Hi Rabbi Kornfeld,
Just a quick question.
In the Insights to Avodah Zarah 69 the Kollel wrote-
>>In addition, today the opposite situation exists -- more "observant" Jews are suspected of drinking wine of Nochrim than of having immoral relations.<<
Is this statement from today or from the time of the REMA?
If from the time of the REMA I can understand this but from Todays society I do not understand this statement because;
a) There are hundreds of wine labels available which are equivalent or superior to non-kosher wines?
b) There are many kosher wines which are bottled at the same facility and are the exact same wine with a label indicating kashrus which can only be noticed upon close examination
c) in general non-jewish society is much more promiscuous than in the past and is more available.
Therefore I would have thought the opposite would be true - I would more easily suspect a person who puts on an act of observance - as being immorally involved and not of drinking non-kosher wine.
The TAZ, cited in the Insight to which you are referring, concludes, "Therefore, a Jew who has a relationship with a Nochri woman is certainly suspected of not caring about Stam Yayin, and thus if his wine was in the company of his Nochri companion, it is considered Stam Yayin."
This is certainly true even today. If a person acquires a Kosher wine and lets a Nochris touch it, the Hechsher on the wine will not help (unless the wine is Mevushal, which the good ones are not). The wine will become "Stam Yayin." If a Jew is flirting a non-Jewish woman, there certainly are grounds to suspect that he will not be careful and will allow her to touch his wine. (Besides, it is evident that not every Jew is aware that this will prohibit the wine.)
Be well, M. Kornfeld
Dear Rabbi Kornfeld,
In our everyday business society here in NYC you don't even have to come to promiscuity to concern ourselves with stam yainom. One may host a business meeting and bring bottles of kosher wine and there is a concern that one of the gentile's at the table would simply pour a glass for himself before you have a chance to pour it form him. It happens more often than one might think in offices on Wall Street. This gets to the heart of the problem of how much of this particular halacha deals with "separation from gentiles" and the effect this has on our contemporary American reality that a good deal of business and social relationships we share with gentile Americans brings us into some tension with various halachot that are aimed at "separation." I would appreciate your comments on this.
It certainly does seem as though this is the situation which the Chachamim had in mind when they instituted these laws! The "inconvenience" has a clear religious goal.
I would consider the kollels' answer correct if the line I originally quoted would have been left out of the Insights of Daf 69. The line I quoted is extraneous to the pshat - e.g. it is independent.
Therefore if there is an "observant" Jew who is suspected of breaking some halachas -
you can not assume a greater probability of drinking stam yayim than promiscuity because of the reasons I stated below - also that line does not indicate that the "observant" Jew is actually involved with a non-jewish woman - it is a suspicion..just as drinking stam yayim is a suspicion...
From what I have read - Yayin Mevushal is now "flash pasteurized" thus not affecting its taste or aging ability - it can not be distinguished from non-mevushal ----- except theoretically for aging wines over many many years - since the technology now in use is not that old we can not tell extreme long range aging effects - we would know if someone aged their mevushal wine 100 years from now vs. the same non-mevushal.
Thanks, Shabbat Shalom,
I am sorry that you read the line out of context. It was indeed referring specifically to the case of a Jew who invites over a Nochri woman-friend to drink from his non-Mevushal wine. The Jew will probably allow his friend to touch the wine, not realizing (or not caring) that this will prohibit the wine. Of course, if the wine that he serves is considered (Halachically) to be "Mevushal," this Halachah will not apply.
From my experience, there are many suitable mevushal wines that can be brought to a business meeting. While one perhaps would like the flexibility of having all kinds of wines available, it strikes me as fairly fool-hardy to bring non-mevushal wines to a mixed group.