Message From Harav Yaakov Bender About Serious Drinking Problem In Frum Communit

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  • #609445

    147
    Participant

    Given that there maybe a serious problem of drinking in the Jewish Community [although I don’t know anyone personally suffering such problems], what am I supposed to do about Kiddush & Seder nite [as per this article that appeared on Yeshiva News]? especially in front of my children? since I cannot medically drink Grape Juice [cannot handle acid] but I can medically handle wine [alcohol kills the acidity].

    BTW I have never been drunk in my life.

    #1084968

    Toi
    Participant

    you should convert to goyishism and then just be a shikkur.

    #1084969

    WIY
    Member

    Leitz

    #1084970

    Health
    Participant

    I don’t like the fact that he negates smoking as an issue because it’s down to 10%. I doubt it was ever higher and it’s just as big a prob as drinking.

    #1084971

    Brony
    Participant

    lol awesome name. it’s like a rabbi baked telling people to stop hittin the green.

    all joking aside, I know a few Lakewood dudes with serious drinking issues. naturally, their parents won’t acknowledge the issue or send them to rehab because of shidduchim. ladies, this is what you’re getting. do your research.

    keep it manageable my brothers.

    #1084972

    147
    Participant

    As you Health correctly say, smoking is much more dangerous than drinking or overeating.

    But since Mike bloomberg is handling the fight against smoking, I guess Rav Bender instead is focusing on drinking.

    #1084973

    WIY
    Member

    147

    No, actually drinking is generally a lot more dangerous than smoking because people tend to drink to excess and those that become addicted to drinking and alcoholics wreck their health and their lives. It takes many years (usually) for smoking to have a real obvious effect on ones health or make on sick. With alcohol one drink too many and there goes your liver.

    #1084974

    Brony
    Participant

    what? no, you can’t get cirrhosis from drinking one time too many or too much one time. it’s your brain (alcohol poisoning or asphyxiation from vomit) that will go first. liver takes years.

    stay safe bros.

    #1084975

    The little I know
    Participant

    Can anyone investigate scientific fact before proclaiming things in the CR? Smoking has its dangers, and so does drinking. I’m also not quite sure about Rabbi Bender’s seeming dismissal of smoking as not so rampant, but I do respect his interest in keeping a solitary focus. He is absolutely correct that the drinking problems today are being ignored, and that there are patterns that have infiltrated our community that feed the problems. When I was younger, there was no one I knew who could explain to you what mixed drinks were. There simply was no such thing as social drinking. At a sholom zochor, beer was only ingested as a ritual, “oif yotzeh tzu zein”, not guzzled. Other liquors were barely touched, just for the l’chaim or for Kiddush. None of that is true today. We never knew anything about expensive liquors. Visit any liquor store today, and the difference is immense.

    If we model drinking for pleasure, our children will mimic the drinking for pleasure (or to escape from the pain of reality). We just display that the numbed state of mind is okay or even a positive thing. There is nothing good about that, and it is certainly not compatible with a lifestyle that seeks to fulfill ratzon Hashem. Rabbi Bender is perfectly on target. Is there anyone listening, or are we busy looking to critique him? How about just accepting the nudge, and doing what is right?

    #1084976

    147
    Participant

    No-one is critiquing his views against drinking. He is on target.

    But his dismissal of smoking as being an issue, is what is upsetting various members in this coffee room.

    #1084977

    lesschumras
    Participant

    147,he’s not talking about the Seders. He’s talking about children seeing their fathers getting plastered every shabbos

    #1084978

    TheGoq
    Participant

    lesschumras +1000

    #1084979

    morahmom
    Participant

    147 – I am not sure what cave you live in, but it would seem to me that “kiddush clubs” are everywhere, and bochurim are getting trashed over Shabbos nearly everywhere. Rabbi Bender is 100% correct in his assessment of the problem. There are no limits anymore.

    As far as the smoking, this is also an obvious problem but more people admit that it is a problem than they will admit to the drinking. We are mandated by halacha to drink on certain occasions, and people have exploited this to the point of addiction, but we never have a mitzvah to put a cigarette in our mouths…

    #1084980

    WIY
    Member

    When parents act like children theres nobody to talk to.

    #1084981

    Put the wine in a grape juice bottle if you’re such a caring father

    #1084982

    lakewhut
    Participant

    people have always drank on shabbos. The problem is people act stupid about the drinking. Drinking on shabbosis supposed to be a classy thing, not parading around with full glasses of whiskey.

    #1084984

    oomis
    Participant

    This is not an either/or situation. Both are bad, though smoking in ANY amount can be harmful, whereas moderate drinking of wine may be beneficial. (And before the smokers try to defend themselves, forget it). There is no good to smoking, except for one’s enjoyment of it (and there are many things we might enjoy that are clearly very bad for us, or even if not, from which we refrain, because Hashem Said so), but there IS a great deal of harm that comes from it, both to the smoker, and to the people around him/her, as well as to the environment.

