Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DRINKING ON PURIM





(HEBREW SOURCE TEXTS BELOW)  Thanks to R' Asher Meza for sharing some of these sources with me, as well as what I found on conversationsinklal.blogspot.com/2008/02/rambam-on-drinking-on-purim.html |  ENGLISH: chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/682956/jewish/Mishneh-Torah.htm (Quotes in Hebrew found below are from mechon-mamre.org)

Hilkhoth Megillah w-Hanukka (Laws of Purim & Hanukka)
CHAPTER 2
Halacha 15 
One does not fulfill his obligation by having a Purim feast at night.
Halacha 16 [15 in Vilna] 
What is the nature of our obligation for this feast? A person should (lit: shall) eat meat and prepare as attractive a feast as his means permit. He drinks wine until he becomes intoxicated and he should (lit: shall) fall asleep upon intoxication.

NOTE:
  • The drinking is within the context of the Purim meal; no halakhic justification to do so at night;
  • Hilkhoth De'oth 5:3 states, "Drink taken together with food does not inebriate."
  • Obligation fulfilled with wine specifically; not with other alcholic beverages. See also Yom Tov 6:17 [Vilna - 6:18]
  • One drinks 'UNTIL' the point of intoxication, not beyond that point.
  • Future tense is often used as an imperative.  Just as yokhal means 'should eat,' yeradem means 'should sleep;'
  • Accurate manuscripts: one should fall asleep "b-shikhrut" (at intoxication), not "m-shikhruto" (from intoxication).
  • "b-shikhrut" can mean 'upon intoxication' or 'at the point of intoxication.'
  • It is not possible to serve God while drunk (Yom Tov 6:20); therefore one must stop drinking before this point.
  • There are different types or stages of shikhrut, drunkenness.
  • The average individual reaches the first stage of inebriation upon drinking a revi'it of wine (Hilkhoth Tefilla 5:17).
  • When there is a doubt regarding a Rabbinic decree, one should be lenient.
  • When there is a doubt regarding Torah law, one should be strict.
  • Drunkenness is part of Torah prohibition 195, as well as prevents the Torah command to serve God with joy.
  • Drunkenness endangers one's life and the life of those in one's environment, another Torah prohibition.
  • One must have enough clarity of mind to fulfill the miswa d-oraitha of birkath ha-Mazon following the Purim feast.

CONCLUSION:

It is forbidden to get drunk to the extent that one would not have intention in prayer for birkath ha-Mazon, or to the extent that one would not have control of himself.  One begins to approach such drunkenness after drinking a bit more than a revi'it, depending on body type, how quickly one drinks, and together with how much food.  One who goes beyond the first stage of intoxication, or being tipsy, and becomes mentally impared with drunkenness, is a sinner, as stated in the following halakha:


Hilkhoth De'oth (Laws of Character)
CHAPTER 5
Halacha 3
When a wise man drinks wine, he drinks only enough to soften the food in his stomach.
Whoever becomes drunk is a sinner, is shameful, and will lose his wisdom. If he becomes drunk before the common people, he desecrates God's Name.  It is forbidden to drink even a small quantity of wine in the afternoon hours, unless it is taken together with food.  Drink taken together with food does not make one drunk. Only wine that is taken after the meal is to be avoided.


Hilkhoth Shevitath Yom Tov (Laws of Holiday Rest)
CHAPTER 6
Halacha 20
When a person eats, drinks, and celebrates on a festival, he should not let himself become overly drawn to drinking wine, amusement, and silliness, saying, "whoever indulges in these activities more is increasing [his observance of] the mitzvah of rejoicing." For drunkenness, and excessive amusement and silliness are not rejoicing; they are frivolity and foolishness.  And we were not commanded to indulge in frivolity or foolishness, but rather in rejoicing that involves the service of the Creator of all existence. Thus, [Deuteronomy 28:47] states, "Because you did not serve God, Your Lord, with happiness and a glad heart with an abundance of prosperity." This teaches us that service [of God] involves joy. And it is impossible to serve God while in the midst of levity, frivolity, or drunkenness.
Halacha 21
The [Jewish] court is obligated to appoint officers who will circulate [among the people] on the festivals and check the gardens, orchards, and river banks to see that men and women do not gather there to eat or to drink, lest they [conduct themselves immodestly and come to] sin.  Similarly, they must warn the people that men and women should not mix at festive gatherings in homes, nor should they overindulge in wine, lest they be led to sin.


Hilkhoth Tefilla (Laws of Prayer)
CHAPTER 5
Halacha 17
A person who is drunk should not pray, because he cannot have proper intention. If he does pray, his prayer is an abomination. Therefore, he must pray again when he is clear of his drunkenness. One who is slightly inebriated should not pray, [but] if he prays, his prayer is prayer.

