Del. Sam Arora, D-Montgomery County, said Friday that he has been approached by a number of Jewish constituents who have expressed frustration at not being able to purchase a variety of kosher wine at local wine stores.
“If you go to your local beer or wine store, they only have so much room,” he said. “If they have kosher wine, it’s going to be the cheaper stuff.”
Under a state law passed in two years ago, residents can purchase wine online only from wineries in the country. But most kosher wines are made in Israel and France and, according to a story in the Washington Examiner, no Maryland wineries produce kosher wine.
Arora said he is trying to explore whether the legislature can find a religious accommodation to the law.
“We are going to figure out whether there is a way to create a narrow exception,” Arora said. “It’s about trying to find a way to create religious accommodations so that Jews can live out their faith.”
Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery, who sponsored the current law permitting the online purchasing of wine from wineries, said he would be in favor of creating such an accommodation.
“I think our liquor laws are unduly restrictive in general, so anything that opens it up I am in favor,” Raskin said. “This is a reasonable accommodation for a religious group. I certainly hope we pass this.”
So, readers, will you be breaking out the Manischewitz to celebrate?
(Photo: Jeremy Parzen)