    #1084985

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    Both are dangerous, drinking in the short-run and smoking in the long run. I know very few true alcoholics, people who simply get antsy and agitated when they haven’t had a drink in a few hours. I know many smoke-holics and few smokers who are not addicted to smoking in some form or other.

    There’s no problem in having a few drinks (or even a few more) every now and then, there is very little danger of becoming addicted if it’s limited to once a week or less. Most drinkers know to keep out of dangerous situations if they are about to partake in a few brewskies.

    Smoking, on the other hand, can become addicting very quickly and it’s a quick step from the occasional cig to not being able to sit through an entire Yom Tov teffilah without taking a break in the auxiliary sukkah.

    #1084986

    akuperma
    Participant

    Is this limited to Americans (including American expatriates in Israel)? I haven’t heard about this problem elsewhere among frum Jews, and there are many complaints about American youth abusing alcohol. If it is an “American” issues rather than a “Jewish” issue, it affects how to address the problem.

    Is this problem limited to the more “modern” types within the frum community who are trying to be cool? I haven’t observed the alcohol abuse among groups such as Satmar that minimize contact with mainstream American culture – suggest the problem is one of kids having too much access to internet, television and movies.

    #1084987

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Actually I usually see Beer and Schnapps (Hard Liquor) at the Rebbes Tishes.

    #1084988

    Sam2
    Participant

    Akuperma: There was a story in Ami about a year ago titled “My husband is an alcoholic” or something like that and I think the women in it said she was Chassidish (I don’t remember the precise details).

    #1084989

    computer777
    Member

    If a person uses drinks to relax before something that he believes will make him nervous, do you think that indicates a potential drinking problem?

    #1084990

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Actually I usually see Beer and Schnapps (Hard Liquor) at the Rebbes Tishes.

    How many drunk chassidim do you see?

    #1084991

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    147 – I am not sure what cave you live in, but it would seem to me that “kiddush clubs” are everywhere, and bochurim are getting trashed over Shabbos nearly everywhere. Rabbi Bender is 100% correct in his assessment of the problem. There are no limits anymore.

    As far as the smoking, this is also an obvious problem but more people admit that it is a problem than they will admit to the drinking. We are mandated by halacha to drink on certain occasions, and people have exploited this to the point of addiction, but we never have a mitzvah to put a cigarette in our mouths…

    +1

    #1084992

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    How many drunk chassidim do you see?

    Drunk or Buzzed?

    Ive seen enough Buzzed Chassdim, I dont know if they were drunk or buzzed (Without obvious behavior or a Breathalizer test no way to tell)

    #1084993

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Actually I usually see Beer and Schnapps (Hard Liquor) at the Rebbes Tishes.

    How many drunk chassidim do you see?

    It depends how sober (or not) I am. Sometimes I see none, sometimes one, and sometimes quite a few (and interestingly, they all have the same Straimel in the same size) 🙂

    #1084994

    morahmom:I am not sure what cave you live in, but it would seem to me that “kiddush clubs” are everywhere

    Really? I can only think of one or two shuls that hava a kiddush club that I know of and they are the type of shuls where they have to announce the page number so that everyone can keep up.

    Sam2: I don’t think there are NO alcoholics among chareidim. Alcoholism has always existed. The differences is that according to this article , its now become something beyond the isolated individual.

    #1084995

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Really? I can only think of one or two shuls that hava a kiddush club that I know of and they are the type of shuls where they have to announce the page number so that everyone can keep up.

    I have a kiddush club! Me me me mememememe!

    #1084996

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Also, where is he davening that they are drinking things that put blue label to shame.

    I’m not saying blue label is that great, but it does cost 180 after all. To be putting it “to shame”, I’d say the bottles need to be at least 300-400.

    And bourbon that puts it to shame? No, nobody is putting out a bourbon bottle that costs that much.

    #1084997

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    PBA: Rabbi Bender’s school area includes the Five Towns. $300-400 may be the norm there.

    #1084998

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I am so moving there

    #1084999

    It is a fact that alcohol and drug abuse are becoming more rampant in frum circles. I am by all definitions frum, and yes I am a recovering drug addict. If anyone wants to hear first-hand how easy it is to become an addict, ask the Mods how to contact me. What started as prescription pain killer use for a legitimate injury quickly spiraled in to full blown abuse. I am fortunate that I was able to get the proper help and deal with this issue before pain killers became heroin. This is not an exaggeration, Narcotic pain killers have the same addictive properties as heroin and pain killer abuse often leads to more serious drugs. I was not an alcoholic although I did enjoy a good drink, however drugs and alcohol share similar addictive properties. I attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and have encountered other Jews from all across the spectrum of frumkeit. Both AA and NA share the principle that Alcohol is Drug. I used to think I was a big shot putting out the expensive scotch on Shabbos, now I cringe when I attend a simcha and see teenagers and young adults helping themselves to the alcohol. One does not need to be a “bum”, OTD, MO, or a teen at risk to fall in to the pitfall of abuse…it can happen to anyone.

