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Jun 14, 2022

Proposed Law: buying Shabbos wine after 11

How many times have you gone out to do your weekly shopping late at night, 10 or 11pm, just because that's when you were available to go? Sure enough, and this has happened to me, you walk around the supermarket getting everything you need for the coming week and Shabbos, including a bottle of wine for Shabbos. By the time you get to the checkout counter, it is past 11pm and the store is no longer allowed to sell you the wine so they stop your purchase and make you remove the wine. 

What a pain in the neck. Just because to prevent alcoholism and the like the law bans purchase of alcohol late at night.

Even though this law can be a pain in the neck, I am not sure it should be changed, if it has been proven to accomplish the goal it sets out to accomplish.

MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) has proposed a law that would make an exception to the above law and allow the sale of wine on erev shabbos (Thursday night) and erev chag even after 11pm. The limit on Thursday nights and erev chag would be moved to 1am.

Maklev says the law in its current state is a major bother for consumers going at night to make their Shabbos purchases. They are not buying this wine to drink now, late at night, maybe drive drunk, maybe get into fights or become public nuisances, and the like - they are buying it now for the upcoming Shabbos or holiday. 

The Ministerial Legislative Committee has approved the proposal to move forward in the process for voting.
source: Hamechadesh

Maklev is 100% right. But. But even if he is right, not everyone buying the wine or beer or liquor on Thursday nights is buying it for Shabbos and not going to drink it and get drunk on Thursday night. The original law is to prevent that, and if it does, maybe it should be kept, even though some people are inconvenienced by it. Personally I think it should be entirely scrapped unless it had can shown to having a significant effect in the prevention of alcoholism, but if this law is deemed necessary and beneficial in achieving its goals, then Maklev's exception should be denied. If we make the exception, people buying for reasons other than Shabbos will take advantage of it. 


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  1. I doubt that the law has had any significant impact on drunkenness - and I doubt even more that such a study was ever done.

  2. So buy grape juice.


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