Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Assume for the purposes of the question that all circumstances are the same as if the wine had been made/handled by non-Jews. I don't want answers regarding whether it is Mevushal or whether Mevushal really helps or if it was opened or not opened, etc. I am asking purely: Are the rules the same for non-religious Jews as they are for non-Jews with regard to making/handling wine? If I cannot drink a bottle of wine because of the way/fact that it was made/handled by a non-Jew, am I prohibited from drinking that bottle if it was made/handled the same way by a non-religious Jew?

share|improve this question
I'm not sure the footnote ('refrain from defining non-religious. Let's assume it is easily defined that the person in question is non-religious") is helpful. If, for example — and I don't know that this is the case — the halacha depends on whether the person is a mumar, then a correct answer will have to mention that distinction, thereby violating your request that it "refrain from defining non-religious". Not that question as a whole isn't good (+1 from me), just that that footnote might need to be ignored when answering. –  msh210 Sep 26 '11 at 15:41
I think you may mean non-observant. How "non" isn't really vital for the purposes of posing the question, I think. –  neilfein Oct 5 '11 at 6:09
@msh210 Then the answer would be, "It depends on whether or not he is a Mumar." It could be that wine handled by anyone who violates Shabbath in public is a problem. That's not what I'm asking. I'm purely asking if the rule is exclusive to non-Jews because of Yein Nesach, or if it applies also to Jews under certain circumstances. If it's only if the Jew is a heretic outright and/or believes in a non-Jewish religion and might be suspected of actually using the wine for said religion, then that would also be a fine answer. But that = "it depends". –  Seth J Oct 5 '11 at 13:22

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

According to Eretz Chemda, if he is a "Tinok shenishba", his wine would be kosher. If he isn't (he says he denies Hashem after he investigated the matter) and is Mechalel Shabbos in public (even in front of a Torah Scholar), his wine would be Yayin Nesech.

share|improve this answer

In order to avoid situations of mixed-marriages , which almost certainly lead to assimilation , the Rabbis enacted many decrees whose goal was to inhibit the forming of close relationships between Jews and non-Jews. The laws of stam yeinam (wine that was produced or handled by Non-Jews) are included in these decrees. On the other hand, the Torah, and in its footsteps, the Rabbis, wanted to encourage close relationships amongst Jews, and they therefore established that a single witness is believed regarding prohibitions. The Yerushalmi explains that this was done in order to enable Jews to conveniently eat and drink with their fellow Jews. Let us therefore preface our response with some of the principles and basic laws regarding wine and when a non-Jew comes in contact with it, only afterwards will we deal with the issue of wine that comes in contact with a Jew. Even if a non-Jew opens a bottle of wine, the contents are not prohibited . If a non-Jew pours a cup of wine, according to many opinions, the wine is prohibited , while some opinions are lenient if a monetary loss, even a small one, is involved . There is also a dispute regarding the permissibility of the wine that remains in the bottle . Even those who are stringent will permit the wine if a large loss would otherwise be incurred . All this is regarding natural wine, but cooked wine was never included in the prohibition . There is a dispute amongst contemporary Rabbis if the pasteurization process renders the wine as cooked or not , one can be lenient, since this is a doubt on a rabbinic prohibition. Now we will explain the law regarding wine that was poured by a non-religious Jew . If he would open a bottle of wine, the wine is certainly permitted, as was mentioned earlier regarding a non-Jew, all the more so when it is opened by a Jew. If a non-religious Jew pours a cup of wine , if he is the type of Jew who does not fulfill the ritual commandments (bein adam LaMakom), since that is how he was educated and raised from a young age , then the wine does not become prohibited by his pouring or his touch. However, if he declares about himself that he willingly is a non-believer as the result of his investigations and searches , and he publically violates Shabbat, meaning he violates Shabbat even in front of a great person , then he is considered as someone who is a heretic on the entire Torah , and the wine would be prohibited. In any case where there is a doubt as to his status, one may be lenient, as is the case with every doubt on a rabbinic prohibition. A full response in Hebrew with sources can be found Bemareh Habazak volume 7 siman 62: http://eretzhemdah.org/data/uploadedfiles/ebooks/36-sfile.pdf

share|improve this answer

To add to Shmuel Brin's answer: R' Moshe Feinstein ruled that a Jew married to a non-Jew is presumed to not observe Shabbos, and non-mevushal wine that he touches is therefore forbidden (Igros Moshe YD vol. 2, §132).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.