When is a person considered as drunk? When he is unable to speak before a king. [In contrast,] a person who is slightly inebriated is able to speak before a king without becoming confused. Nevertheless, since he drank a revi'it of wine, he should not pray until his wine has passed from him.


Hilkhoth Bi'ath ha-Miqdash (Laws of Temple Pilgrimage)
CHAPTER 1
Halacha 3
Just as a priest is forbidden to enter the Temple due to drunkenness (shikhrut), so too, it is forbidden for any person, whether priest or Israelite, to render a halachic ruling when he is intoxicated (shatuy). [...]
Halacha 5
When a person drank precisely a revi'it and it was diluted with the slightest amount of water, he slept a bit, or he walked a mil, the effects of the wine will have worn off and he is permitted to serve [in the Temple]. If, however, he drank more than a revi'it even if it was diluted, sleeping slightly or journeying adds to his drunkenness (shikhrut). Depending on how intoxicated (shikhrut) he was, he must wait until there is no trace of his drunkenness (shikhrut) whatsoever.


Hilkhoth Neziruth (Laws of Nazarites)
CHAPTER 1
Halacha 12
Similarly, if a drunken man was given a cup to make him totally inebriated and he said: "I am a nazirite from it," he is forbidden to drink only that cup, but he is not a nazirite. [The rationale is that his intent was] only that they should not have him become overly drunk. If he was as drunk as Lot his statements are of no consequence and he is not liable for any transgression that he performs. For when he reaches a state of inebriation equivalent to Lot's, he is not liable at all.


Hilkhoth Ishuth (Laws of Marriage)
CHAPTER 4
Halacha 18
When a drunk gives [a woman] kiddushin, they are valid, even if he is very drunk. If he reaches a state of drunkenness comparable to that of Lot, the kiddushin are of no consequence. This matter requires ample deliberation.


Bereshith (Genesis)
CHAPTER 19
Verse 33
"And they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose."


Roseyahh u-Shmirath ha-Nefesh (Laws on Murder and Guarding Life)
CHAPTER 11
Halacha 4
Similarly, it is a positive mitzvah to remove any obstacle that could pose a danger to life, and to be very careful regarding these matters, as Deuteronomy 4:9 states: "Beware for yourself; and guard your soul." If a person leaves a dangerous obstacle and does not remove it, he negates the observance of a positive commandment, and violates the negative commandment: "Do not cause blood to be spilled."


Hilkhoth Yesodei ha-Torah (Laws of Torah Foundations)
CHAPTER 5
Halacha 1
[Leviticus 18:5] states concerning the mitzvot: "which a man will perform and live by them." [They were given so that] one may live by them and not die because of them. If a person dies rather than transgress, he is held accountable for his life.


Hilkhoth Mamrim (Laws of Rebillious Judges)
CHAPTER 1
Halacha 5
The following rules apply when there are two sages or two courts that have differing opinions in an age when there was no Supreme Sanhedrinor during the time when the Supreme Sanhedrin was still undecided concerning the matter - whether in one age or in two different ages - one rules that an article is pure and one rules that it is impure, one forbids an article's use and one permits it. If one does not know in which direction the law tends, should the matter involve a question of Scriptural Law, follow the more severe opinion. If it involve a question of Rabbinic Law, follow the more lenient opinion.


NEGATIVE COMMANDMENT 195
Not to eat or drink like a glutton and a drunkard, as [Deuteronomy 21:20] states: "This son of ours is a glutton and a drunkard."

----------------------------------------------------

Hebrew from: http://www.mechon-mamre.org



הלכות מגילה פרק ב

טז  [טו] כיצד חובת סעודה זו--שיאכל בשר ויתקן סעודה נאה, כפי אשר תמצא ידו; ושותה יין, עד שישתכר ויירדם בשכרות.


הלכות דעות פרק ה

ה  [ג] כשהחכם שותה יין, אינו שותה אלא כדי לשרות אכילה שבמעיו.  וכל המשתכר, הרי זה חוטא ומגונה ומפסיד חכמתו; ואם משתכר בפני עמי הארץ, הרי זה חילל את השם.  ואסור לשתות בצוהריים ואפילו מעט, אלא אם היה בכלל האכילה, שהשתייה שבכלל האכילה אינה משכרת, ואין נזהרין אלא מיין שלאחר המזון.


הלכות שביתת יום טוב פרק ו

יט  [כ] כשאדם אוכל ושותה ושמח ברגל, לא יימשך ביין ובשחוק ובקלות ראש ויאמר שכל שיוסיף בזה ירבה במצוה, שהשכרות והשחוק הרבה וקלות הראש, אינה שמחה אלא הוללות וסכלות.  ולא נצטווינו על ההוללות והסכלות, אלא על השמחה שיש בה עבודת יוצר הכול, שנאמר "תחת, אשר לא עבדת את ה' אלוהיך, בשמחה, ובטוב לבב" (דברים כח,מז), הא למדת שהעבודה בשמחה.  ואי אפשר לעבוד את ה'--לא מתוך שחוק, ולא מתוך קלות ראש, ולא מתוך שכרות.

