Jewish Law

Hosting a gentile on the holiday of Sukkot

06.01.15

Question

We want to host my wife's family in our Sukkah. My wife invited her parents, and they without thinking brought along my sister-in-law, her non-Jewish husband (who she is married to for some 10 years) and her two children, because my sister-in-law and her partner regularly celebrate the holidays with her parents. It should be noted that the family of my wife is not religious and they welcome their daughter's mate because they have no choice. They let him sit at their table during the holidays, mainly because of the children. We have expressed our resentment in the past concerning their relationship, however, because there are children, they accepted him. Unfortunately, the conversion process he began a few years ago vanished due to his difficulties in completing the process.

First, May I host him in our Sukkah, knowing that by hosting them, we have not done anything special to give him “recognition” because he is already “accepted" in the family? Should I cancel their coming for the holiday, knowing that my sister-in-law would be offended and possibly also my in-laws? Please note that canceling any family reunion for this reason will cause distress to my wife because we are losing a meeting with her parents and her other siblings who are not "guilty" for the situation. Second, how should we act with our standard Kiddush wine (which I understand is cooked) with regard to him and any other alcoholic beverage such as beer and the like. Thanks in advance.

Response

If the commotion that you will make will cause the collapse of your sister-in-law’s relationship with the gentile, wonderful. You should do everything to save your sister-in-law from her serious transgression.

But if there will be no benefit from making a fuss, it is better to remain silent and as you wrote, make sure the wine you use is cooked. You must also not cook anything special for the gentile on the holiday.

 

 

Ask the Rabbi