Jonathan K wrote:2. I am familiar with the terms "L'chatchilla" and "B'dieved" but shichshuch is a new one. What pray tell does that mean (perhaps something to do with how far an open wine bottle can be moved by a non-Jew or non-observant Jew before it becomes unacceptable)?
As mentioned, shichshuch
is generally understood as agitation ['with the fingers,' in the original context, for the purposes of nisuch
or "libation"]. The term's importance comes from its use in the Talmud (tractate Avoda Zorah
) to describe the libation actions of a non-Jew that would render Jewish wine forbidden.
Purposeful action to or upon the wine itself (technically just the wine, not the open bottle) by a non-Jew renders the wine forbidden for use -- by g'zeira
this applies to all
non-Jews, whether they are idolatrous or not [note: the Teshuvas Harashba
equates a mumar l'challel Shabbos b'farhesya
with a non-Jew as far as these halachas
are concerned; this is the generally accepted opinion which is why most rabbonim generally include all non-observant Jews in this area of concern; though there is room for leniency -- and obviously they often shy away from stating this so clearly so as not to offend].
The Shulchan Aruch
(YD 125:1) rules that if a non-Jew pours wine, both the wine that was poured and whatever remains in the bottle become prohibited. [The Rema
agrees, though permits the remaining wine in the bottle in cases of large financial loss; the Shach
and the Chachmas Adam
argue that the remaining wine and even the wine poured are permitted in cases of any financial loss -- this is not the prevailing opinion, but seems to be supported by Igros Moshe
(YD vol. 2: 51 - I think), so there is likely room for leniency].
On top of all of this, there is an even more stringent opinion (just custom, not law; more in vogue in the chareidi world than in the MO world) that the mere gaze of a non-Jew upon the wine renders the wine not fit for use (mentioned by Harav Menachem Habavli, quoted by Darchei Teshuvah
, and I think it only applied to actual idolators...can't recall now). So between the chumros
and the varying levels of observance, don't expect the mevushal
requirements to change anytime soon.