups (1) must all be whole, without any cracks or
chips. They should be carefully washed and should be able to contain at
least a "revi'is". (2)
(1) As we saw in HY 118:1, it is a mitzvah on the first night of Pesach to
act and feel as if you, yourself, were just freed from slavery in Egypt.
The Sages established the mitzvah of drinking four cups of wine during the
seder, as an outward expression of this newfound freedom (Rambam, 'Yad',
Chometz U'Matzah 7:7).
(2) A "revi'is" literally means "one quarter" because it is equal to the
volume of one quarter of a "log." There is a dispute among the authorities
as to what a revi'is equals in modern measurements. The opinions range from
88.7 ml to 150 ml (5.07 fluid ounces).
If the cup is capable of containing only a revi'is, one should preferably
drink the entire cup of wine for each of the four cups. However, if one is
unable to complete the cup, one can fulfill one's mitzvah by drinking most
of the revi'is, a measure referred to as "maleh lugmav," which literally
means a "cheek-full" (a quantity of liquid which fills one cheek of an
If the cup is capable of holding more than a revi'is, the Ramban rules that
one must drink most of the contents of the cup, whereas the Ran rules that
it is sufficient to drink most of a revi'is. One should preferably conduct
oneself in accordance with the Ramban, however, if one only drank most of a
revi'is of a large cup (containing more than a revi'is), one has fulfilled
his obligation ("Halachos of Pesach," by Rav Shimon Eider Vol II, pg 230
One should make sure to drink an entire revi'is for the fourth cup, because
the "bracha acharona" ("after-blessing"), recited after the fourth cup, may
only be recited after drinking a revi'is.