Author: Charles Frank

Medicine: Jews & Alcohol TIME

do jews drink alcohol

Rav Moshe takes the lenient position there too and rules that it applies to all liquids. However, in his responsa concerning both disputes, he adds that even though he rules leniently on these issues, it is worthwhile to be stringent. Thus, Rav Moshe felt that since the ratio of non-kosher wine or other products to liquid is usually more than one to sixty, it is worthwhile to refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages that contain wine, glycerin or other non-kosher ingredients (Y.D. siman 62). He writes that he only drank such beverages if someone was making a lechaim and would have been insulted if he did not partake. VODKAIn the United States, vodka is made by distilling grain-derived crude alcohol, which results in an almost pure alcohol. The alcohol is distilled to a purity of anywhere between 90 and 98 percent alcohol.

That helps explain Ireland but then what about Sweden, the freest country in Europe sexually, which also has one of the highest rates of alcoholism? And what too about the Jews, with their stringent code of sexual behavior? One extensive study of addiction to alcohol among primitive peoples proves decisively that it is closely correlated with anxiety over the means of subsistence, and the most secure peoples drink the least. Except that America, one of the most favored of countries, has one of the most serious problems of alcoholic excess. Then too, Sweden is said to be, materially speaking, one of the pleasantest countries of Europe. Throughout history, alcohol consumption has been intertwined with several aspects of life, encompassing cultural, social, and religious practices.

It became easier and cheaper to get drunk than ever before in history. When we consider that the Homeric heroes could become roaring drunk on wine, and the Germans on beer, we must conclude they had heroic capacities indeed—for classical antiquity knew nothing about distilling alcohol to fortify wine or make spirits. These achievements of classical antiquity in the field of alcoholic beverages are lost to us but it would not seem we are missing much. The Middle Ages and modern times gave birth to most of the varieties of wines and liquors we drink today.

Fatty Acids and their derivatives, i.e., esters of fatty acids—some are animal derived. Others are produced on machinery used for products containing animal fat. And from the fruits of the palm trees and grapevines you take intoxicant and good provision. Any brāhmaṇa or brāhmaṇa’s wife who drinks liquor is taken by the agents of Yamarāja to the hell known as Ayaḥpāna. This hell also awaits any kṣatriya, vaiśya, or person under a vow who in illusion drinks soma-rasa.

Medicine: Jews & Alcohol

At a shul kiddush, a wedding, Purim seudah, or a Bar Mitzvah, one is sure to find a host of alcoholic beverages including scotches, whiskeys and cordials. Yet, many Orthodox Jews do not realize that liquor—a seemingly natural product produced by distilling grain spirits—requires kosher certification. Durkheim believed that modern society was suffering from a breakdown of the ties of religion and custom that bound together people in small rural and primitive communities. Suicide, he believed, was an excellent measure of the extent of the breakdown of the moral law among different groups.

The non-profit Jewish institutions are supplemented by for-profit rehab centers with a Jewish focus. In the Shinto religion of Japan, sake, a rice wine, plays a significant role in religious ceremonies and rituals. Sake is often used as an offering to the kami (gods) during Shinto rituals, symbolizing purification and the establishment of a sacred space. Additionally, the sharing of sake between participants in a Shinto ceremony is seen as a means of fostering friendship and strengthening the bonds within the community. If Mr. Bales, however, is right, it follows that we would not expect the American Jews, who have already wandered far indeed from the paths of their ancestors, and are more likely to begin their festive meals with martinis than with the benediction pronounced over wine, to keep out of the alcoholic wards much longer.

As a matter of fact they do, with the difference only that they all get drunk together on festive occasions. (Sometimes, as with the Moi of Indo-China, and the Indians of Chamula in Mexico, these festive occasions seem to be almost continual, and everyone is at least half drank most of the time.) But that is just the point. The organic community gets drunk all together, at regular fixed occasions, for specific purposes. Drinking is a ritual, and indeed in primitive communities and in all ancient societies drinking had a religious character. In addition, Gayle M. Wells’ study titled “The effect of religiosity and campus alcohol culture on collegiate alcohol consumption,”[63] the complex relationship between religiosity, campus culture, and alcohol consumption among college students is meticulously examined. By employing reference group theory as a theoretical framework, Wells explores the ways in which the behavior and attitudes of peers and the broader campus environment impact the alcohol consumption patterns of college students who may hold varying levels of religiosity.

