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What Should Diabetics Do Regarding Seder?

diabThe following information was released by the spokesman’s office for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel pertaining to how a diabetic may contend with the yomtov demands of seder night. The responses were provided by Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau Shlita. [Please consult with your local Orthodox Rabbi on what one should do.]

This refers to a diabetics using diet, tablets or injections of insulin.

The Mitzvah of 4 Cups of Wine:

A diabetic may fulfill the mitzvah by drinking four cups of grape juice. Every 100cc of grape juice is less than 70 calories. Therefore, one may fulfill one’s obligation if one drinks the majority of a revi’is for the first three cups, and an entire revi’is for the last cup. If he drank 45cc (32cc) for the first three cups and 90cc (which is 63 calories) he will end up having ingested 160 calories.

In cases of need, one may drink only a majority of a revi’is for the last cup too.

The Mitzvah of Eating Matzah:

Each machine made matzah contains 100 calories. One may be lenient and measure the shiur for matzah as being one-half of a machine matzah. We eat this amount three times; for achilas matzah, the korech sandwich, and the afikomen. Therefore, one may have to eat fewer calories than one is accustomed to during the meal (like rice/potatoes) towards fulfilling the mitzvah of matzah.

Eating Charoses:

One may avoid eating charoses if one wishes or one may eat a tiny amount.

A diabetic who uses injects insulin numerous times or receives insulin via a pump usually checks blood sugar levels a number of times daily to adjust each dose. Such a person may ingest the wine and matzah and adjust the insulin accordingly to compensate, giving oneself a bit more than usual to address the increase in blood sugar.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Courtesy of Jerusalem Kosher News)

5 Responses

  1. In the zechus of being mekayem the mitzvos of the Seder, may all cholei Klal Yisroel have a refu’ah sheleima bekarov.

  2. the problem is not calories but the sugar which grape juice is naturally full of.the best thing ig dry wine like merlot or cabarnet.matzohs are best whole wheat which causes a lesser spike inblood glucose,

  3. #2: Are you a diabetic??

    It’s not the sugar, it’s the alcohol content (alcohol=sugar). Some Merlots are 13% or higher in alcohol. LIGHT grape juice is the best choice. I am mashlim the cup with a drop of KAL to have some “red wine” in the kos.

  4. If you are diabetic you follow your doctor’s orders. Period.

    If your doctor says you can’t eat the required amount of matzah or drink the required amount of grape juice then you are patur from the mitzvah in order that you may live longer and keep other mitzvot!

  5. This is bad advice. It is not the calories, it is the CARBS. Sugar is not that different than other carbs. There are much better ways for a diabetic to manage on Pesach. Please see which has a lot of guides for us to manage on Yom Tov. This site was created by Rabbi Meisels who has been helping thousands and thousands of diabetics for many years.

    Dry wine is a much better choice, though you may want to get a smaller cup or the alcohol may put you to sleep. You may also be able to mix it with water, consult the guides or speak to your local rabbi to know how much water can be added.

    fyi, Potato starch is no good either. The idea is to lower the intake of carbs.

    Take a look at the site or contact Rabbi Meisels if necessary. Fyi, the organization can also use your funds if you can help.

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