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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Naso – The Rosh Yeshiva Responds – Birkat Eirusin When the Bride or Groom Cannot Drink Wine

by Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on June 13, 2024)
Topics: Naso, Rosh Yeshiva Responds, Sefer Bamidbar, Torah

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מִיַּ֤יִן וְשֵׁכָר֙ יַזִּ֔יר חֹ֧מֶץ יַ֛יִן וְחֹ֥מֶץ שֵׁכָ֖ר לֹ֣א יִשְׁתֶּ֑ה

he shall abstain from wine and strong drink: he shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink (Bamidbar 6:3)

QUESTION—South Central, USA

I’m officiating at a wedding, and the kallah said she can’t drink wine or grape juice. The only liquids she can drink are water or tea. What would you recommend they say the berakhot over at the wedding? Thank you.


A couple of possibilities:

1. The chatan can drink without the kallah doing so.

2. You don’t need wine really – Shulchan Arukh EH 62:1 ואם אין יין מצוי מברך על השכר.

3. Bedieved you don’t need a kos at all. See Beit Shmuel there who writes ואם אין שכר מצוי יברך בלא כוס.

I think if you don’t want to do #1, she should do tea, which is חמר מדינה and should be as good as שכר.

If she can drink freshly squeezed grapes, that is best, as this is considered like wine. See Shulchan Arukh OC 272:2.

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