June 20, 2007

by Reb Yudel
The wine is Kosher... but is it ethical?

A while back, Andy pointed out that Reform Judaism magazine had an article on Kosher wine. Also noting the phenomenon -- new for Reform -- was Rabbi Jill Jacobs, who on Jspot challenged the Reform movement to not ignore its principles when it (re)considers tradition:
I scoured the section for the articles on “Here’s how Reform Jews grapple with the kosher wine issue,” or “Here are some ways to think about kosher wine vis a vis our changing relationship with non-Jews” or “Should an intermarried couple raising a Jewish family buy only mevushal wine” but to no avail.

The picture here is only rosy– boiling wine is a “tradition” that reminds us of the good ol’ days when Jews were Jews and Romans were Romans; and there is no mention of the fact that most Reform Jews would not be considered sufficiently “sabbath-observant” to qualify “to come in contact with the wine,” and that those whom the Reform Movement considers Jewish by means of patrilineal descent would not be considered Jewish at all for the purposes of making kosher wine. (that is–unless the Reform Movement starts its own wineries, with its own hashgachah (kosher certification)

Worth reading in full. The original Reform critiques of halacha deserve to be re-debated, not simply cast aside, and it's good to see that it's happening. TrackBack
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