Alternative to Wine & Grape Juice for Seder

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
I can’t drink wine, and grape juice does not agree with me.  Can I substitute pomegranate juice, or something else, even sparkling water.
Many thanks for answering my question,

Dear Leah,
Under the extenuating circumstances you describe, you may substitute another beverage for that of the grape. (Another option is to dilute grape juice, even as much as 1:1 or more with water, as long as you can still taste the grape.) Coffee, tea (not too hot to sip, however), quality orange juice would be OK.  If pomegranate juice is your absolute favourite, and the other options I mentioned do not appeal, you can drink that too for the “4 cups”.  Sparkling water will totally NOT cut it, however.  Use a glass (or cup) that holds 100cc (3.3 oz) and drink the majority of it.  It is not very much, actually.  Less than many people would imagine.

Rabbi Simon
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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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