Question:

A person who absolutely can not eat bread because they are allergic to gluten, what do they do for Shabbos meals? Is there any reason to wash? I know the Shulchan Aruch1)Orach Chaim 288:2 holds that if one really suffers from eating he doesn’t need to have a seuda. Is our case comparable to that case where any bite of challah would cause massive pain? Also, what would be with eating matzoh on Seder night? Should this person hurt themselves to eat a kezayis of matzo?

Answer:

The din by seudas shabbos is that there is a hierarchy of preferences2)Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 291:5:

  1. Bread meal
  2. Mezonos
  3. Foods that Normally Accompany Bread
  4. Fruit

Since the person you are describing only has an issue with gluten, they need to ascertain whether oat flour or spelt flour are tolerable. If their issue is with all forms of flour (which is actually unusual) they could rely on #3 above as an alternative.

As for matzoh on Pesach, we would be more demanding. But you should know that they now have both oat matzoh and spelt matzoh for people in this situation. The person should also check with a doctor who knows their particular situation to have a greater clarity in terms of what they may be able to tolerate and what would be best. Obviously, she can eat one of the smallest kezaysim allowed according to halacha.

References   [ + ]

1. Orach Chaim 288:2
2. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 291:5