כ  [כא] חייבין בית דין להעמיד שוטרים ברגלים, שיהיו מסבבין ומחפשין בגינות ובפרדסים ועל הנהרות, כדי שלא יתקבצו לאכול ולשתות שם אנשים ונשים, ויבואו לידי עבירה.  וכן יזהירו על דבר זה לכל העם, כדי שלא יתערבו אנשים ונשים בבתים לשמחה, ולא יימשכו ביין, שמא יבואו לידי עבירה.


הלכות תפילה פרק ד

יז  שיכור--אל יתפלל, מפני שאין לו כוונה; ואם התפלל, תפילתו תועבה--לפיכך חוזר ומתפלל, כשיתרונן משכרותו.  שתוי, אל יתפלל; ואם התפלל, תפילתו תפילה.  איזה הוא שיכור, ואיזה הוא שתוי--שיכור, זה שאינו יכול לדבר בפני המלך; ושתוי, שיכול לדבר בפני המלך ואינו משתבש.  אף על פי כן, הואיל ושתה רביעית יין--לא יתפלל, עד שיסור יינו מעליו.


הלכות ביאת המקדש פרק א

ד  [ג] וכשם שאסור לכוהן להיכנס למקדש מפני השכרות, כך אסור לכל אדם בין כוהן בין ישראל להורות כשהוא שתוי
[...]
ו  [ה] שתה כדי רביעית בלבד, והיה בה מים כל שהוא, או ישן מעט, או הלך כדי מיל--כבר עבר היין, ומותר לעבוד.  אבל אם שתה יותר מרביעית, אפילו מזוג--שינת מעט או הדרך מוסיפין בשכרותו; אלא ישהה לפי השכרות, עד שלא יישאר משכרותו שום דבר בעולם.


הלכות נזירות פרק א

יא  [יב] וכן שיכור שנתנו לו כוס כדי לרוותו, ואמר הריני נזיר ממנו--הרי זה אסור באותו הכוס בלבד, ואינו חייב בנזירות:  שלא נתכוון זה, אלא שלא ישכרו אותו יותר מדיי.  ואם הגיע לשכרותו של לוט--אין דבריו כלום, ואינו חייב על כל עבירה שיעשה:  שמשהגיע לשכרותו של לוט, אינו בן חיוב.


הלכות אישות פרק ד

יח  שיכור שקידש--קידושיו קידושין, ואף על פי שנשתכר הרבה.  ואם הגיע לשכרותו של לוט, אין קידושיו קידושין; ומתיישבין בדבר זה.


בראשית יט,לג
 וַתַּשְׁקֶיןָ אֶת-אֲבִיהֶן יַיִן, בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא; וַתָּבֹא הַבְּכִירָה וַתִּשְׁכַּב אֶת-אָבִיהָ, וְלֹא-יָדַע בְּשִׁכְבָהּ וּבְקוּמָהּ.


הלכות רוצח ושמירת נפש פרק יא

ה  וכן כל מכשול שיש בו סכנת נפשות--מצות עשה להסירו ולהישמר ממנו ולהיזהר בדבר יפה יפה, שנאמר "הישמר לך ושמור נפשך" (דברים ד,ט).  ואם לא הסיר, והניח המכשולות המביאין לידי סכנה--ביטל מצות עשה, ועבר על "לא תשים דמים" (דברים כב,ח).


הלכות יסודי התורה פרק ה

א  שנאמר במצוות, "אשר יעשה אותם האדם וחי בהם" (ויקרא יח,ה)--ולא שימות בהם.  ואם מת ולא עבר, הרי זה מתחייב בנפשו.


הלכות ממרים פרק א

ט  משבטל בית דין הגדול, רבתה מחלוקת בישראל:  זה מטמא ונותן טעם לדבריו, וזה מטהר ונותן טעם לדבריו; זה אוסר, וזה מתיר.  [ה] שני חכמים או שני בתי דינין שנחלקו שלא בזמן הסנהדרין, אם עד שלא הגיע הדבר להן--בין בזמן אחד, בין בזה אחר זה--אחד מטמא ואחד מטהר, אחד אוסר ואחד מתיר:  אם אין אתה יודע להיכן הדין נוטה--בשל תורה, הלוך אחר המחמיר; ובשל דברי סופרים, הלוך אחר המקל. 


מצוות לא תעשה

קצה  שלא לאכול ולשתות דרך זולל וסובא, שנאמר "בננו זה . . . זולל, וסובא" (דברים כא,כ).



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

EMAIL: Proof of Judaism?

