I recently was curious about how drinking alcohol is viewed in judaism and I came across a question in this site asking "Is drinking a sin?". The answer was just what I was looking for. But after reading this some things just didn't make sense. Why do so many rabbis drink so much in certain festivities such as Simcha Torah? Do they ignore the teachings that are brought up in this answer?

Note: I don't mean to disrespect at all, I'm just confused about this subject. Please read the link I'm referring to.

  • 2
    Near duplicate
    – WAF
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 2:59
  • That answer only quotes one author, but Judaism has a lot more than one author!! There are a about a dozen sources quoted here Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 13:19
  • Given the prevalence of "Kiddish Clubs" in synagogues and the extensive use of alcohol by members of a well known Hasidic sect, I imagine that the answer to your question is no.
    – JJLL
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 2:36
  • I think you're confusing drinking with getting drunk. There's no problem drinking alcohol, as long as it doesn't affect one's senses. (Think of don't drink and drive; you can drink, up to the legal limit.) Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 10:26
  • @DannySchoemann I think you're confusing "drinking" as used in the question in reference to "so many rabbis...[on] certain festivities such as Simcha Torah" [sic] with having a sip of kiddush wine.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


look at the biur halacha 695, d.h. "chayav inish", who spells out the potential problem:

חייב איניש וכו' - וא"ת האיך יחייבו חז"ל מה שנזכר בתורה ובנביאים בכמה מקומות השיכרות למכשול גדול וי"ל מפני שכל הניסים שנעשו לישראל בימי אחשורוש היו ע"י משתה כי בתחלה נטרדה ושתי ע"י משתה ובאה אסתר וכן ענין המן ומפלתו היה ע"י משתה ולכן חייבו חכמים להשתכר עד כדי שיהא נזכר הנס הגדול בשתיית היין

Here's a loose translation of the above: The Biur Halacha (from the Chofetz Chaim) concerning the obligation to drink exceedingly on Purim, wonders how could Chazal (our Sages) obligate us in doing something that throughout the Torah, Prophets, and Scriptures is mentioned as a terrible obstacle. He answers that since all the miracles that happened to the Jews during the time of Purim were a result of wine (Vashti was killed due to drunkenness, and also the wine feasts of Esther and Haman), therefore Chazal wanted to bring out the miracle in the same format.


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