Delicious, or: Unkosher

Sevenling (I drank)

A d’Verse quadrille

I drank an expensive bottle of red 
wine from Moldova. It was subtle; smooth;

Kosher wines must be produced exclusively 
by Sabbath-observant Jews; open bottles are rendered 
unkosher if even touched by gentiles; this feels to me like racism.

Such delicious wine.


The above sevenling is my take on d’Verse’s Quadrille challenge #125.

The quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. This week’s challenge was to use the word “wine” in a quadrille.

An elucidation

An enactment was put in place in Talmudic times to prevent Jews from consuming wine that had been used for idolatrous purposes. The religious prohibition was extended, such that even if a Jew knows that a particular gentile is not going to engage in idolatry, it is still prohibited to drink wine that was touched by them.

73 thoughts on “Delicious, or: Unkosher”

    1. There are a LOT of ancient Jewish religious laws that deliberately limit Jewish people’s potential interactions with gentiles… the ancient sages, broadly speaking, approached non-Jews with distrust.

  1. I’ve been contemplating switching over to drinking kosher wine exclusively, but I also struggle with the reasoning, in addition to the practicalities (not to mention that, not being fully shomer Shabbat currently, by Talmudic reasoning I’m still firmly in the class of people kosher wine needs to be protected from…).

  2. I always learn something new at dVerse. I had no idea that Kosher wine existed. And then, reading your comments, when you stop to think about it, how could it be made differently to make it Kosher…I mean how could the process be similar to what goes into other Kosher foods/meat/etc? Good writing and informative too!

    1. In Judaism there are lots of dietary laws, Lillian. Ingredients matter, combinations of ingredients matter, the implements and machines that we use matter, etc., etc. I don’t inherently have a problem with any of the above. The thing about kosher wine, in particular, is that the only thing that distinguishes it from unkosher wine is who made it and who came in contact with it. It has nothing to do with anything else – the ingredients and the processes are exactly the same otherwise.

      That bothers me.


  3. Thought-provoking piece for 44 words. From reading the informative comments, in my opinion, it feels like a custom that needs to be re-evaluated for our times. As we evolve to become a more unified humankind, then it might mean bending or ending some of these customs that tend to divide. Just my 2 cents.

  4. So interesting, David. I didn’t know that about kosher wines.

    I feel a bond with centuries of tradition of my people (and persecution), but I suppose I honor them in my own way. 😀

  5. I have spent a lifetime rejecting “religious” rules, edicts and parameters. As a whole, they tend to be racist, sexist, homophobic, and hypocritical. Hundreds of religions, sects and cults. “Follow the rules in order to belong” are fighting words. As you can imagine, I had trouble adjusting to the military as well. My second marriage was to a Jewish girl, and my in-laws poisoned the marital pie.

    1. You know, Glenn, if I wasn’t so attached to the Jewish people, which I relate to as my people – as my family – I probably would never have taken an interest in religion either. But as I explained to my six-year-old just recently, I believe that our traditions are that which bind us – that which keep the Jewish people in existence… and I want to be a part of that, despite my conflicted thoughts and feelings.


  6. As you probably know by now, I grew up pretty much outside religion. But these tensions are everywhere. Do you buy organic food because it’s grown more sustainably or locally grown food because it has less food miles? Do you spend your money on expensive electric cars because you think they’re better for your children’s future or do you put that money aside for them to have later? Do you spend two hours cooking an excellent nutritional meal for your family or is it better to spend at least one of those two hours playing with your kids?

    1. Yvonne, it’s an endless struggle for me to embrace my past with my eyes to the future. These sorts of decisions don’t come easily to me at all – I constantly feel the pulls of many different and legitimate values that are in tension with one another…

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