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No Reason To Feel ‘Blue’ This Yom Tov

No Reason To Feel ‘Blue’ This Yom Tov

This Yom Tov, and the past two, are exactly the kind of timing local kosher liquor stores used to dread.

When holidays fell on Sunday night, kosher consumers who wait until the last minute were in for an unpleasant surprise: Liquor stores were required to close on Sundays under New York's antiquated Blue Laws. If you were wise to this fact you'd shop in advance on Friday since Saturday is out for the Shomer Shabbos crowd. Otherwise, you were left scrambling for kiddush wine or Yom Tov spirits at certain permitted markets after 12 pm, where selections were limited.

In 2006, the state Legislature amended the Blue Laws to allow liquor stores to open after noon. Kosher store owners lobbied hard for this change, but the change was probably motivated more by taxation concerns. These days, you can pop into a liquor store just before a Sunday night Yom Tov and load up on all the booze your credit card and liver can handle, and sales before Simchat Torah, which begins tomorrow night, are usually particularly brisk. (Your blogger, of course, encourages resonsible and moderate consumption.)

It's surprising that blue laws in any form still exist, as they were intended to encourage people to go to church, a concern that is completely unconstitutional.

So it seems somewhat ironic, then, that shifting the law away from one religious consideration has made it much easier to carry out another.

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