The rabbis rejected the suggestion that one should abstain from wine and meat as a sign of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, on the grounds that such a decree would impose unbearable hardship on the public.[1] They even went so far as to suggest that wine would be served at the eschatalogical banquet to be held at the End of Times.[2]

The rabbis, known to have enjoyed the pleasures of imbibing,[3] even claimed that wine drinking was beneficial to one's health and to one's mental sharpness. At the same time, the rabbis recognized and warned against the dangers inherent in excessive drinking.

  • Wine reddens the face of the wicked in this world and whitens it in the next. [4]
  • The Levites only sing when wine is poured [on the altar] [5]
  • When wine enters, reason escapes [6]
  • Rav Judah said in the name of Samuel, that if a judge drank a glass of wine, he should give no decision on that day. [7]
  • Avoid wine, avoid sin [8]
  • Old wine benefits one's eyes, heart and intestines. [9]

The Talmud teaches that he who drinks a quarter-log cup of wine, lose one-quarter of his mind. What happens if he drinks more?

[1] Baba Batra 60b.
[2] Berakhot 34b.
[3] Shabbat 140a, Ned. 49b.
[4] TB Sanhedrin 70
[5] TB Berakhot 35b
[6] Numbers Rabba 10
[7] TB Eruvin 64
[8] TB Berakhot 29a
[9] TB Berakhot 51a

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