I recently was reading about allergies and discovered examples of where individuals could experience anaphylaxis from ingesting grapes and grape derivatives.

I was curious as to what the protocol is for someone who can't drink wine and can't ingest grape products.

Obviously, Pikuach Nefesh takes over but just because someone is told not to participate for their own safety, that doesn't mean they'd necessarily be told they are forbidden from participating in a safer way.

A person in sobriety, for example, could simply switch to grape juice. If someone can't use grapes at all, what's the solution for them?

  • Do the Rabbis suggest a different alcohol entirely?
  • Do they suggest a different juice entirely?
  • Do they advise against making Kiddush at all since it wouldn't be done correctly?
  • Is there a hierarchy of "preferred replacements" for wine? Some alcohols or juices being more appropriate over others?

Basically, I'm just curious as to what a Jew in such a situation would have to do.


1 Answer 1


Friday night -- make kiddush on the Challah. (Take the text of kiddush, but put in the hamotzee instead.)

Shabbos day, or havdalah -- the Gemara says you can use whatever respectable beverage is "the local wine equivalent" [chamar medinah]; if the only issue is a grape allergy, then beer is certainly a good option. (Obviously not on Passover, unless it's a fig beer or the like as the Talmud discussed.) Mead is a another popular option discussed. I'd imagine something like hard cider or perry would work as well, as do coffee and tea. Decent-quality orange juice qualifies; milk and soda have different opinions. Hard liquors would certainly be "a respectable beverage", but do we then expect someone to use a cup with 3.3 ounces of the stuff, as they would with wine? Different opinions on that.

  • 6
    Another simple option is for someone else to say it on his behalf. He listens but doesn’t need to drink anything
    – Joel K
    Mar 21, 2021 at 18:33
  • 3
    Decent-quality orange juice doesn't have different opinions???
    – Double AA
    Mar 21, 2021 at 18:49
  • 1
    This answer would be much improved if it'd cite sources for its claims.
    – msh210
    Mar 21, 2021 at 20:31
  • 1
    @DoubleAA I grew up with a rather expansive definition of chamar medinah; who holds orange juice is no good, please?
    – Shalom
    Mar 22, 2021 at 0:21
  • 1
    @msh210 evening KSA 77:3 MB 271:41, day SA 272:9 289:2 and MB 272:24. Shalom feel free to edit in if you wish
    – mbloch
    Mar 22, 2021 at 6:33

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