Stop Being a Kanoi on Simchas Torah

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    Every year the same thing happens people get drunk by hakufos everything is fun and great then by krias hatarah and mussuf the latzanus starts. you have 3 kinds of people the drunks the people who tolerate it and keep quite and the people who get angry at the drunks for disturbing davening pushing people out of shul screaming at then etc.. it is to the latter who i wish to address.there are two indisputable facts 1.there will always be many drunks in shul on simchas torah 2. there will always be laytzanus by mussuf after wards, now lets even go with the assumption that getting drunk and disturbing davening are totaly wrong. why in the world will make a stink and a fight every single year about something which will never change, there are minyanim around which you cant find where this doesnt go on go daven there! i understand this is your shul your makom kevuah but again is it worth it every single year to make a fight?suck it up and daven someplace else liman hashalom or just organize a miyan with 10 people in the sukkah. let me also add that you cant have your cake and eat it too by the jakufos you enjoy the drunks pretty much right? they keep the place lebidik thats why your there in the first place! bottom line i agree they are ruining the davening but cant you just give it up daven somewhere else and stop making self righteous machlokes’s.

    P.S please don’t leave comments whether its right or wrong to get drunk we are going under the assumption that its wrong

    eli lev

    b”h NOBODY in our shul gets drunk only a little high -the right amount for simcha on this day without improper behaviors.



    One mistake you make is saying “there are two indisputable facts”. In fact, you should say that “there are THREE indisputable facts”.

    Your two were:

    1. there will always be many drunks in shul on simchas torah

    2. there will always be laytzanus by mussuf after wards

    If those two assumptions are “givens”, as you claim, the third “indisputable fact” is:

    3. there will always be people who defend sheim shmayim and protest this unacceptable laytzanus


    It’s funny, our Shul has been “DRY” for about 5 years now. At the time our shul made the change, we lost 3-4 members but since then we have noticed a plesant change of the decorum on the “drinking” holidays. It has become more family oriented with just as much Lebidikeit. In Lakewood, my parents shul also make a takanah/rule of no one being allowed to drink (after last year when a kid was almost crushed by a falling drunk man…to be honest I don’t know if this was the straw that broke the camels back but there was enough of a voice to make the change) and there was a positive change noticed there as well.

    So why should they make a stink…..because they should. There is no mitzvah to get drunk, there is an avera to one who brings disgrace to a mokom of learning (Ie: inappropriate behavior, throwing up and danger to small kids)It can and does change. Why should the people who want to do what’s right have to give up on what they want because of a bunch of grown up who want to act like kids (as well justify a reason for getting drunk)


    eric, You are contradicting yourself. Your point 2 is that there will always be latzanus by mussaf, but you then admit other shuls don’t have such latzanus. Additionally, they became shikur AFTER hakafus, since they didn’t hear kiddush and eat (and drink) until after leining.


    We have a hashkoma minyan so some people daven at Hashkoma and then come back for some hakafos and then go home. it is terrible when there is fighting in shul.


    Your assertion that “there will always be many drunks on simchas torah” is the exact problem over here. Why must it be like this? Have our morals sunk so low that in order to enjoy ourselves we must become inebriated to a point where our behavior becomes infantile? The problem over here is that this behavior has become acceptable. Instead of arguin against the people with a sense of morals, maybe it is time to lash out against the real wrong-doers.


    by my shul –noone is allowed to make kiddush in the shul! we finish mussaf in time for chatzos and there is no drinking avalabile or allowed in shul-after shul the gabai makes kiddush for e/o and then theres a kiddush-if theres an emergancy u can go to a neighbor to has grape juice and cake waiting for u—-we never had a problem with drinking!!!!!


    It has been several years since I’ve davened in a place that permitted any drinking on Simchas Torah. As a rule, I attend an early minyan where there is no kiddush, one where they duchen during Mussaf. I make kiddush after davening and walk to various Shuls where the Rabbonim are my friends and winsch (wish) them a Gutten Jahr, with or without a jigger of schapps.

