There is a letter of the Lubavitcher Rebbe where he writes a letter to a person whose brother said that not traveling on a Jewish owned ship is a "hard test" (which the person seemed to have failed).

The Rebbe responded the list of aveiros the person did while traveling, and one of those was that he drank Yayin nesech "since you traveled in a way that involved public Shabbos desecration, and you did kiddush on wine that was owned by a person who publicly desecrates Shabbos [the ship owner]. This wine is prohibited for drinking (and the hashgacha is a contradiction, since the prohibition of drinking the wine of a person who violates Shabbos isn't because of him touching [the wine]). Moreover, according to several Gdolim, even a seal within a seal wouldn't help, since the wine was already forbidden for drinking from before."

What is the source of prohibiting wine solely based on its ownership by a non-Jew/mechalel Shabbos?

  • I think you may be misreading this: "(והשגחה על זה ה"ז חוכא וטלולא, כי אין איסור יינו של מחלל שבת בפרהסיא מפני מגע עכו"ם. וק"ל)". I'm pretty sure the Rebbe is saying having someone who is mechalel shabbat in public watch the wine to make sure it isn't touched by a non-jew is a joke, since the non-shomer shabbat guy touching it himself makes the wine assur. Anyway, see here for some sources daat.ac.il/daat/toshba/halacha/din-2.htm OR www.tora.co.il/shiurim/zazon/wein_mechalel.doc OR
    – Menachem
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 6:41
  • google.com/…
    – Menachem
    Commented Oct 5, 2011 at 6:48
  • Perhaps paragraph 31 and footnotes may be the beginning of an answer: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=48086&pgnum=132
    – Menachem
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 20:09
  • Here is the link to HaRav Shternbuch's hard-line approach mentioned in the footnotes in my previous comment: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20026&pgnum=335
    – Menachem
    Commented Jan 17, 2012 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


Dont really know the context of the letter, but there is a Zohar source brought down in SA commentaries that if a non Jew looks at wine (ie looks at, not touches) it becomes forbidden. There are some people who only get their wine in sealed boxes because of this.

There is no reference to non-shomer shabbat people invalidating wine in the laws of forbidden wine. It all comes from shechita - if a non jew who is expert in the laws of shechita kills an animal according to the laws of shetita, the animal is not kosher. Someone who breaks shabbat in public or is involved in avoda zara gets the law of a non jew. This refers to shecita and the rest of the torah. The MB says that you cannot count one for a minyan.

Now how to define - someone who breaks shabbat in public - is not so simple, and by most definitions, people who drive to the golf course on shabbat are not included. But people are machmir for wine, and not so for minyan. But you would have to speak to your halacic guider for psak on how to act in regard


Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 131:1 says in part:

ישראל שעשה יינו של עובד כוכבים בטהרה כדי שיהא מותר לישראל בין שמכרו לישראל ולא פרע לו מעות בין שלא מכרו לו אלא שהוא מטהרו כדי למכרו ע"י לישראלים ... אסור אפילו בחותם תוך חותם עד שיהא ישראל יושב ומשמר ...

See the entire sif for the lengthy point, but the bottom line is that even double sealing does not help if the one who forbids the wine owns it and has full permission to touch it. It has to be actively watched (in and out of the Mashgiach is enough). Double sealing only helps once the wine is controlled by an independent party (even a non-Jew) or if the Jew has some ownership in it and paid at least part of the amount owed for it. Double sealing also helps when sending the wine with a non-Jewish messenger (Y.D. 136).


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