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Yale Scientist Explains Why Alcoholism is Rare Among Jews Jewish Telegraphic Agency

do jews drink alcohol

The BMAST is a ten-item questionnaire widely used to assess alcohol dependence. The BMAST stems from the 25-item Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) [11]. Specifically, the BMAST assesses alcohol consumption, drinking behaviour and dependence, and consequences of drinking [11].

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Zeira to drink too much until he got sick and almost died… The words “brought him back to life” in both the Bible and the Talmud can simply mean healing. If the Maharsha’s reading underlies Maimonides’ ruling that one should drink until one passes out, then perhaps, against the opinion of Rabbenu Ephraim ibn Avi Alragan, the story of Rabbah and R. Zeira is meant to be indicative of normative practice (the drinking, not the swordplay). Most people assume that one must become so befuddled that one can no longer distinguish between the most wicked of people and the most righteous.

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With Rosh Chodesh Adar II looming, I am giving it my best shot. It’s a shot of reality and a sincere plea for reframing our attitude about drinking on Purim. Adar is a time of simcha, of joy stemming from our connection with HaShem and with people. We should aspire to can an alcoholic ever drink again add more joy to our lives by deepening our connection with HaShem and with other people. We are doubly blessed this year with two Hebrew months of Adar. Wine is an essential part of major Jewish rituals — but the Torah is also wary of the dangers of over-consumption.

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do jews drink alcohol

Anecdotal evidence supports that Jewish communities, on the whole, view alcoholic consumption more negatively than Protestant Christian groups. The non-profit Jewish institutions are supplemented by for-profit rehab centers with a Jewish focus. The complex interplay between Islam, alcohol, and identity has been a subject of exploration in academic discourse. This prohibition is often a foundational aspect of alcohol and aging can drinking make you look older Muslim identity, reflecting a commitment to faith and adherence to religious principles. However, the relationship between Islam, and alcohol is multifaceted and influenced by factors such as cultural context, personal beliefs, and degrees of religiosity. Across various religious traditions, attitudes toward alcohol mirror broader societal norms and values, influencing individual behaviors and attitudes.

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He consults with the Witch of Endor who claims she can see the ghost of Shmuel rising from the dead. It is written that Shmuel is wearing the same cloak that his mother Chana had given him when she brought him to the Mishkan. As a culture that values sobriety, individual responsibility, and health, Judaism is wary of substances that may cause more damage than the enjoyment they may bring their users. Rabbi Hiyya notes that in Gematria, an ancient form of Jewish numerology, the numerical value of the word yayin (“wine”) is seventy.

do jews drink alcohol

For the Vaishya caste, which includes merchants and traders, and the Shudra caste, comprising laborers and service providers, the Manu Smriti lays down specific rules and restrictions regarding alcohol consumption. It is important to note that the caste-based rules on alcohol consumption, like many other aspects of the caste system, have been subject to criticism and reinterpretation in modern times. Contemporary Hinduism has seen a shift towards a more egalitarian perspective, emphasizing individual choice and responsibility in matters such as alcohol consumption, rather than strict adherence to caste-based rules. They also say that excessive drinking will put down one’s particular individual status and image. Notably, they call the drunkard people “Shikur” and are generally not allowed inside their community and prohibited from participating the social events and religious functions.

  1. On Passover, the four cups of wine are for joy and for sanctification, but they also have symbolic associations with the expressions that God used for Israel’s redemption.
  2. Today’s deep understanding of alcohol’s harmful consequences, including the possibility of intoxication and other hazardous behaviors, which Jews of the past were rarely aware of, supports this further.
  3. You can focus on the wrong thing about the holiday.
  4. In Ayaḥpāna the agents of Yamarāja stand on their chests and pour hot melted iron into their mouths.
  5. The refusal of Jewish alcoholics is also shown when a large number of Jewish people claim that they do not know any heavy drinkers [3].
  6. When a person starts drinking wine, he feels as innocent as a lamb and as complacent as a sheep.

The association between drinking alcohol and one’s religious affiliation has been the subject of research, which has shown that it is not always the same across religions. Due to the moral and social precepts of their religion, several religious groups place a strong emphasis in control, which results in lower rates of alcohol consumption among its followers. In contrast, risk factors may support or tolerate excessive alcohol consumption within some religious communities. In Christianity, attitudes towards alcohol have shifted over time, with some denominations advocating for moderation while others promote abstinence. The use of sacramental wine in religious rites, such as the Eucharist, underscores its symbolic significance within Christian theology. Similarly, Hinduism discourages alcohol consumption, associating it with sinfulness and weakness, yet historical texts offer conflicting perspectives on its use.

do jews drink alcohol

If you’re going to become abusive, wallow in your own filth, embarrass yourself, endanger yourself or others, or make yourself “abominable” in front of God… well, in such cases, it’s probably better that you abstain. “If you’re invited somewhere to a meal, I think it’s a fair thing to ask [about the alcohol]. Maybe it’s a Los Angeles blood alcohol level chart thing, but people have no problem when they’re invited to a meal to say if they are vegetarian or gluten-free. Nobody’s embarrassed to say that at all, so what’s wrong with saying, ‘Thank you so much for inviting me to Purim; I’m so excited. I just want to know is there going to be drinking and, if so, what does that look like?

And most importantly, Jews are not permitted to worship or fast while under the spell of alcohol and should completely sober up before engaging in religious practices. Jewish family members must possess an overwhelming feeling of community to extend an offering of assistance to those struggling without judgment. Some Jews believe red wine should be consumed with greater caution since the flavor’s richness reduces mental performance.

Rebbes and Rabbis may drink in their homes which are deemed “private property.” There are balabatim who rent private rooms and invited guests and crashers and underage minors partake of the liquid festivities there. Parents must be involved in their children’s lives, must keep their new teen drivers safe. I urge parents to create and sign a parent-teen agreement with their teens that stipulates, among other things, no driving a vehicle with even a drop of alcohol in your body.

They are individuals who place high importance on behavior and responsiveness. They view inebriated people as a menace from the devil. Because of this, they will never accept someone who is not drinking moderately or at a low level. The Jewish tradition allows any alcohol, although everyone is expected to adhere to personal moderation and boundaries. Certain religions, like Islam, forbid alcohol entirely. Alcohol has most recently ingrained itself into social gatherings and festive occasions.

He is also the school rabbi for Pressman Academy and a spiritual guide on the Soberman’s Estate team, where I work. This site is all about one thing, helping you understand the Jewish religion and traditions.Many people who are friends with someone of Jewish heritage could hear about traditions or parties that are unfamaliar to them. Many practicing Jews who are religious and peoples of faith may tend to have a few extra cups of wine, and it is ultimately their own decision and burden to bear. While wine is undoubtedly used on many occasions and during several rituals, it is not necessary; those who cannot consume it due to medical reasons should opt for non-intoxicating alternatives for rituals like the Passover Seder.

Judaism does not countenance the use of drugs for recreation, nor does it recognize any religious value gained from the “expansion of consciousness” by chemical means. These substances should be avoided, and we should do our utmost to see to it that those addicted to them are given the assistance they need to break that dependency. Today, scientific evidence concerning the dangers of smoking is accepted worldwide, and there is no longer any reasonable doubt that tobacco causes disease and death. Reflecting this change, rabbinic opinion now condemns smoking as a threat to human life and health. As Judaism forbids us to endanger our lives needlessly and to treat our bodies with reckless disrespect, so it forbids us to smoke. Those who smoke are under a strict moral obligation to do all in their power to stop smoking.