Ask the Rabbi

Yayin Nesech - Conservative Conversion


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Nisan 26, 5783
Hi, Im trying to understand why we still keep yayin nesech today and also have the below specific questions relevant to recent experiences. 1. A friend that completed her conservative conversion 2. A friend that completed a reform conversion 3. A friend that the mother completed her conservative conversion before she was born and she is now in the process of getting an orthodox conversion When I have these people over for a meal and have wine at the table that is not mevushal how should I deal with it after the fact? Both when I realized midway during the meal after people were passing and pouring as well as in general going forward? I find it very hard to understand a concept created because of aovdah zara should still be relevant today and be used to embarrass people on the path to Judaism? Please advise. Thanks
Yayin Nesech is wine which was poured in the service of idolatry. The Torah prohibits drinking or deriving any benefit from such wine. Stam Yeinam is wine which may have been poured for an idolatrous service, but we did not see it happen. As a result, the rabbis decreed that wine which was produced by a non-Jew, touched by a non-Jew, or even kosher wine which was left unattended with a non-Jew, is forbidden for drinking and benefit because it may have been poured for idolatry. Even if the non-Jew who touched the wine does not worship idols, the rabbis still forbade the wine, for another reason - because drinking wine with them can lead to intermarriage. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rema, Yoreh Deah, 123:1). Once it is cooked (Mevushal), kosher wine does not become forbidden even if touched by a non-Jew (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah, 123:3). All of the friends you listed are Halachically not Jewish. The wine they touch is forbidden unless it was cooked. The best thing to do regarding these sensitive situations, is to avoid them in advance by making sure the wine you serve is cooked. If by mistake you served uncooked wine and it was passed around the table already, you must deal with the situation wisely and sensitively, without compromising on keeping Halachah.
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