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March 16, 2014 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Shemini

In this coming week’s Torah portion, Moses tells Aaron that his descendants may not “drink wine or an other alcoholic liquor when you enter the Meeting Tent, or you will die.” (Lev. 10:8).  Scharfstein turns this statement into a sermon on the “plague of drunkenness.”

Quite ironically, we read this portion a few days after Purim, when many Jews celebrate by getting, if not drunk, at least more tipsy than usual.  Kind of an interesting juxtaposition, don’t you think?

Reading Purim and Lev. 10:8 together, Judaism’s overall message is one of moderation.  Drink, and maybe even drink enough to affect your consciousness.  But don’t go crazy, and don’t drink in certain situations, like driving or officiating the Temple.  This view is a bit different, I note, from that of Islam or that of many Protestant sects that completely oppose alcohol. 

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