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Is it problematic to become drunk from the four cups on Passover?

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  • You can't help it if your alcohol tolerance is low. Are you asking whether it's OK to drink very little if that is the case? Apr 7, 2020 at 21:18
  • @MauriceMizrachi Eat more food. Use smaller cup. Use less strong wine. Dilute with water or grape juice. Work it out. Apr 7, 2020 at 22:11

2 Answers 2

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See Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 473:3

אם ירצה לשתות כמה כוסות הרשו' בידו ומ"מ ראוי ליזהר שלא לשתות בין ראשון לשני אם לא לצורך גדול כדי שלא ישתכר וימנע מלעשו' הסדר וקריאת ההגדה:

If one wants to drink many cups, he has permission to do so. Nevertheless, it's proper not to drink between the first and second cups, if there's no great need, so that he won't get drunk and be prevented from performing the Seder and the reading of the Hagada.

See also Rama O.C. 476:1 who says the same:

הגה ולא יאכל ולא ישתה הרבה יותר מדאי שלא יאכל האפיקומן על אכילה גסה או ישתכר וישן מיד

One should not eat and drink excessively so that they don't come to eat the Afikomen as Achilah Gassah or become drunk and fall asleep immidiately.

The Shulchan Aruch and Rama are clear that one should not be getting drunk during the Seder as this may cause them to not to fulfill their Seder obligations properly (although it would be possible to argue that it would not be problematic for them to get drunk on the fourth cup which is after they've fulfilled their basic obligations).

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See Shulchan Aruch, Laws of Holidays, 529:3-4 (Sefaria Translation):

3 אדם אוכל ושותה ושמח ברגל ולא ימשוך בבשר וביין ובשחוק וקלות ראש לפי שאין השחוק וקלות ראש שמחה אלא הוללות וסכלות ולא נצטוינו על ההוללות והסכלות אלא על שמחה שיש בה עבודת היוצר:

  1. One should eat, drink, and be happy on the holiday. One should not overindulge in meat, wine, laughter, or frivolity, because laughter and frivolity are not happiness but debauchery and foolishness. We were not commanded to engage in debauchery and frivolity but only happiness that involves worshiping the Creator.

4 חייבים ב"ד להעמיד שוטרים ברגלים שיהיו משוטטים ומחפשים בגנות ופרדסים ועל הנהרות שלא יתקבצו שם לאכול ולשתות אנשים ונשים ויבואו לידי עבירה וכן יזהירו בדבר זה לכל העם שלא יתערבו אנשים ונשים בבתיהם בשמחה ולא ימשכו ביין שמא יבואו לידי עבירה אלא יהיו כולם קדושים :

  1. The court must appoint officers who will walk around patrolling gardens, orchards, and rivers, so that men and women will not gather there to eat and drink and end up sinning. They should similarly warn the whole nation about this - that men and women should not joyously mix in houses and overindulge in wine, lest they come to sin. Rather, all should be holy.
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