I have received a question regarding Jews eating with Gentiles. The person asking went to a Shabbat meal at Rabbi Mordechai Machlis (Jerusalem) who does accept Gentiles for Shabbatot.
I thought that Rabbis were not supposed to eat with Gentiles. Was this wrong info or have things changed?
There is nothing wrong with Jews eating together with Gentiles as long as the food is kosher. I know Rabbi Machlis and Gentiles have been coming to his Shabbat meals for at least two decades.
There is, however, a restriction regarding wine. Jews should not drink wine with Gentiles, as they may get drunk and thus start sexual relations. In addition to that there is a Halacha that Gentiles are not allowed to touch an OPEN bottle of kosher wine or a glass with wine standing around. The reason is that, in ancient days, Gentiles used to practice idol – worship with their wine. However, until today, Gentiles are neither allowed to touch an open kosher wine bottle or a glass filled with kosher wine as long as Jews are around. This Halacha also includes grape juice.
Rabbi Machlis only serves special cooked grape juice and wine and this way, a Gentile is allowed to touch an open bottle. The Rabbi is serving the cooked stuff on purpose, as there are Gentiles in the room who are not aware of Jewish law.