On Yom Kippur we read Parshas Acharei Mos, which discusses the death of two of Aharon's sons. Medrash Vayikra Rabba 20:6 says that they died as they were drunk on wine (Shetuyei Yayin). How were they able to get drunk on wine in the Midbar, where they only had the Man to eat (to the best of my knowledge Man was only food, not drinks) and there were no vines growing in the area?

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    ...and had to have water supplied miraculously via rocks, you mean? – Seth J Sep 24 '12 at 14:39
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    does it say they were drunk on wine? Maybe they had some brewskies or perhaps a glass of mead. If they shlepped rice with them from the Nile delta they could have made sake. Alternatively, just like they took cattle with them from Egypt the could have taken any alcoholic beverage as well. – user1668 Sep 24 '12 at 14:55
  • My point was that we shouldn't need a specific source if we can easily conjure a myriad number of ways that it could have occurred. the same way, m'stama, they lit shabbos candles, but there is no source that they had wax or olive oil etc. – user1668 Sep 24 '12 at 15:03
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    There had to be wine somehow if the Jews were going to elevate the nesachim as prescribed in the Torah. – Isaac Moses Sep 24 '12 at 15:32
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    @IsaacMoses It's a machloket tanaaim if nesachim were offered in the midbar. Pshat of Bamidbar 15:2 seems to say not so, but see Sifri there for opinions. – Double AA Sep 24 '12 at 19:39

Mechilta Parshas Yisro 18:9 says that in the well of Miriam you were able to taste honey, milk, new wine, old wine.

ר׳ אלעזר המודעי אומר בטובת הבאר הגיד לו אמר לו באר שנתן לנו המקום אנו טועמין בה טעם דבש טעם חלב טעם יין חדש טעם יין ישן

Perhaps this was the way Nadav and Avihu were Shetuyai Yayin.

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    Any evidence that the prohibition extends to things that miraculously taste like wine? Or is there some source that interprets that the water actually became wine? If the latter, that may explain where this came from -the author got the idea from the Mechilta. Kind of like how this is a corruption of the story of the son of R' Yose from Yokeres, which occurred when the Church was still editing in new stories. – Fred Sep 25 '12 at 17:45
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    @Fred Do we really need to find precedent for a story of turning water to wine? That seems straightforward enough to be thought of independently. – Double AA Sep 25 '12 at 20:43
  • @DoubleAA - I'm not asking for a precedent, per se, just for clarification of the source or some other source on the same topic. As far as I can tell, the taste of wine does not mean wine itself. – Fred Sep 27 '12 at 3:48
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    @Fred I agree taste =! substance. See judaism.stackexchange.com/a/13932/759 for those two opinions regarding the Manna. Perhaps a similar machloket applies here. – Double AA Sep 27 '12 at 3:52
  • @DoubleAA - Nice comment and thank you for the link. – Fred Sep 27 '12 at 4:06

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