My research on the two major Abrahamic faiths (Christianity and Islam). I looked into it Philosophically, Scientifically, Historically, Theologically. And this, these are my results.

1. Jesus of Nazareth Existed.
2. Jesus of Nazareth was not born of a Virgin.
3. Jesus of Nazareth was not the Messiah.
4. Jesus of Nazareth was not a Prophet.
5. Jesus of Nazareth was not Divine.
6. Jesus of Nazareth was Crucified.

Thus, I can never be a Christian or a Muslim. And from a Jewish perspective, I'm a Noahide sense I'm not Jewish.

My questions is, what good evidence is there that Judaism is true?
Is the Torah the word of God or the work of man (like the NT and the Quran)?
If Judaism is true (the word of God) why then should I stay a Noahide and not convert to Judaism?





Shalom u-verakha (Peace and blessings)


Your conclusions are the same as mine.


Every philosophy or worldview requires a certain level of "faith," whether atheistic, polytheistic, or "Abrahamic." Aside from as consistent an intellectually honest conclusion to the "big picture" that one can arrive at regarding all the proofs that do exist, there is no 100% proof for any philosophical view or theory. It is unreasonable to demand 100% proof as a condition for coming to some conclusion. What we must do is draw as logical inferences as we can from what indications we do have from observable reality. We can and should do this while remaining willing to learn new information and gain new insights the continuation of our lives.


My conclusion is that the Torah is reliable. I came to this conclusion based on several facts - internal textual factors that indicate honesty with regard to the humanity of the people referred to, the amazing extent to which the Hebrew Bible has been confirmed by archaeology relative to the extent other ancient texts have been verified, the history of the People of Israel ("the Jews"), and several other factors.


The Torah was written and preserved by man. But unlike the NT and the Qur'an, the Torah does not claim that it is the continued revelation of some earlier authoritative divine text. The Torah contains no internal theological contradictions. Given the great care Jews took in preserving the text of the Torah, and the textual traditions which indicate the extent of the Torah's reliability, together with various ancient witnesses, I am convinced that the Torah is G-d's Instruction for mankind. I am convinced that this is the most reasonable conclusion an informed individual can make, especially if he is already certain of the Creator's existence; even more so if he perceives in creation that the Creator has a law and order that are His Will for us to live by.


Whether or not you should stay a Noahide or become a Jew depends on you. It does not depend on whether or not Torah is true. Remaining a Noahide does not contradict Torah. G-d does not demand in the Torah that all people become Jews. G-d does allow those who want to live as much in accord with His decrees as possible to enter the Covenant made with Israel so that such a person can serve G-d to the greatest extent possible.




All the best!
G-d bless.


Yosef E.




CLARIFICATION FOR THE FACETIOUS
  • ****: On the one hand, you say there is no 100% "proof" of any view, and then you say conclude that your view is reliable based on various "facts"... which I take as 100% proof of the fact that you're confused...
    November 30 at 11:59pm · 

  • Yusef Mikhael Eliyah ‎"then you [say?] conclude that your view is reliable based on various "facts" -- Here you're referring to the 2nd paragraph. None of the factors given in the 2nd paragraph are in and of themselves 100% proof that Torah is true. You won't find that claim anywhere in what I wrote. But, as I wrote in the 1st paragraph, "Aside from as consistent an intellectually honest conclusion to the "big picture" that one can arrive at regarding all the proofs that do exist, there is no 100% proof for any philosophical view or theory."
  • ****:
    ‎...which of course is utter nonsense, thank you very much! There is always 100% proof or disproof of any and every philosophical (stupid word btw) view or theory. You take a million bus rides, pop pills, eat food, all attesting to this. The process might take time, but concepts are always proven, where the purpose requires it...

  • Yusef Mikhael Eliyah In other words, a person should come to a conclusion based on the "big picture," making as much of a reasonable and intellectually honest conclusion as he can. For different people this may be different conclusions. And certainly the differences can be at least partially due to the different people taking different matters into consideration, some perhaps concluding based on misconceptions, others on over-simplifications, and some by the influence of emotions and past let-downs. One can only be as objective as he is able, and only the individual knows how honest he is being with himself.
  • ****:

     No, emotions are not part of any process of proving anything, and yes everything to do with faith.

  • Yusef Mikhael Eliyah ****, when I wrote that there is no 100% proof, it was with regard to ultimate conclusions concerning reality as a whole - whether there is a Creator or not, whether Torah is true or not. When I wrote that there is no 100% proof and that any conclusion requires a level of "faith," it was with regard to those types of conclusions. I was in no way referring to every day occurrences that are obvious to the average healthy individual. I think that this was my intention will be clear to most people who read what I posted. I hope you're doing alright.

  • Yusef Mikhael Eliyah emotions should not be part of any process of proving anything, because they can't prove anything. But emotions ARE often a part of peoples' conclusions as to what is or is not proven.