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I have seen that is prohibited to daven while drunk (Drinking alcohol during davening).

How does chabad justify so much drinking on simchas torah while davening? I have seen shul sanctioned drinking to the extent where large numbers or shots of whiskey and vodka are consumed. Some people become visibly "drunk".

Additionally, even outside of chabad I have heard that we move birkat hakohanim to shacharit so that the kohanim are not inebriated. However, if one cannot daven drunk, there is still the problem of everyone else being inebriated during mussaf!

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    Could you imagine guests to the US presidential inaugural balls showing up drunk to celebrate? Let alone the risk that someone drops a Torah, c"v. – Double AA Oct 20 '14 at 14:33
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    No sources here, but there are different levels of being "drunk". Getting a "DUI" (davening while drunk) might require different amount of drinking for different portions of the davening (e.g. hakafot vs. shma) depending on the amount of kavana you need. Similarly, birkat kohanim might require an even higher standard in the same way a bus driver (or any operator of a public vehicle) is. – Nic Oct 20 '14 at 14:48
  • I didn't see how much drink is absorbed in Chabad, but in different non Habad shules beEretz, it's common to get a kossit (~3cl) of ~40deg Alcohol per akafot... It's enough to be drunk I think. But everyone has to control it self to say "I already get one on the previous akafa", I also mention that Kohanim were not offered kossit lehaim. On Simhas Torah Kohanim don't bless on mussaf because it's almost a minhag to make kidush after Alyah to the torah. – Emmanuel Gleizer Oct 20 '14 at 17:43
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    @Nic No sources for me either....but I'm pretty sure that for ברכת כהנים the limit is a רביעית, and "davening under the influence" is pretty slammed (not understanding what he's saying) – Shokhet Oct 21 '14 at 15:53
  • @Nic with sources that would be a perfect answer. – andrewmh20 Oct 21 '14 at 15:55
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Nitei Gavriel Succos 102:6:9 brings from Pri Tzaddik volume 5 - Rabbi Tzadok HaKohain - 44 that the source of drinking on Simchas Torah is King Solomon and goes on to say it is a Tikun for the original sin of Adam & Chava.

  • Doesn't exactly answer the question. But +1 bc it helps.... – andrewmh20 Oct 21 '14 at 19:02
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    King Solomon drank on Simchas Torah? How do we know that? – Double AA Oct 21 '14 at 19:16
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    I don't see how this answers the question at all. The question asked about drinking before prayers on ST; this gives a source merely for drinking on ST. cc @andrewmh20 – msh210 Oct 22 '14 at 18:37

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