Monday, March 09, 2009

More On Alcohol & Chassidus


Many tzaddikim, including Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, and the Komarno Rebbe warned their chassidim from drinking alcohol except on occasions where it is required explicitly by halacha. Following up on the topic of an earlier posting, I asked the Sudilkover Rebbe what approach he advised to drinking alcohol.

The Rebbe answered by saying that while he did drink alcohol on Shabbos, he did so in great moderation. The only time he drank to the point of inebriation was on Purim.

The Rebbe also said that he would absolutely not drink during the week days unless it was in relation to a mitzva. Gesturing with his thumb and index figure, he added that when he did drink alcohol on these occasions it was an extremely small amount. From the tone of voice in which he answered, it also seemed that the whole idea of drinking during the week days was something very distasteful to him and something he considered unbefitting of a refined person.

9 Comments:

At March 9, 2009 at 7:15:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

When I drink more than a little alcohol, I feel tired, disoriented and even sad. I don't know if this reaction is common or not, but it leads me to follow the opinion that actual drunkenness on Purim is not required.

 
At March 9, 2009 at 2:44:00 PM EDT, Blogger bahaltener said...

Interesting, Reb Menachem Mendel Vitebsker ztz"l warned his chasidim not to drink excessively even on Purim.

 
At March 9, 2009 at 9:55:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, I get a bad reaction from alcohol too -- I get anxious and don't feel well, even with just a little. I've read somewhere that if alcohol is harmful to you, it's forbidden to drink it even when it's a mitzvah.

 
At March 10, 2009 at 11:55:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Dovid Sears said...

Rebbe Nachman said, "A 'l'chaim' mehg men," its alright to make a "l'chayim." But he was against getting drunk for any reason except on Purim. (And even on Purim, one must not do so if it will harm his health, or likely lead to improper behavior.)

Reb Gedaliah Kenig added that the drinking on Purim should mainly take place during the course of the festive meal -- to which we look forward in a couple of hours!

A freilichen Purim!

 
At March 11, 2009 at 2:49:00 PM EDT, Anonymous avakesh.com said...

I just saw in Monsey's Community Connections of this week, in a section on Purim Minhagim that R. Chaim of Sanz would drink a lot on Purim (until he vomited - ?1) and then he and his followers would walk to shul and windows of surrounding houses would accidentally be broken on the way.

Can anyone explain this? Is this just a poor translation from Yiddish?

 
At March 13, 2009 at 1:19:00 PM EDT, Blogger Schvach said...

Bob: alcohol is an emotional depressant, and if you've noticed, your alcohol-induced tiredness may be accompanied or followed by insomnia.

 
At March 1, 2011 at 8:09:00 AM EST, Anonymous elishebabb said...

According to Proverbs 31..alcohol is a drug for a specific purpose.

 
At April 15, 2011 at 4:59:00 AM EDT, Blogger bill18 said...

As a recovering alcoholic I must eschew alcohol at all times and in all circumstances. I know I am not alone here and can count a dozen or more recovering Jewish alcoholics. And these are just in my relatively small circle. For us grape juice is generally substituted for wine on Shabbos or on Pesach.

 
At June 17, 2011 at 4:44:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I drink one glass of red wine nightly for its well-known property (from resveratrol) to decrease cholestrol and prevent coronary heart disease.

 

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