No Wine for Seder

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Dear Rabbi Simon
My friends and I were having an interesting conversation, but we couldn’t come to any conclusive answers. What would happen if one was unable to acquire wine on Pesach? How would they make kiddush? Would they be forced to make kiddush on matzah – and thus change the order of the seder? Or, would they make kiddush on chamar medina? Sure you’re exceptionally busy but we’d be thrilled if you would clear this up for us. We haven’t been learning long, but we are very much enjoying it so far!
Kind regards,

Dear Walt,
Thank you for your interesting question, which is discussed in Sh”A OH 483.
The Shulhan Arukh itself says that in such a case one should indeed make kiddush on matzah, even though this means distorting the prescribed order of the seder. After the kiddush itself he would recite the blessing on the mitzvah of eating matzah (and eat the initial prescribed amount), then karpas, then the Four Questions, etc., moror, “Hillel sandwich”, etc.
However the Rema adds that if he has access to chamar medinah (suitable for Pesach use), he should use that instead of wine. Although we otherwise follow the view of the Rosh (cited in Sh”A OH 172:9) that chamar medinah is not an option for the night time kiddush (rather use bread/challah/matzah instead), on the seder night one can rely on the authorities who permit it.
I hope this is helpful.
Best wishes for a hag kasher ve-same’ah
Rabbi Rashi 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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