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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - seder: Recovering Aloholic and 4 Kosos
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: Is there any acceptable substitute for wine or grape juice? A recovering alcoholic would have a problem with either.

I'm not an expert in the field, but I remember reading a story from R' Twersky (who is) which implied that a recovering alchaholic wiuld not have a problem with grape juice. He relates that a Cathilic priest who was a recovering alchoholic asked how he could continue performing his religious duties without drinking wine. R' Twersky replied the for Jews grape juice is an acceptable substitute for wine. The priest referred the issue to his superior and eventually recieved an answer from the Vatican that if its good enough for the Jews its good enough for them.

But if grape juice is an issue, then there is a concept of chamar medina which can be used in place of wine. R' Moshe Feinstein zatzal defines chamar medina as a liquid that people dring even when they are not thirsty and is not just flavored water. Coke and instant coffee are considered flavored water, but brewed coffee and beer (not an option on Pesach) are generally regarded as chamar medina. It should be emphasised that chamar medina should be relied on only under extreme circumstances, which would include a recovering alchoholic.

posted:2008-04-14 08:47:10

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