    There is a Stiebel near my house with a rather large Kiddush and plenty of alcohol. There are two minyanim for Mussaf. The Gabbay kicks anyone who is drunk out of the main shul before Mussaf begins. Those who are drunk are then free to perform whatever laytzonus they want on their own. No laytzonus is permitted in the real minyan.

    It is wrong to call an item that is written in black and white in the Shulchan Aruch and mentioned in the Gemara “zealous”. That is like saying that we are kanyoim for not permitting chazir in our shuls or our homes. The problem might be that some people follow the Gemara too closely when it says, “One who sins and repeats, it become permissible to him.”


    It is precisely because of this attitude towards drinking that a mother in my neighborhood refused to allow her son (a 20 year old) to go back to yeshiva for simchas torah. Despite all the arguments put forth by his rebbeim.


    aryehm: some people oddly refer to anyone who is more religiously stringent a kanoi.


    I wasnt aware that it was merely a chumra (religiously stringent) to have proper kavod and act in a proper manner in a beis knesses/beis midrash.

    So now refraining from getting drunk and barfing all over the shul is merely a chumra? Or is biting your tongue while it happens the chumra? I dont like to be called a Kanoi, if the chumra is the former, perhaps I will engage it that practice as well.



    Much like some oddly refer to anyone who doesn’t accept the same chumros or is not “Yeshivish” like them as “frei” or “not shomer mitzvos”…


    illini, do you have any examples you can point us to what you refer (where one has called another “not shomer mitzvos” since he isn’t “Yeshivish” like them?)


    The same thing happens on Purim. Parents need to watch their children. No matter where in the USA you live, the drinking age is 21. It is illegal to give alcohol to people under that age. You cannot sell it to them, they cannot buy it, and they cannot drink it without their parent standing right there! All this about teenage boys getting drunk is rediculous! i saw a boy throwing up on his front lawn- he was that drunk. In some communities there are barricades set up so the drunk dont stumble into the street and get hit by passing cars. While this is good, it should be unnecessary. Is this the kiddush Hashem that we want to show the world? That we get drunk two times a year and are uncontrollable? If you want to drink- limit it. If you dont want to limit it- do it in the privacy of your own house. The shul and the streets are public areas- dont make a chillul Hashem.


    In my Shul, I buy all the whisky in advance, and I’m in charge of giving it out. If I see that someone looks like he may have had “one too many” I will not give them any more, and, of course, no minors are permitted to have anything.

    In fact, even 21 somethings can’t get anything out of me without their parent’s permission.

    Everyone who wants just gets a bit “happier”, but it is a way of controlling the situation, without going stone dry.

    I stop giving out drinks as soon as Leining and Aliyos start, so that by the time Mussaf comes around, everyone is fine.

    In my five years of doing this, no one has ever gotten out of hand, and we’ve had no incidents of anyone getting sick or hurt, C”V.

    I receive emails every year thanking me for the responsible way our Shul handles the drinking situation.

    The Gabboim stop anyone else who brings in bottles.

    It’s a system that really works, and our Shul’s Simchas Torah is wonderful.


    In todays day and age it is not a good idea to allow drunkenness on simchas torah. My shul is a chassidishe shtiebel and we have a very strict no alcohol policy.

    The hakafos and the atmosphere were incredible. There was no need for alcohol at all.


    Eric- Since “you enjoy the drunks pretty much” and “they keep the place lebedik”, why

    don’t you start a great new place to daven every Shabbos?

    You can hand out drinks by brachos and then by the time Kail Adon rolls around, it will be really lebedik!

    Everyone who goes there will be a moron who gets drunk, so this way there will be no machlokess. See? You CAN have your cake and eat it too!


    More like, have your schnapps and drink it too 🙂


    why do we duchen by shachris? Because people drink. obviously moderation is important and hoilules in shul isnt acceptable but a firm no is excessive as well.


    When did duchaning at shachris become a minhag? How bedieved is it considered?

    And how much, or little, alcohol invalidates a kohen from duchening?


