Jul 11, 2018
If Alcohol is OK for a Farbrengen...

Watch how Chassidus teacher Rabbi Yossi Paltiel responds to the question, "If alcohol is ok for a farbrengen, why not marijuana?"


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Opinions and Comments
Why not answer the question?
Sorry rabbi but Question still stands..
(7/11/2018 7:54:02 PM)
finally bringing some chochma bina and daas to chabad
So many people have been ruined by kiddush clubs, Purim drinking (which deserves its own video because in that case, the drinking is actually encouraged by many yeshivos!) and farbys that are not productive, just drinking parties and empty talk. The question that should always be asked is does this help improve my character and my seichel?
(7/11/2018 8:16:43 PM)
Marijuana for over 40
Alcohol is accepted (or once was) as a tool to farbreng for older people, why not marijuana? you should've just answered the question with the ''pretense'' (if that's what you want to call it) that alcohol is accepted.
(7/11/2018 8:37:34 PM)
So well said.
(7/11/2018 8:46:54 PM)
Cause and affect
Dear Rabbi,
The reason why people have Ahava without Yirah is because they are taught to have Yirah without Ahava...think about it!
(7/11/2018 9:11:04 PM)
Rabbi Paltiel can you please would you please send this clip to EVERY SINGLE LUBAVITCHER YESHIVA ACROSS THE GLOBE!!!
(7/11/2018 9:13:43 PM)
we are well aware that different people have different tolerances to many of the elements. Mashke alcohol can and does have adverse reactions and they differ from person to person! How many ADDICTS will it take for our MASHPIIM to realize they are contributing to this MACHALAH!!! they put it into Kedushah by saying we watch that the Bochurim dont drink much. who is to say how much is TOO MUCH if it in fact differs from one to another
(7/11/2018 9:20:46 PM)
Do not give mashke to under forty
Tell them not to give mashker to under forty youngerleit on Simcha Torah specially not kids and bochurim which they do give regardless of the rebbes wishes and danger , I bochur died from choking on his vomit from Mashkeh on Simcha Torah
(7/11/2018 9:26:29 PM)
Amazing clip
Thanks for making us aware abt issues today and rebbes outlook. Rabbi paltiel you are so intelligent and clear. Thanks for your amazing response!!!
(7/11/2018 9:49:58 PM)
Where's the Torah in the drosha?

Just a complete lack of even any concern for laying out anything precisely true.

Rabbi mentions 4 until 40 and skirts around equating but not equating mashke with the dovor acher.

The world is on fire and the dovor acher is a far greater threat to our youth and yungerleit than saying too much lechaim at farbregen

The Rebbe was asked, likely more than once, as to the difference between mashke and the dovor acher.

Rabbi Abramson asked the question early on in his journey and recounted his recollection of the answer in a Jem video.

The details are less relevant than the principal, namely, that the effect of mashke is dissimilar to the effect of dovor acher and the experience of saying lechayim is dissimilar to the experience of falling into dovor acher, where the one leads to one thing and the other leads to quite another.

The question which implies and equivalence truly never even starts.

Wasted an opportunity

(7/11/2018 10:11:22 PM)
Rabbi Paltiel: It would be beneficial also to bring an awareness of fundamental matters in Yidishkeit which tragically is also violated carelessly...especially in the daled Amos of the Rebbe in 770. One example is the talking in shul during davening
Despite the gevald..in Shulchan Aruch and Tanya about this???
(7/11/2018 10:35:55 PM)
The Rebbe said
No to mashkeh. That ended the pretense that Mashke was a chasidic minhag.
When are people going to admit and submit to this reality.
Dor Hashvi'i did not need mashke. It was for Russia.
(7/11/2018 10:40:52 PM)
alcohol is good for certain thing like shaking .........
and i think its all fine in moderation alcohol and Mariana.
alcohol is good way of getting off of drugs. by the way drinking alcohal is good for not talking in shul and its good for not remembering anything bad. so i think its ok for me to drink
(7/12/2018 12:55:13 AM)
to no.5
Not in Chabad, And we are talking only about Chabad now.
(7/12/2018 2:19:46 AM)
To no.1
The Rabbi did answer the question. Even tho he says he is not going to, he actually did very clearly. Perhaps he shouldn't have used the words 'not going to' coz maybe it was disheartening and misleading for less perceptive readers; but he definitely didn't disappoint.
(7/12/2018 2:24:08 AM)
the title
if your not going to answer the q why is the headline the q
(7/12/2018 4:40:07 AM)
the rebbe did not want achool and he did not want drugs so if your going to be fine with your children drinking then you cant be upset when you find out there smoking weed you cant pick and choose because once you start bending the rules then theres nothing there

ps not saying weed is a good thing.

a bocher.
(7/12/2018 4:44:33 AM)
first you don't give achool to under 40 and people will catch on and follow you cant change the world in one day first you have to change yourself then you can think about your friends ect
(7/12/2018 4:51:07 AM)
A Mashpia responds
Did i hear correctly?! The Rebbe was against l'chaim?!

