Socializing with Non-Jews

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Revision as of 20:27, 22 October 2019 by YitzchakSultan (talk | contribs) (Attending Non-Jewish Weddings)
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Drinking in a Non-Jewish Store or House

  1. In a non-Jewish store or house, Sephardim may not drink any beer.[1] The strict halacha for Ashkenazim is to allow anything besides date honey beer. [2] However, there are a wide range of opinions, and many still adopt a strict approach in these situations and include any drink besides water, such as coffee.[3]
  2. In a non-Jewish store or house having tea or coffee is allowed, but many advise against this practice.[4] See page on Marit Ayin for relevant halachot in these situations.
  3. The above two halachot do not apply in a scenario where the event is quick and informal.[5]

Attending Parties With Non-Jews

  1. Most say that one is not allowed to drink any alcohol or eat any food at a party provided that there are more non-Jews than Jews at his table or immediate social group at the party.[6]
  2. In order to maintain peaceful relationships with non-Jews some say that one is allowed to attend and eat at the party of a non-Jew, if the food is kosher.[7] Some hold that if necessary one may attend but not eat.[8]
  3. The prohibition also applies to a case where there are an equal amount of Jews and non-Jews.[9] Where there are more Jews than non-Jews in one's social group or table at a party, the prohibitions do not apply.[10]
  4. If there is no wine or beer present, some hold that one may attend a party with more non-Jews than Jews at his table or immediate social group, and he may eat (kosher food) and drink other beverages. [11] Some hold one would still not be able to eat or drink other beverages in such a case. [12]

Attending Office Parties

  1. Most hold one is allowed to attend office parties,[13] but preferably only for business purposes (ex. to receive a salary bonus).[14] Many who are lenient in regard to attending office parties still say that one should not remain at the party for too long.[15] Some, however, are strict about attending office parties and say that one may not attend the parties altogether.[16]
  2. One should not attend an office party that has a sign up sheet (or the like) as opposed to a formal invitation.[17]
  3. If there is no Avodah Zara present, attending office holiday parties has the same considerations as other office parties.[18]

Attending Non-Jewish Weddings

  1. One is forbidden from eating and drinking at a non-Jewish wedding even if one brings their own food to the wedding.[19][20][21] Some, however, say that it is forbidden to even attend the wedding of a non-Jew even if one does not intend to eat the food there.[22]
  2. Some say that eating and drinking at the wedding of a Muslim is allowed.[23] Others argue that attending the wedding of any non-Jew, even if the non-Jew is a Muslim, is forbidden.[24]

Links

  1. Shiur from Rabbi Yoni Levin
  2. Article by Rabbi Jonathan Ziring in Torah Musings
  3. Article by Rabbi Doniel Neustadt

Sources

  1. The Gemara Avoda Zara 31b establishes that it is forbidden to drink beer with non-Jews because this may lead to intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. This is codified by Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 114:1 and Kaf HaChaim 114:11.
  2. Rama Yoreh Deah 114:1, Levush Yoreh Deah 114:1
  3. Chelkat Binyamin 114:22. The Aruch Hashulchan 114:6 notes that the decree by the rabbis of the gemara regarding beer was less strict than the decree by the rabbis of the mishnah regarding wine. The rabbis of the gemara did not feel the need to make as strict of a decree as wine has more of an intoxicating power than beer (Tehillim 105:15) and the rabbis of the gemara felt uncomfortable enacting as severe of a decree as the rabbis of the mishna.
  4. Chelkat Binyamin 114:22
  5. Levush Yoreh Deah 114:1
  6. Gemara Avoda Zara 8a, Rambam Ma'achalot Asurot 17:9-10
  7. Levush Yoreh Deah 152:1
  8. Mishna Halachos 7:118 writes that one is allowed to attend if necessary, but one is forbidden from eating at the social event.
  9. Pri Chadash 114:1
  10. Rambam Ma'achalot Asurot 17:9-10
  11. Ben Yisroel Lenochri pg. 324 according to his interpretation of Rambam Maachalot Asurot 17:9-10.
  12. Lechem Mishna on the Rambam Maachalot Asurot 17:9-10, Pri Chadash 114:101 according to his interpretation of Rambam Maachalot Asurot 17:9-10.
  13. Rabbi J. David Bleich holds that if one was invited to the office party then he would be allowed to go.
  14. Rabbi Baruch Chaim Hirschfeld, cited in Rabbi Yerachmiel Dweck’s article Beiur Inyan Mesibot Shel Goyim in Yismach Yisrael 3, Shevat 5771. Rabbi Hirschfeld argues that the decree does not apply to attending parties for business purposes because it was only decreed to create social distance (cited in Rabbi Jonathan Ziring's article Bars and Office Parties in Jewish Law II in Torah Musings).
  15. Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rabbi Doniel Neustadt
  16. Shut Mishne Halachot 7:118
  17. Rabbi J. David Bleich explained that one should not attend an office party with a signup sheet. The reason for this is because a signup sheet indicates that attendance to the holiday party is completely optional and, therefore, not attending will not cause one to lose out from a business perspective.
  18. Rabbi Doniel Neustadt
  19. Avoda Zara 8a, The gemara explains that the issue of eating and drinking at the wedding of a non-Jew is that one will come to do Avoda Zara.
  20. Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 152:1, The Shulchan Aruch implies that one is allowed to attend the wedding as long as one does not eat or drink at the wedding.
  21. Derisha 152:1, The Derisha suggests that there may be a heter to attend (but not eat at the wedding of a non-Jew) in order to ensure that there is no ill will or hatred that develops between Jews and non-Jews.
  22. Ben Yisrael Lenachri 152:1, There is a discussion in the rishonim whether one can go to a non-Jewish wedding and not eat or if one is forbidden from attending the wedding whether one intends to eat or not. The Taz 152:1 implies that it is forbidden to attend the non-Jewish wedding even if one does not intend to eat at the wedding.
  23. Yabia Omer Section 10, Yoreh Deah 13, Rav Ovadia argues that since Muslims are not idol worshipers the prohibition of eating and drinking at a non-Jewish wedding does not apply to Muslim weddings.
  24. Shut Chessed L'Avraham 14:26 pg. 127a, Darkei Teshuva 114:1, Ben Yisrael Lenachri pg. 398. According to view that it is forbidden to eat and drink at the wedding of a Muslim, the issue of eating and drinking at the wedding of a non-Jew is that it will lead to intermarriage. Therefore, it is still an issue to eat and drink at the wedding of a muslim as this practice may lead to intermarriage.