    Its lchatchila and technichally a small amount**

    I’m not a rabbi or posek


    re arc: you’re not a rav or posek and I certainly am not. But a few things I infer are basic –

    There is an inyan to drink.

    Kohanim can’t duchen if they drink a certain amount, not necessarily enough to intoxicate. (I’d like a clear answer to that.)

    Kohanim duchen before hakafos at shacharis.

    Apparently, if kohanim can duchen at shacharis, it is not customary or fitting for drinking to start before hakafos.

    And, let’s not forget, anyone who holds a sefer Torah must be in charge of his faculties, at most, very, very minimally buzzed.


    Just for the record, duchening by shachris on simchas torah is from, oh, the MISHNA BRURAH (last halacha in hilchos lulav, check it out.)


    and we want to know why all these kids are going off the derech?

    great role models they have adults coming to shul and getting drunk (transfer to any other substance abuse) in the name of Hashem- after all it is simchas Torah.

    very sad

    I have never seen this to be a problem in EY


    Two of the six O shuls in my nbhd are dry. And the one I attend on ST duchans at mussaf, which is treated with the seriousness that it deserves.


    Tzippi- Duchaning by Shacharis is mentioned by the Mishna Brura as a minhag in some places. In other places duchaning is done by Mussaf, as always.

    He cautions though, that the Kohanim should not be drunk.

    The amount that renders a Kohain unfit to duchan is a rivi’is of wine. Other intoxicating drinks do not necessarily render a Kohain unfit. The “red line” is if the Kohain cannot speak properly before HKB”H.

    The above is the din in Shulchan Aruch. Practically speaking, as others have alluded to and much has been written about lately, the best thing is for there to be no drinking at all. We have all read about teenagers who start their drinking habits on Simchas Torah or Purim. As adults, we must act responsibly and set an example for our children. Being that invariably some adults get drunk on Simchas Torah and Purim, it is essential that alcohol be banned. Hatzolah prints warnings every year on Purim about this issue due to the many severe accidents they respond to.

    If ERIC55 would give this some thought, perhaps he would not think the drunks provide so much enjoyment. What they are giving is a terrible lesson to our children.

    midwest observer

    Charliehall, in your old out of town shul we had a great simchas torah. We duchened at shachris and the rabbi said it was OK to get some simcha help by drinking a little. There was no leitzonus or wild behavior at mussaf, just our beautiful simchas torah chior. You and Mrs. should come back for a visit some time soon.


    Midwest Observer, maybe the boys need some “shimush” in this. The kid who was throwing up outside the yeshiva obviously had no adult mentor teaching him how to be makayem this inyan.


    Where I davened, they duchaned by shacharis AND by mussaf. Anyone know why this might be?


    Tzippi thank you for clarifying my post looking back it was rather unclear. My point was drinking is so accepted we make changes(according to your minhag) to accomodate that doesnt excuse excessive or binging.

    Bowzer firstly I have seen it in E”Y and secondly why do you assume there is a coralation?


    Regarding both Shacharis and Mussaf, I can think of two reasons, assuming that you are in Chutz Laaretz, as in Israel most places will duchan at both.

    — the Rheinland (as in Franfurt) custom is to always duchan at Shacharis and Mussaf both. On Yom Kippur, we duchan three times, also at Neilah.

    — The Shul planned to duchan at Shacharis but at least one Kohen who wanted to duchan was not available, he therefore requested a Mussaf duchan and as no one was drunk, the Rav permitted it.


    What is a bachur supposed to do when his yeshiva prepares garbage cans all over the building so a shikkur doesnt have far to run when he has to puke his guts out? He has a haskama from his own yeshiva, that sometimes demands that he be back in yeshiva (where else can he have true simchas hatorah, but in the place he learns it, the argument goes) that it is ok to to get so drunk that they prepare cans all over the building for him to puke his guts into.

    What is he supposed to do when he sees his father and all his fathers buddies downing shot, after shot on simchas torah?

    Wake up adults. We have to set an example for our children. Unfortunately, we sometimes set the wrong one.

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