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Under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors, Jews were official importers of exotic foods from the Holy Land;[1] they also provided wine for Christian mass.

At the time, what did the rabbis write about the following matters?:

  • What were the halachic issues involved? Food issues? Basar b'chalav? Providing wine for use in a Christian religious ceremony?

  • And, in the end, did they allow or forbid the Jews to provide the wine?

[1] Source.

(Related: a question which is not about historical responsa, but is about the practical halacha today regarding the wine question.)

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Rabbi Levi Cash, welcome to the site; I hope you stick around and enjoy it. If you register, you'll be able to log in from other locations, so the site can keep track of your contributions better and provide you with a better experience on the site. – msh210 Sep 14 '11 at 19:40
Rabbi Levi Cash, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for what promises to be an interesting question! Could you please flesh out your question a bit more, in terms of references about the historical situation and in terms of the issues you think should have come up? – Isaac Moses Sep 14 '11 at 19:41
I think you need to start a bounty on this one already – Imray Jan 20 '13 at 3:01
I see two ways to read this question. One is that Charlemagne is an example of the opportunity, but the question isn't limited to that opportunity at that time, but rather what halachic issues would impact any other opportunity of the same type. The other is looking for Halachic material specifically about that place and time. Existing answers have been confused by this. Can you clarify the question one way or another? [I'm skeptical that enough survived from that time to answer the latter question, though]. – Yishai Jun 18 '14 at 20:39

It is forbidden to derive pleasure/benefit from wine that a non-Jew touched since we suspect that it may have been used in an idolatrous ceremony (not so much the case nowadays, but we maintain the issur.

We learn from the Rema (Yoreh Daiah 123:1) that one cannot give wine, which can become an assar behana'ah, to a non-Jew as a gift, since the gift generates goodwill and thus benefit is derived. I think it's fair to apply the same logic to selling wine to a non-Jew which generates profit, or at least revenue.

See more at Chicago Kosher;

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The Rema is only talking about wine that has already been touched by the non-Jew. The question could be asking about wine which hasn't yet been touched by a non-Jew. Moreover, do you have any evidence any of this was written in response to Charlemagne? – Double AA Nov 5 '12 at 20:06
No, why does it specifically have to do with the Jews under Charlemagne? The Rema held that any benefit from something that is assur behana'ah is assur. Regarding whether the wine he was talking about was already touched - you could be correct. – Imray Nov 5 '12 at 22:12
Re "why does it specifically have to do with the Jews under Charlemagne?": because the question sought "halachic responses to these opportunities [under Charlemagne and the Carolingian emperors]". – msh210 Nov 6 '12 at 6:40
The Rema does not say that all. In fact, according to the Rema you can derive benefit from wine of a non-Jew. Anyone who bothers to look in the Rema can see that clearly. – Alter Bochur Dec 30 '15 at 12:52

protected by Community Sep 12 '14 at 4:55

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