web analytics
December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Grape Juice At The Seder

Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha

Question: May one use grape juice for the arba kosos?

Answer: Many years ago the hechsher on grape juice stated that only the “old, sick, or minors” were permitted to use grape juice for kiddush and the arba kosos.

Rav Nissan Telushkin, a great talmid chacham and the author of halachic works on the laws of mikveh, once articulated his halachic qualms regarding manufactured grape juice. He believed that bottled grape juice was qualitatively different than juice squeezed from a cluster of grapes. Juice that has just been squeezed from grapes may yet ferment into wine. However, bottled grape juice – because of the way it’s processed – will never ferment into wine. It will never have alcoholic content.

But why must it have alcoholic content? The basis for this requirement is Pesachim 108b where R. Yehuda states that “it must possess the taste and appearance of wine.” Raba provides the source for R. Yehuda’s statement – Proverbs 23:31: “Look not upon the wine when it is red.” The Rashbam explains that this verse takes it as a given that wine is red. And the redness of wine, writes the Rashbam, implies an alcoholic element to it. What the verse is saying is that the alcoholic content of wine should not be judged by its redness.

Another source for the necessity of wine having alcoholic content is Psalms 106:15, which states, “And wine gladdens the heart of man.” Since wine probably makes people happy because of its alcoholic content, it would appear that wine must have alcohol in it.

Thus, at first glance, it would seem that bottled grape juice, which lacks alcoholic content, cannot be used for kiddush or the arba kosos.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 272:4), however, seems to suggest otherwise. Despite R. Yehuda’s statement in the Gemara that wine must be red, the Shulchan Aruch rules one may use white wine for kiddush.

The Gaon of Vilna (Biur HaGra, O.C. 272:4) suggests that the Shulchan Aruch read R. Yehuda’s statement as a halachic preference rather than a halachic ruling. Moreover, another tanna in Pesachim 108 mentions nothing about wine having to be red, which suggests that he disagrees with R. Yehuda. If so, the Shulchan Aruch is simply ruling like the first tanna against R. Yehuda.

Since the requirement for wine to have alcoholic content stems from the same Gemara that states that wine must be red, it would seem that by ruling that wine need not be red, the Shulchan Aruch is implying that it also need not have alcoholic content. Thus, bottled grape juice would be acceptable for kiddush and the arba kosos.

(It is interesting to note that the Mishnah Berurah (272:10) writes that all authorities believe red wine is preferred lechat’chila. The Mishnah Berurah therefore also likely believes that wine should preferably have alcoholic content.)

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Grape Juice At The Seder”

  1. Tim Upham says:

    At ecumenical sedarim, grape juice would be served. Because many Protestant denominations do not believe in the consumption of alcohol.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Knife used in the Jerusalem Lion's Gate attack.
2 Border Police Stabbed Near Jerusalem Old City
Latest Judaism Stories
Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

The court cannot solely rely on death certificates issued by non-Jewish institutions without conducting its own investigation into the facts of the case.

Business-Halacha-logo

“I’m still not sure we have a right to damage his property,” said Mrs. Schloss. “Can you ask someone?”

Rabbi Sacks

Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim over Manasseh had nothing to do with age and everything to do with names

The Glory of Joseph

Slavery was universal; So, why was Egypt targeted in this object lesson?

Rav Akiva Eiger is assuming that the logic of the halacha that both the son and his mother are obligated to honor his father and therefore he must honor his fathers wishes first, is a mathematical equation.

The first requirement is a king must admit when he is wrong.

Reward And Punishment
‘Masser Rishon For The levi’im’
(Yevamos 86a)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Reb Shlomo Zalman could not endure honorifics applied to him because of his enormous humility

Because we see these events as world changing, as moments in history, they become part of us forever.

They stammer “I’m not Orthodox,” as if that absolves them from the responsibility of calling to G-d

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

She was determined that the Law class was Dina’s best chance of finding a husband, and that was the real reason she wanted her to go to college.

But who would have ever guessed that Hashem would unlock the key to the birth on same day as the English anniversary of our wedding.

Rabbi Fohrman explores the question of how God communicates with us today.

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Once this took place, no Beit Din could annul its practice but for an entirely different reason. A minhag accepted by klal Yisrael becomes an obligation that must be practiced.

Cohen-080814-Sign

Is God apologizing for taking away my Father? Is God telling me that He is sorry?

Question: At Birkat Kohanim, who says the phrase, “Am k’doshecha ka’amur”?

Question: How can one determine whether someone is a true disciple of a rav, Rebbe, or rosh yeshiva?

Question: Does halacha agree with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade permitting women to have abortions?

Question: When someone puts on a talit to lead services, should he recite a berachah?

Question: A number of synagogues feature bar mitzvah celebrations for elderly Jews. Is this proper?

Hashem understood their complaint and therefore selected the ritual mitzvah of sukkah to test them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/grape-juice-at-the-seder/2013/03/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: