Ultra-Orthodox Jews drink wine
Wine and spirits
Jews are allowed to drink alcohol; there are no restrictions here except those dictated by reason and concern for health. On Shabbat and on public holidays, the family even speaks a blessing over a cup of wine and then the wine is drunk by the head of the family and those present. Wine is the only drink in Judaism that has its own special blessing. The wine blessing can also be spoken about grape juice, which, conversely, also enables the ritual blessing (kiddush) to be spoken about grape juice.
In addition to the fact that kosher wine is of course not allowed to be produced on Shabbat, there are a number of strict rules that apply to kosher wine:
- No fruit or vegetables may be planted between the vines in the vineyards
- The harvest may not be used for wine production for the first four years.
- No more organic fertilization is allowed two months before harvest.
- (for Israeli wine): The grapes are allowed in every 7th year, the so-called. "Schmittajahr", not to be harvested. According to the Torah (3rd B. Moses chapter 25) the land must lie fallow every seventh year; it may not be worked, sown or harvested. This rule only applies to the Land of Israel.
The great scholars have dealt with and debated the problem of the fallow year for centuries. Extensive literature has emerged on this subject. The related halacha in brief: Only the soil of the Jews is subject to the Schmitta commandment. The following procedure emerged from this: The land of the Jewish farmers is sold to Arabs for the duration of the Schmitta year. This fiction enables the Jewish farmers to work the soil and the Jewish population to use the products.
- Enzymes and introduced bacteria are not permitted. The bacteria on the bowl alone stimulate fermentation.
- It is forbidden to use materials of animal origin for clarifying and filtering and to add additives such as sugar to the wine.
- Gelatine, casein and bull's blood are not permitted in vinification. Only betonite is permitted for cleaning.
- Only paper filters are permitted.
- Only Jews who keep the commandments of the Torah are allowed to work in wine production.
- Repeated filling of the bottles is not permitted. Only one filling is permitted.
- Harvesting equipment, vehicle fleet, silo and all technical equipment are scrupulously cleaned under rabbinical supervision.
- 1% of wine production is given to the poor and may not be sold.
Not kosher, so-called. "Cooked" wine is approved for consumption (e.g. some sweet aperitif wines).
Brandy is allowed (often contained in vinegars or mustard), but brandy and cognac are not allowed without a kosher stamp. Fruit schnapps are usually allowed without a Hechscher.
Alcohol from grapes, potatoes, or corn is kosher. In the case of vodka, it depends on the flavoring and coloring agents that may be added. Pure vodka is always kosher.
Alcohol from molasses, oil derivatives, rotten fruit or fruit residues or the fruit bowl is not permitted and is therefore not kosher.
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