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Can you use liquor instead of wine for the mitzvah of Ad Dlo Yoda? Is there any Posek who allows you to be yotzeh specifically with Liquor?

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Please dont use the question as a Platform do speak against drinking on Purim – SimchasTorah Mar 18 '11 at 19:13
Do you mean liquor exclusively, or is a combination of wine nad liquor in scope? (I don't know if that makes a difference but maybe somebody else does.) – Monica Cellio Dec 6 '11 at 18:48
Related: – Seth J Aug 10 '12 at 18:40

5 Answers 5

Many, many poskim (Rambam included) say the mitzva is specifically wine. Chayei Adam observes that this is to commemorate the Purim miracle which occurs over a series of scenes, all set at wine-drinking parties.

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This makes sense, even though it contradicts my assumption that it is primarily about drunkenness, but I would still assert that any form of alcohol which can be used to enhance the drunkenness would be ok, and that one would not fulfill the requirement (assuming it is a firm requirement) with mere grape juice. – Seth J Mar 18 '11 at 20:24
OK so the Mitzvah Bhiddur would be wine but are you yotzeh with Mixing or Just Booze – SimchasTorah Mar 18 '11 at 20:59
see also my post on drinking on purm, specifically point #4.… basically, i assert there that it was not the alcohol in the wine that was getting them so "drunk", because scientifically, it could not have exceeded 14% prior to their diluting it. – josh waxman Mar 21 '11 at 12:33
This doesn't seem to answer the question. – Double AA Dec 5 '11 at 6:31
Grant the Chaye Adam's observation. Why does that have to do with ad d'lo yada? Can those two "requirements" be separated? – YDK Dec 6 '11 at 18:40

The Gemara says (Megila 7b) "Hayab Inish LeBisumi Ad Delo Yada...- a man must get drunk until he doesn't know..." However, in that statement it doesn't mention wine. Wine is usually the methodology used but I don't see any Mamashut to it being MeIkar HaDin (i.e. not MeChuyav).

One of my Rabbanim (who I was told is a Posek) says wine is unnecessary and that any alcohol would suffice.

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It certainly isn't in Shulhan Aruch. – Hacham Gabriel Dec 7 '11 at 21:44
See Rashi there, who defines "Livsumei" as "Getting Drunk on Wine". It's still an open question whether Rashi meant ONLY wine, or if he meant the type of inebriation that wine provides (vs. the type cannabis or opium provides). Most seem to assume the latter, because the prevalent custom is to drink all kinds of alcoholic beverages at the Purim meal. – user1095 Feb 2 '12 at 16:00
@user1095 or most people don't think about it and just like drinking. – Double AA Feb 15 '13 at 18:33
@user1095 I upvoted your comment after reading the first sentence, and then undid the upvote after reading your silly second sentence. Rashi made his position clear. – Fred Nov 14 '13 at 20:50

Rav Shmuel Kamentsky holds one can use anything (kovetz Halachos perek 18:11).

He discusses many sources including the Tur, Shulchan Aruch, Chayei Adam, and more poskim. He also cites the Aruch Hashulchan 695:5 with a savorah of one could use יי"ש but shouldn't for other reasons. He also discusses Minchas Elazar 695 בשבילי דוד and the קהילות יעקב.

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Where in the Tur or SA dos it say that?? – Double AA Feb 19 '13 at 2:41
He says from a stam reading it is משמע that one has to drink more than usual,but not wine davka is mentioned. – sam Feb 19 '13 at 2:46
That's a big difference. You should include that in your answer. By that reasoning though, why not just quote the gemara and be done with it? That's all the SA is doing: quoting the gemara word for word. – Double AA Feb 19 '13 at 2:48
Because the Rambam does hold davka seemingly.Since the Tur and Shulchan Aruch don't it could mean Stam. – sam Feb 19 '13 at 3:10
(Your answer is apparently missing lots of information that can help readers understand what is being said by whom based on what logic.) – Double AA Feb 19 '13 at 3:12

Rashi, Nemukey Yosef, Riaz, Rokeach, Rambam, and many others all write wine. THis presents mystery; if one or two said it it might be coincidental, but with so many you'd think thered be an explanation. My explanation is that these Rishonim understood that "bsumei" means to get drunk through wine. THere is much support for this assertion: Rashi generaly explains the Gemara and doesnt insert his own halachic opinions; why does he mention wine? THe Nemukey Yosef and Rashi on the Rif writes expicitely "get drunk through wine" as one would expect if they understood that the word connotes wine in particular. The Riaz and the Rokeach both write "peirsuh" that is that the exaplnation of the Gemara is...and then say wine; implying that this is the very explanation of the Gemara. Note also the Rashbam Bava Basra 73b who mentions wine in description of besumei. The clincher is that the Aruch writes explicitly (entry: Basim) that the root basim is the aramaic translation of wine. With this appreciation of these Rishonim we can then ask whether or not the Gemara was specific in using this word which connotes wine or not. Given that many Rishonim e.g. Maharam of Rotenberg (MHK responsa vol. 1 ch. 625) connect the drinking with commemorating the miracle and the drinking was with wine as mentioned throughout the Megillah, it is reasonable that the Gemara was specific when using this word that connotes wine. R. Yosef Ben David Hadayan of Sorgossa the student of the Ran is quite clear about this (cited in Nit'ey Gavriel v. 15 ch. 39) comparing the wine on Purim to matzah on pesach and other substances that commemorate miracles through those substances. Thus we dont just shoot for drunkenees, but wine in particular. Lastly drinking without fulfilling the mitzvah may be improper or even forbidden (see for example Rambam De'os 5:3) thus it makes a tremendous amount of sense from a halachic perspective to use wine and only wine. The contemporary poskim dispute the issue: R. Moshe (heard from a student of his and recorded in shmaatsa d'moshe) held that any alcohol could be used while Mishneh halachos writes that only wine can be used. R. Tzvi Pesach Frank (Moadim Uzmanim) concludes with uncertainty over whether other alcohol can be used. There is always the chance that if R. Moshe saw the above reasoning (based on the Aruch) he would have agreed to use wine.

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While there are authorities who hold that the mitzvah is specifically on wine The Shevilei Dovid Orach Chayim 695:3 permits fulfilling the mitzvah using other alcoholic beverages.

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