The S"A 125:1 (YD) states that a non-Jew pouring non-Mevushal wine makes (at least) that wine unfit, but other than citing earlier authorities (maybe, I can't figure that part out) he doesn't give a reason, and I must say, I can't figure out why.

It isn't because of idolatry as there is no physical contact for a stirring libation, extra pouring for a pouring libation or shichshuch for a shaking libation, and the rema, in 123 states that simply touching a container of even open wine (non-mevushal) is no problem.

In fact, this was not a concern in Masechet Avodah Zarah 71a. In the mishna there, a non-Jew lifts up barrels of a Jew's wine and pours wine out to make a purchase. The only question there is one of ownership (kinyan hagba'ah). If the ownership is not effected, the wine in the barrel doesn't become unfit. Where does this additional measure of forbidden-ness come from?

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    the gemara on 58b gives two facts codified by the rambam mechon-mamre.org/i/5212.htm -- wine "b'kocho" without kavanah of idolatry is mutar for drinking but miderobonon should be avoided because of lech, lech! (though halacha 13 says that if a non jew helped in pouring the wine it is still mutar). also halacha 11 says that anything not clearly talmudic avodah zarah is not included anyway. so why do we worry today?
    – rosends
    Jul 19, 2012 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


Before the answer to your question The gemoro Avoda zara 71a is talking about selling all of the wine in the barrel to an idol worshiper. When the idolater pours the contents prior to an agreed payment he renders the barrel Yayin nesech i.e "poured" wine, and since he did not yet owe any money to the Jew Because the payment of the money makes the acquisition (the idolator has not yet payed) So you are mistaken in your words "If the ownership is not effected, the wine in the barrel doesn't become unfit."

This is from oukosher.org everything you need to know:

Stam yainum refers to wine which might have been poured for an idolatrous service, but we did not see it happen. In the days of the Mishnah, there was a pagan ritual to pour off some wine from every bottle in honor of an idol. Because of the uncertainty, the rabbis decreed that wine that was produced by a nachri, or even kosher wine which was left unattended with a nachri, is forbidden for drinking and benefit because it may have been poured for idolatry. After the rabbinic decree was enacted we treat stam yainum as if we saw it being poured (Tur Y.D. 123).

Even if the nachri who touched the wine was a monotheist, and he would therefore certainly not serve an idol, the rabbis still forbade the wine, for another reason—because sharing wine can lead to intermarriage. However, in this case, it is only forbidden to drink the wine, but one may benefit from this wine in other ways (e.g., it may be bought and sold). (See Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 123:26 and Shach 123:51.)

So while an idolater touching the barrel will not render it unfit, pickink it up and pouring it without touching it will.

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