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Why do Jews say "L'Chaim" when they drink wine?


Question: Why do Jews say "L'Chaim" when they drink wine?
Answer: The custom of saying "LeChaim" when drinking wine is first mentioned in "Machzor Vitri" 80, s.v. "Shnayim."

At one time, they used to give wine to the condemned so that their execution would be less painful for them - (source: "Midrash Tanchuma" Parshat Pekudei 2).

Jews started to say "LeChaim" (which means "to life") before drinking wine to distinguish from this and to emphasize that drinking wine should be for life - (source: "Kol Boh" 25 s.v "U'B'Seudat").

With blessings from Jerusalem,
Rabbi Shraga Simmons
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