Halacha for Tuesday 4 Nissan 5778 March 20 2018

The Pesach Seder-Kadesh

The famous order of the Seder of the eve of Pesach, Kadesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Magid, Rochtza, Motzi, Matzah, Maror, Korech, Shulchan Orech, Tzafun, Barech, Hallel, Nirtzah, was established by the rabbi of the entire Jewish nation, Rashi. The entire Jewish nation customarily follows this order on the night of Pesach, as is printed in all Machzorim and Haggadot. Thank G-d, nowadays, there are many revised editions of the “Passover Haggadah” available that clearly delineate the proper way to conduct the entire Pesach Seder. Anyone who is leading a Pesach Seder would act wisely to purchase a Haggadah compiled according to the views of the leading rabbinical authorities of the generation. (We suggest using the Pesach Haggadah entitled “Chazon Ovadia” which was authored by Maran Rabbeinu zt”l and has since been printed several times in several new and beautiful editions. This Haggadah is especially helpful through its instruction on how to properly lead a Pesach Seder.)

Which Wine to Purchase for the Seder
The wine upon which one blesses “Boreh Peri Ha’Gefen” during the Seder and all year round must halachically consist of at least a majority of actual grape juice (some are more stringent and require more than this amount). Wine that has a large amount of water or sugar mixed in it does not retain the blessing of “Boreh Peri Ha’Gefen”, rather, its blessing is “Shehakol Nihya Bidvaro” just as it is simple that soft drinks which contain approximately ten percent grape juice require the “Shehakol” blessing. One should therefore purchase only wine or grape juice which is known to retain the “Boreh Peri Ha’Gefen” blessing even according to the opinion of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch.

Grape Juice
If it is difficult for one to drink wine at the Seder, one may drink grape juice and one satisfactorily fulfills one’s obligation of drinking the Four Cups in this way. If one acts stringently and uses specifically wine or wine mixed with some grape juice, one is especially praiseworthy.

The Amount of Wine One Must Drink
The amount of wine one must drink during the Seder is one “Revi’it” per cup, which is approximately 81 cc (or approximately 2.8 fluid ounces) per cup to be drunk without interruption, which means that one must drink all 81 cc in one shot (meaning without interruption) for every cup drunk. However, if one drinks only a majority of a Revi’it which is approximately 45 cc (or approximately 1.5 fluid ounces), one has fulfilled one’s obligation and need not drink that cup again.

An Ill Individual
One who has difficulty drinking an entire Revi’it of wine and acts leniently and only drinks a majority of a Revi’it every time should be careful at least for the third or fourth cup to drink an entire Revi’it so that one may recite the “Al Ha’Gefen” blessing afterwards. (This is because regarding the “Al Ha’Gefen” blessing, which is the blessing recited after drinking wine, a majority of a Revi’it is insufficient to recite this blessing.)

If one suffers from diabetes and has been instructed not to drink the four cups of wine (or grape juice), such an individual may not drink the four cups and it is forbidden for him to try and act stringently.

Summary: One should only purchase wine with a respectable Kashrut supervision which upholds the Sephardic customs as well. If one cannot drink wine, one may drink grape juice instead. One should drink the four cups of wine based on the order set forth in the Haggadah. For every cup, one should drink at least 2.8 fluid ounces of wine. If it is very difficult for one to drink, one may be lenient and drink only a majority of a Revi’it, i.e. approximately 1.5 ounces. (One should, nevertheless, drink an entire Revi’it for the third or fourth cup.)

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

If One Must Rise Before a Rabbi Every Time He Enters the Room

Question: The custom in our community is to rise every time the rabbi of the synagogue enters the sanctuary. Even if the rabbi enters the synagogue several times, we rise for him every time. Recently though, one of the members of the synagogue raised issue with this and said that the more observant ......

Read Halacha

Pausing Silently in the Middle of the Amida Prayer

The Amida prayer must be recited with continuity. One may not interrupt one’s Amida prayer for any reason. In the previous Halacha, we have written that if one begins reciting the Amida prayer and senses a foul odor emanating from a baby and the like, one must stop praying immediately, for......

Read Halacha

Question: What should one do if one senses a foul odor, such as from a baby and the like, while one is standing and reciting the Amida prayer?

Answer: The Torah states, “And your camp shall be holy.” We derive from this verse that one may not pray, recite a blessing, or any other words of holiness when there is something repulsive, such as excrement or a foul odor in the area. Thus, one may not pray when a child is running a......

Read Halacha

Cooking by Non-Jews in Restaurants or Hotels

Question: We have written in the past regarding a restaurant where a Jew ignites the flame in the morning that although a non-Jewish cook places the foods on the fire, it is nevertheless permissible to eat in such restaurants and this does not constitute a prohibition of foods cooked by a non-Jew. R......

Read Halacha


Prayer Texts

The various texts of the prayer found among the various communities of the Jewish nation all have strong and holy roots. Therefore, one should not deviate from the prayer text that one’s forefathers were accustomed to. Hence, a Sephardic individual should not adopt the prayer text of Ashkenazi......

Read Halacha

The Obligation to Stand While Kaddish and Barechu are Recited

Question: When the Chazzan or an individual receiving an Aliya to the Torah recites “Barechu Et Hashem Ha’Mevorach” and the congregation replies “Baruch Hashem Ha’Mevorach Le’Olam Va’ed,” must the congregation rise completely or partially or is there n......

Read Halacha

Praying in Pajamas

Question: Can one pray while wearing pajamas? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have established that before praying, one must prepare a fitting place, proper attire, and cleanse one’s body and thoughts, as the verse in the book of Amos states, “Prepare yourself before your G-d, Isra......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b)......

Read Halacha