    #1085000

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I am so moving there

    I said maybe. Do some research & get back to us, and we’ll see. It may be more worthwhile to move to Memphis, as it is closer to the source & all that.

    #1085001

    yacr85
    Participant

    It could be that the reason Rabbi Bender is more concerned about the Drinking than the smoking, is because clearly smoking is becoming less and less of an issue (you don’t need to be a genius to see that far fewer bochurim smoke these days than 20 years ago) and drinking is fast becoming more and more of an issue.

    #1085002

    Brony
    Participant

    “I haven’t observed the alcohol abuse among groups such as Satmar that minimize contact with mainstream American culture – suggest the problem is one of kids having too much access to internet, television and movies.”

    logic 101 fail bro.

    #1085003

    Brony
    Participant

    popa: pappy van winkle (a.k.a. nectar of the gods)

    #1085004

    writersoul
    Member

    The thing with drinking is that alcohol is both more accessible and less stigmatized. If you want to start a cigarette habit, you need to get the cigarettes from someone, which if you know where to go may not be so difficult, but you can’t walk up and take one yourself the way that any teenage boy can walk over to the drinks table and take a shot. Not only that, but you’ll always have those fathers who think it’s so cute or whatever to give their little kids alcohol (they drive me crazy)- if people think Tatty approves of that amount, well, this is only a bit more… It’s a bit of a gateway.

    #1085005

    just my hapence
    Participant

    things that put blue label to shame.

    Winkle’s Old Peculiar.

    #1085006

    writersoul
    Member

    jmh: great for avoiding knurdness (knurdity?)

    #1085007

    computer777
    Member

    How often does one drink for it to be considered a problem?

    Nobody answered my q above, so I will ask it again. If a person drinks before he does something that may make him nervous, would that be a sign of a potential alcohol abuser?

    #1085008

    Brony
    Participant

    okay, ill take the bait: yes. it sounds like you want to argue, so go ahead.

    #1085009

    computer777- The scenario you mention is not potential alcohol abuse, it IS alcohol abuse.

    #1085010

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    I think focusing on alcohol is taking the focus away from what the alcohol abusers want to escape from. That happy, productive, and otherwise healthy people don’t begin abusing alcohol, is my overwhelmingly strong presumption.

    While we may hear some claimed anecdotal exceptions, I know better. I do. Prove me wrong.

    #1085011

    computer777
    Member

    Who agrees with OnDayAtAtime that it is alcohol abuse to drink alcohol before something that may make someone nervous (like a social event) in order not to feel inhibited?

    #1085012

    Brony
    Participant

    you idiot, either support your position or get out. stop being a passive-aggressive twit.

    #1085013

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    “Alcohol abuse, as described in the DSM-IV, is a psychiatric diagnosis describing the recurring use of alcoholic beverages despite its negative consequences.” – Wikipedia.

    It sounds to me like using alcohol in the productive way described would be non-abuse; it might even be recommended.

    A person should use all the tools at their disposal to be productive.

    #1085014

    computer777, if you are looking for approval you won’t get it. People smoke when they are nervous as well. Do you condone that? If someone has an anxiety issue, that needs to be dealt with on a therapeutic or medicinal level, not by turning to an addictive substance.

    #1085015

    frumnotyeshivish
    Participant

    Writersoul – I think you are wrong about the stigma. A smoker in Yeshiva isn’t embarrassed about it. An alcoholic in Yeshiva is terrified that people will know about his problem (if he has one).

    I don’t consider occasional drinking a problem.

    OneDay – Anti-anxiety meds are far, far more addictive than tobacco. They also cause less cancer and they have more productive uses. If anti-anxiety meds were available over the counter, their abuse would be rampant.

    As far as whether smoking to reduce anxiety is okay, a cost-benefit analysis is in order. This requires knowledge of the cost of smoking (in terms of health, possibility of forming a habit, money etc.) vs. the benefits — like every substance on earth.

    Bottom line – unless a substance is both obscenely addictive and dangerous (think heroin, meth, crack etc.) there may be times when they have a productive use. Therefore, a cost-benefit analysis is always in order.

    Only an insane (or irrational) person would choose not to take something which has more benefit than cost. Period.

    The real question is what’s the cost and what’s the benefit…

    #1085016

    E-O-M
    Participant

    Everything is a drug and almost everything has the potential for abuse

    People eat certain foods in certain quantities because they want to feel a certain way. This is no less unhealthy than drinking or smoking. Moderation is the key. Knowing your limits in everything and maintaining awareness are the requirements for responsible living. For the recovered addict, kol hakavod and may you continue to be an inspiration to those who have addictive behavior or are lacking in the aboverequirements.

    #1085017

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    A drug is, in the broadest of terms, a chemical substance that has known biological effects on humans or other animals. Foods are generally excluded from this definition, in spite of their physiological effects on animal species.

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