Jerusalem – Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Drunkenness is Abominable

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    OVADIA YOSEFJerusalem – Shas’ spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia, Yosef said that “drunkenness is an abominable and nefarious act” and that in Purim one must drink very little wine, only as a symbolic act to remember Ahasuerus’ feast – without getting intoxicated.

    Rabbi Yosef said, “Haman was intoxicated, but we must act with good manners.” The rabbi recommended drinking until one falls asleep – a situation in which one does not distinguish between ‘Haman the agitate’ and ‘Mordechai the blessed’.”

    “A man that is drunk – what good is he?” wondered Rabbi Yosef, and stated that instead a man must “take a rest, rise up and practice religion throughout the day. Some people are up to no good. They get drunk and then take the bus and act in a rowdy manner – that is defamation of God,” he said.

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    30 COMMENTS

      • Chas v’sholom, don’t say that.
        Just because you don’t understand the concept of the yom tov purim
        How to celebrate, does not mean that you can do whatever your heart desires.
        Don’t forget, the commandments of the torah arein effect all year round.
        purim is not a day to be a Goy

    1. No nothing will change until the Litvishe yeshivos admonish their bochurim. By admonish I mean throwing out any bocher who is drunk. Simchas Purim can be leibedig and fun without drunkeness

      • Um, he’s Jewish, fist of all. He makes kiddush twice every Shabos. (Sephardim do too, can you believe that?) Also, he grew up in Israel. Besides, the Muslims *claim* to not drink. Kind of like we claim to have ahavas isroel.

    2. It seems as though our Torah leaders see purim as a holiday of extremes: either people get drunk of their butts and make a total chillul hashem, or they don’t drink one bit of alcohol and make a kiddush hashem. The only problem is that neither of the 2 categories are mutually exclusive. I’ve seen people who aren’t drunk make a chillul hashem and I’ve seen drunk people making a kiddush hashem.

      What our rabbi’s need to come out saying is that people need to exercise some self-control. Don’t be an immature idiot, and know yourself.

    3. I can’t believe that all these ppl are falling for it!!!! Guys… Everyone has been getting drunk for thousands of yrs!!!! Now just cause a few gabboim with an agenda convince or claim that their rabbi said something doesn’t mean its true or right!!!!! Drink drink be merry!!

    4. Last night, I came upon a multi-car accident, courtesy of our Purim drivers (this was before Hatzolah and NYPD arrived and cordoned off the area). That was after seeing over a dozen inebriated teens, boys and girls, ‘hanging out’ (doubtless they were being zerizim makdimim le’mitzvos by getting stoned the night before the seuda).

      Historically, of course, had Esther been stone drunk, we might not have been saved in the manner in which we were saved. It was her ability to get the enemies drunk, while retaining her own cognitive abilities, that saved her people.

      Let’s leave aside varying definitions of the phrase ‘chayav eeneesh liv’besumei.
      Major poskim since the time of the Remo have forebidden inebriation to the point wherein one cannot act properly (see the Shaaray Teshuva, to the Mishna Berura, on the relevant siman in Shulchan Aruch). I doubt any posek imagined, in his worst nightmares, what passes for frumkeit on Purim these days!

      The Yabia Omer, Rav Ovadia Yosef, shlita, is reminding all of us of priorities in our avodas Hashem. Let’s heed his call, and that of Rav S. Kamentsky and so many others, and guard ourselves and our loved ones today!

      • the same shulchan aruch says that if you’re going to get too drunk to do mitzvos properly (i.e. bentsching, mariv) then it’s better not to drink at all. it’s one thing for a holy rebbe who says chiddushim and divrei torah even while drunk and a whole different story for the average shmoe who does stupid immature things before passing out in a pool of vomit. the mitzvah is meant to elevate ourselves, so if you’re going to debase yourself (and most people do), then it’s better to drink less or not at all.

        btw, since you’re so machmir on this particular halacha, i would like to know how machmir you are on other things like kemach yoshon, bug-checking, shabbos, tznius, shiurim of kezayis and reviis etc.

    5. It’s nice to know that ultra-orthodox rabbis are just as capable as their Reform colleagues of re-interperting the Shulchan Aruch, Rambam etc. when it suits their objectives.

      • that is so true what you said i told my kids the same thing this sahabbos but i alsopo told them that most of the people that become drunk you can so much see the diff. between a yid and a goy when the become drunk

    6. I have a better idea……maybe we should all never leave our houses ever again,in this way we can be certain that we wont do anything wrong ever again…if this doesn’t work,,,then maybe we could just kill ourselves and then we’ll definitively not do anything wrong…

    7. I wish he was right. I dont think he is though.I would like never to feel the nausea,but I must drink. also i dont think ad diloh yudah means to sip a little and take a nap.i think that means get crazy drunk.

    8. I don’t know about any of you, but I saw more drunken teens than ever before during Purim. Neither the Sefardim nor the Ashkenazim are listening to their respective Rabbanim.

    9. I don’t understand how rabbonim can take a machlokes rishonim such as this and over-simplify it to black and white. I always thought that the only honest way to approach the issue was like the Rama: “אחד המרבה ואחד הממעיט ובלבד שיכוון לבו לשמים”

    10. I am amazed at the idiots here who are challenging Rav Ovadia Yosef shlit”a for claiming the obvious conclusion after review of the poskim and observing the negative consequences of misinterpreting the halacha. The argument that he is against drinking is foolish – he is against intoxication. What part of his quote was misunderstood. He is perfectly right. And he was not bribed by the Twerski’s, Kaminetzky’s, or the Horowitz’s. I would also bet there is not one of the commenters who challenge Rav Ovadia who have a fraction of a percent of his Torah knowledge.

    11. THis is probably not compliant with VIN guidelines, hwoever, I will state it anyway.
      If only the rabbonim would put as much effort and energy into ridding the frum community of the shidduch crisis as they do with something as trivial as drinking on Purim, then would we all experience a lot more simchas. Are we so naive that we will stop drinking only if a rabbi tells us that. We have been bombarded these last two weeks by rabbonim of all cultures telling us not to drink. I need a rov to tell me this. Any emergency room doctor, physician assistant or other health care professional can get the point across likewise. Or so I think. The rabbonim should start getting involved to a much larger degree with the shidduch crisis. It is a growing problem that shows no sign of letting up.

      Personally, the only comminications I receive from gedolim and rabbonim are to collect gelt. Why do I not see any strong initiative or movement undertaken by rabbonim to rid us of this shidduch crisis. I am a victim of it and going to shul each day I see how people are being pained by this phenomena. I would like to see rabbonim issue letters, kol korays, etc about this enormous problem destroying us.

    12. I and most of my yeshiva here in Israel have gotten drunk. However nobody acted rowdy or obnoxiously ,rather only the purest of pure ahavas yisroel emerged, it emerged so much that even secular people were saying how beautiful it was to watch us. All you guys are either just jealous, have a bone to pick or you just say the wrong drunks. Nobody says you have a right to act irresponsibly just because you’re drunk but no drinking but a few sips come on!

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