From the Rav’s Desk: A Diabetics Kiddush options-Making Kiddush and giving to another to drink

  1. Question: [Thursday, 26th Teves 5783]

I am a diabetic and I am on a strict diet, and under doctor’s orders I may not drink any wine or grape juice. My question is regarding what I should do regarding making kiddush on Shabbos for my family, as there are four options available: 1) Should I have my wife make kiddush and be Yotzei with her? 2) Should I make kiddush and simply have my wife to the drinking of the wine? 3) Should I make kiddush over tea or coffee [i.e. Chamer Medina] 4) should I make kiddush over bread? Which of the four is my best option.


In such a case, option two is your best option, to make kiddush over a cup of wine and have your wife drink it. [However, if there is another man at the table than some write that the best option is simply to have him make kiddush and you be Yotzei with him, although according to Admur it seems that even in this case, you may choose to make Kiddush yourself and give to another to drink, such as if you are the Baal Habayis and always make Kiddush for your family. However, if you are able to drink a small amount of wine without any medical repercussions, then you should simply drink a cheek full of wine, rather than give it to someone else to drink.]

Explanation: Initially, Kiddush is to be said over wine and not over other beverages or bread, as there are Poskim who invalidate other beverages or bread for kiddush. Likewise, initially the person who makes kiddush is to be the one who also drinks the wine, as the Geonim rule that one cannot fulfill his obligation of Kiddush unless he himself drinks it, and likewise some Poskim rule that by all Birchas Hanehnin, the blessing may only be said by the person drinking the beverage if he knows how to say the blessing. Likewise, initially one is not to fulfill his obligation of kiddush with the Kiddush of a woman. Accordingly, it is understood that each one of the four options which you offered contains a Halachic deficiency, and although Bedieved one is Yotzei with any of these four options, nonetheless, Lechatchila logic dictates that the best thing is simply to be Yotzei with another man who is making kiddush. If, however, there is no other man available, then the next best option is for you to make kiddush over wine and give it to your wife to drink, and you are not to make Kiddush over bread or Chamer Medina, which is invalid according to some opinions, and likewise should not be Yotzei from your wife making Kiddush. She must drink at least one cheek full of wine in order for you and her to be Yotzei. [This idea that if one is not able to drink the wine, then he may make kiddush and have another drink it, is explicitly recorded in the Poskim, despite the fact that we initially encourage the person who made the kiddush to drink it. It however is only recorded regarding a case that one made a vow to not drink wine, in which case we tell him to make kiddush and have another drink it. However, if he simply hates wine, then the Poskim rule that he is to either force himself to drink it, or is to be Yotzei from someone else. It’s interesting to note, that Admur does not initially encourage one to be Yotzei with another person making kiddush in a case that one made a vow against wine and only encourages one to do so in the case that one hates the wine, hence implying that when one absolutely cannot drink the wine then we do not tell him that he should initially be Yotzei with another person. Vetzaruch Iyun, as seemingly this would be the best directive in order to circumvent all debates and fulfill his obligation according to all opinions, including the Geonim which we initially suspect for. Hence, perhaps we must say that we only encourage one to be stringent like the Geonim if he is able to physically drink the wine, however to be stringent like them to require him to be Yotzei with another, we do not do, as Mitzvah Bo Yoser Mibeshlucho.] Now, seemingly one who is medically prohibited from drinking wine is similar to the person who made a vow against drinking it, and therefore he may even initially make kiddush himself and give it to another to drink. However, the Poskim rule that if he is able to drink a small amount of wine without any medical repercussions, then despite his doctors general orders to not drink wine, he should simply drink a cheek full of wine, rather than give it to someone else to drink.

Sources: See Admur 272:12; Rama 272:9; Kaf Hachaim  272:59; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:34; See regarding person who doctors told him he cannot drink wine, that he should drink small amount: Ikarei Hadat 13:25; Pachad Yitzchak Kuf; Beis Menucah 272:17; Kaf Hachaim  272:59; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:34; See regarding the stringent opinion and initial requirement for the person who made kiddush to be the one who drinks the wine: Admur 271:25 and 190:4 in parentheses; Michaber 271:14; See regarding one who hates wine that he should be Yotzei with another or force himself to drink and not give to another nor make over bread or Chamer Medina: Admur 272:12; M”A 272:9; See regarding one who made a Neder against wine that he may and should make kiddush himself and then give the wine to another to drink, relying on lenient opinion, and not make over bread or Chamer Medina: Admur 272:12; Kuntrus Achron 272:2 that so rule all Achronim; 1st opinion in Admur 271:25; Opinion in parentheses 190:4; Rama 272:9; 1st opinion in Michaber 271:14; Beis Yosef 272; M”A 299:8; Tehila Ledavid 272:6; Toras Shabbos 272:13; Kaf Hachaim 272:58; Chelkas Yaakov 1:89; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:34 footnote 340 Poskim who argue: M”A 272:9 argues on the ruling of the Rama ibid and states that it is forbidden for them to make Kiddush in a case that the person who will be drinking the wine knows how to make kiddush themselves; Admur in the Kuntrus Achron 272:2 negates the M”A ibid and says all the Achronim rule like Rama, and that even the M”A himself retracted; See M”B 272:33  See regarding the initial negation of making kiddush on Chamer Medina or bread: Admur 272:11; 271:27; 289:2 See regarding the initial negation of being Yotzei kiddush from a woman: Admur 271:6; 30:2; 509:1; Kuntrus Achron 1; Michaber 271:2; Kol Bo 31; M”A 271:2; Aguda Shavuos 9; Rav Poalim Sod Yesharim 3:6; M”B 271:4; Biur Halacha 422:2 “Hallel”; 675:3; Brachos 20b and Sukkah 38a one whose wife says blessings for him, even though he is Yotzei, “A curse will befall his home.”; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271:8 footnotes 99-100

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