Kosher wine escapes Sunday liquor ban

NEW YORK — It's Sunday, and you're thirsting for a cold beer, or a glass of wine.

If you've run dry and are in Massachusetts, you're out of luck — unless you want to buy kosher wine.

The state is now allowing the sale of kosher wine on Sundays, making it the only exception to "blue laws" that have long prohibited the sale of all alcoholic beverages on the Christian sabbath.

Only stores that are closed for Shabbat, from sundown Friday through sundown Saturday, are permitted to sell kosher wines.

Since there are no shomer Shabbat (Sabbath-observant) liquor stores in the state, the law will affect only the few kosher food stores that are also licensed to sell wine.

Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman, who is spiritual leader of Congregation Lubavitch in Brookline, a heavily Jewish town bordering Boston, introduced the bill in the state Senate last fall.

Any Massachusetts citizen can introduce a bill for consideration by the state legislature.

Gov. William Weld signed an emergency measure attached to the bill March 15 so that it could go into effect immediately, in time for Passover.