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If a secular (non-observant) Jew touches wine that isn't mevushal does that render it not kosher for him to drink?

Nafka Mina: gifting non-mevushal wine to a secular friend.

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2 Answers 2

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I asked this very question to Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz, shlita, with regard to someone on their way to becoming frum but who isn’t yet keeping Shabbos. He said it would be permissible for him (but not others) to drink as you can’t both treat him as a non-Jew with regards to assuring the wine and then treat him as a Jew for drinking it. I do not know if this was a one-size-fits-all answer or if it’s only for those on their way to becoming frum.

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There are a group of discussions that state that a mechalel shabbos befarhesia (deliberate transgressor of shabbos) will make the wine that he touches yayin nesech.

For example, see the answers to this question

Once that is done (since he is still a Jew), it would be forbidden for him to drink. This is similar to serving non-Kosher food to a "secular" Jew who does not keep kosher. The halachos of "tinok shenishba" (captured infant literally) may apply if he does not know the halachos of shabbos.

Note that even though the "stam yainam" takkana is made to prevent intermarriage (originally), once it was made, it must be kept in all circumstances. Thus, when a Jew is to be treated as a non-Jew (in certain cases), he is still forbidden to sin as a Jew. Thus a Jew whose wine is treated as if he were a non-Jew, would also be forbidden to drink it himself.

However, in the case that you specify, while the wine is mutar before you give it to him, his opening it could cause it to become yayin nesech and asur. As a result, you could be liable for "lifnei iver" (do not put a stumbling block before a blind person) by enabling him to sin.

As a result, you should only give your secular friend yayin mevushal.

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  • I'd love to see a source that discusses this question specifically. S'sam yenam is a decree to prevent intermarriage IINM, which seems to be irrelevant when it comes to someone's drinking wine he himself moved.
    – msh210
    Oct 4, 2015 at 18:39
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    Are you even allowed to offer food to someone secular that you know will not recite the proper brachot on them?
    – Ani Yodea
    Oct 4, 2015 at 20:03
  • @AniYodea, judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/ask Oct 4, 2015 at 20:43
  • @msh210 the logic is that once the wine becomes forbidden, he himself would be forbidden to drink it as he is still forbidden to sin. Oct 4, 2015 at 21:07
  • One can argue and say it's asur because of chashash avoda zara, however regarding yourself, you know your intents. Therefore for yourself it might be permissible.
    – Shlomy
    Jan 18 at 19:24

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