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    Drinks & drunks – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Do you get drunk on Purim?


    A. No. I don’t hold with the view that drinking is obligatory on the festival. I think the sages simply meant that people should make merry. But even if you disagree and enjoy a l’chayyim on Purim, remember the following story.

    A rabbi asked Moshe, “Did you eat today?” “Yes,” said the servant, “I ate, thank God.” “Did you eat well?” “What do you mean – eat well? I had enough, thank God.” “Why do you eat?” asked the rabbi. “In order to live,” said the servant. “For what purpose?” was the next question. “So that I can be a good Jew and do what God wants.”

    The rabbi then asked his other servant Ivan, “Have you eaten today?” “Yes,” was the answer. “Did you eat well?” “Yes.” “Why do you eat?” “To live”. “And why do you want to live?” “So I can have a drink of vodka and dance a kazatzka”.

    The rabbi said, “See the difference? Moshe lives in order to serve God; Ivan lives in order to drink!” There is a moral there; it has to do with why you drink.

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