Q. What should one do if he is a guest by someone’s house, or comes to someone’s simcha, and the host makes Kiddush on a small cup of schnapps, as is the Chassidic custom? May one rely on this Kiddush and eat in order to avoid embarrassing the person? One could ask for wine, but perhaps wine is not available or perhaps the person would be insulted.
A. It is common knowledge for people who attend even Chassidic minyanim, that day kiddush on a cup of wine is preferred to using a small liquor cup, and Rebbes most often do so. Therefore, Horav Shlomo Miller’s opinion is that likely it would not be offensive or insulting at all, to kindly ask the host for a cup of grape juice if available.
Yet common sense is of the essence, and if indeed the request is seen as discourteous or offensive, sholom bais should prevail. If wine or grape juice is unavailable, a full cup of other chamar medina, such as a fixed (diluted) drink, coffee or tea can be used.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit’a