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Q&A: Drinking on Purim?

Q: Why drink wine and even get drunk on Purim?

A: Perhaps the most famous statement about the positive effects of wine is to be found in the sages’ statement: "Nichnass yayin,yatza sod ("When wine enters, secrets come out"). This was said particularly in the context of Purim, the festival that commemorates the miracle of the saving of the Jewish people in the time of the Persian king, Ahashverosh, as related in the Book of Esther in the Bible. Many Jews, following the prescription of the sages, get drunk on this festival. When an individual devoted to the service of God becomes inebriated, he overflows with words of wisdom unequaled in depth and devotion. It is well known that alcohol in a positive religious context can be a great catalyst for soul-searching and ultimately return to God.

The value of the Hebrew word for wine (yayin) is equivalent to the value of the Hebrew word for secret (sod), alluding again to the inner revelatory power of alcohol.

Photo by Lefteris kallergis on Unsplash

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