  1. An alcoholic beverage is often used in religious ceremonies and as an offering to the ancestors.
  2. The rise of substance abuse, including alcohol, among adults and teenagers in our community is very troubling.
  3. Suicide, he believed, was an excellent measure of the extent of the breakdown of the moral law among different groups.
  4. Anecdotal evidence supports that Jewish communities, on the whole, view alcoholic consumption more negatively than Protestant Christian groups.

Of course there is a lot here that many non-Jewish Americans might have said. And yet, centuries ago, the Jewish innkeeper very likely also thought, as he saw the pointless gaiety and pointless tears aroused by his liquor, “It affects the mind—dulls the brain.” Had he come across these same words, Kant might have used them to illustrate his explanation of why the Jews stay sober. An Orthodox Jew cannot limit his concern to the kashrut of ingredients but must also consider the kashrut of his personal demeanor and the example he sets for others, especially children. Rabbi Juravel is the rabbinic coordinator of technical services for the OU’s Kashruth Department. He is a world-renowned expert in kashrut certification with over twenty-five years of experience in the field throughout the world. He learned in Yeshiva Toras Chaim Talmudic Seminary in Denver and received semichah from Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, New Jersey.

TEQUILAWhile tequila is produced from the agave plant, it often contains oak flavor and glycerin. These items are approved for use in tequila by the Mexican government. Without kosher supervision, it is impossible to know whether the yeast used is kosher or not. Butter acids and butter esters—sometimes derived from non-kosher whey. In Adi Shankara’s Shankara Bhashya[23] and Ramanuja’s Sri Bhasya[24] on Brahma Sutras, they quote Kathaka Samhita against drinking alcohol while some sects, like the Aghori, use it as part of their ritual.

During the time of Muhammad

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 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. In this chapter, it is apparent that the wine Noah drank had an intoxicating effect on him since he became drunk. Scholars and theologians have used this incident to argue that alcoholic wine existed in biblical times.[14] The allusion to Noah’s intoxication emphasizes the presence of fermented and alcoholic drinks, opposing theories that biblical wine could have been substituted with non-alcoholic beverages.

do jews drink alcohol

It has been suggested that when Protestantism forced each man to face his God alone without the intermediary of priest and community, the strain was too great, and we had the great binges that followed the Reformation in Protestant countries; perhaps. Except that on that basis we can’t explain the intemperance of Catholic Ireland and Poland. And then, too, the Jews have theoretically been in this religious position since their priesthood lost its functions. Many people believe that in northern climates men drink distilled liquor, in southern wine, and this explains the national differences. This holds well enough for Europe; but Central America and Mexico and the Caribbean combine tropic climates with a passion for strong distilled liquor. Another explanation is that in those countries where sexual repression is severe alcoholism serves as an outlet.

Alcohol drinking patterns among Jewish and Arab men and women in Israel

From ancient rituals to contemporary religious ceremonies, the relationship between alcohol and religion is multifaceted and often complex. Much research has attempted to clarify the relationship between religious affiliation, religiosity, and alcohol intake to aim for a better understanding of how the two interact. Fortified wines—port and sherry—and brandy and whiskey entered history, and it seems we have not recovered yet.

While men lived in communities closely regulated by custom, under the eyes of their neighbors, they did not commit suicide; when they moved to cities, freeing themselves in increasing measure from the ties that bound them to their fellow men, they tended to commit suicide in ever large numbers. According to Durkheim, furthermore, the Jews, to a greater extent than either Protestants or Catholics in the countries of 19th century Europe, still constituted a close moral community. And indeed, their suicide rates were much lower than those of the Catholics.

To the Squad, Jews Are Second-Class Constituents

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. There is a well-known dispute among the posekim concerning the exact point at which non-kosher wine is batul. Some contend that in order for the non-kosher wine to be nullified, the non-kosher to kosher ratio must be one to six; others contend that it must be one to sixty. In Iggerot Moshe, Rav Moshe Feinstein takes the lenient position and rules that non-kosher wine is batul when the proportion is one to six. There is an additional halachic dispute whether the one to six ratio of nullification applies to water or to other liquids such as fruit juice and whiskey. In other words, does the principle of batul only apply when the non-kosher item is mixed with water or does it apply when mixed with other substances as well?

At the same time, the somewhat less extreme resistance of the Italians to alcoholic excess and disorder—in its own way, however, as startling as that of the Jews, because they drink much more on the average than Jews do—is being attacked by another research team. The use of alcoholic beverages is a primary example of something that our Torah permits, yet prescribes definite limitations. In fact, there are Scriptural references, which are reinforced by Chazal in numerous ways, concerning the need for moderation in drinking alcohol.