Grape juice from Rabbi Revach's otzar beit din and makach ta'ut: a true halachic drama
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if the taste of the grape juice is different than the regular grape juices. Can I give it back and get back my money?
One family (we'll call them the Cohens) bought a case of grape juice from Rav Revach's otzar beit din (12 bottles for NIS 120) from another family that sold it (we’ll call them the Simons).
They opened one bottle and the juice tasted alcoholic.
The Cohens wanted to return the entire box to the Simons and get their money back, or at least for the 11 closed bottles, claiming it was a mekach ta'ut (a sale on false pretenses).
It turns out that the Simons bought two boxes, opened a bottle and didn’t like the juice either, which is why they sold it to the Cohens – but didn't tell them the reason.
The Simons said that if a rabbi ruled that they need to return the money they would do so, but the responsibility for the quality of the grape juice lies with the otzar beit din and winery.
Meanwhile, the Cohens tried selling the remainder of bottles to others, but felt morally responsible to inform people that the juice tastes very different. They couldn't find buyers.
The Cohens contacted the otzar beit din. The response was that the grape juice tastes substantially different from standard grape juice because it is produced after soaking the grape peels for a long time to increase flavor extraction and enhance the aroma. However, the taste is not defective. They also said that it is possible to get refunded if they return the grape juice to the office of the Machon Lemitzvot Hateluyot Ba'aretz in Elad or to the Jerusalem Winery.
The Cohens live in Beit Shemesh and it isn't worthwhile for them to drive to Jerusalem or Elad.
The grape juice is certified by the otzar beit din of Rabbi Revach, the Badatz of Rabbi Gross, Badatz Beit Yosef Mehadrin, and Rabbanut Yerushalayim.
Mrs. Cohen contacted Rabbi Moshe Bloom with the question.
In order to answer the Cohens' question, the group admins bought a bottle of grape juice and the rabbis of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute tasted it, including Rabbi Yehuda Amichay, head of the institute.
The consensus was that the juice tasted alcoholic and is significantly different from other grape juices available (standard Israeli grape juice and Kedem).
Nevertheless, the grape juice is good and not rancid, so the claim of mekach ta'ut is halachically irrelevant.
While the Simons should have told the Cohens the reason for selling the grape juice, they are not halachically obligated to return the money. In the end, the Cohens returned the grape juice to the Simons, without receiving a refund.
The sale is not considered a mekach ta'ut and the Simons are not obligated to refund the Cohens.
🔗 Link to purchase Rabbi Revach's grape juice and wine: https://matara.pro/nedarimplus/Forms/1598.html