The Rebbe ended every sicha at every farbrengen with the word L'chaim and drank a L'chaim (wine).

Every Shabbos farbrengen the Rebbe gave bottles of vodka as his participation in various holy events.

Drinking to excess? Drinking socially? Turning alcohol into a thing on its own? Yes, that is absolutely forbidden and not chasidish or Jewish.

This is what the Rebbe waged a war against.

Mashke has its benefits, when used properly, like everything else in Hashem's universe that is not forbidden by the Torah.

But in our zealousness to protect ourselves from a social illness (alcoholism), let's not throw out the baby with the bath water....

Let us not become more Greek than the Greeks.....
(7/12/2018 5:31:03 AM)
the Rebbe did NOT say this
the Rebbe did NOT say no to Mashke at a Farbrengen!
the Rebbe set a limit, but he did not ban it.
Rabbi's, please, when say something in the name of the Rebbe, please supply sources.
thank you.
(7/12/2018 8:14:22 AM)
Brian Miller
I agree 100% percent. There is a pamphlet "Mashke" with many references of the Rebbe saying not to drink. Why do so many people who are very connected to the Rebbe and under 40 have anything more than a scant revi'is? Thank you Rabbi Paltiel.
(7/12/2018 9:09:43 AM)
Bereaved mother
No more mashke please!!!
Rabbi Paltiel knows several buchurim who are no longer with us, who began their yeridah thru fabrengens.
In this generation, we need to bring back good old wholesome American values, follow American law and cut this Russian peasant custom! It is NOT chasasidishe to drink...it is goyish here in America.....and has always been.
We grew up knowing Jews dont drink.....seeing only goyish neighbors drunk...NEVER did I see a Jew drunk until I moved to Crown Heights.
It is disgusting .....and a simple thing to STOP RIGHT NOW!!!
No mother knows if their son has a predisposition to addiction. We are creating addicts, who then need to go to NCJFE for help.....and the cycle needs to stop...We dont need more levayas of young men. We need to strengthen the good things we learned here....
Dont delude yourselves anymore. THe house is on fire and we can get out the hoses! We can save a runaway siuation...
Wanna drink? NOT here!
(7/12/2018 9:42:27 AM)
Everything in moderation
That was one of my father's[A"H, favorite sayings and quotes. The Rebbe made a limit (4 reviiis the most). Go beyind that is like taking too much iron (a necessary nutrient, but toxic in excess). How much more so with alcohol, which your body does not need, but has some benefit, when taken within proper limits.
As far as marijuana, if there is a "safe" limit, if research will establish this, then I don't see why not. But as far as it's use in farbrengens, marijuana is not in our tradition.
(7/12/2018 9:54:37 AM)
Self Defense Studio CH
teach kids do sport.no drugs and alcohol.
(7/12/2018 10:44:22 AM)
Said this..said that...but what did the Rebbe mean....
Its funny how suddenly we became such detail followers about this...."Rebbe said only 4"....Are we so exacting in all else Rebbe said????
The Rebbe surely wouldn't mind if we internalize a chassidisher vort...at a farbrengen with grape juice or 5% Kedem wine.
Let's get real...I have a friend who died at 50 from chassidishe mashke....where does it all lead when each push one another...."nu nu...zug lechaim" at fabrengens???!@@

(7/12/2018 10:57:53 AM)
ANYONE WHO QUESTIONS THIS ARTICLE (especially with the WHAT ABOUT THE CANNABIS?) has an ABUSIVE problem themselves!
The REALITY CHECK is that the younger generation in today's society display anger & non-acceptance to everything they're in disaggreance with.
(7/12/2018 11:01:11 AM)
Essex UK
Nicely said,
I do believe it is worth in this setting perhaps to have an expert in the ills of drugs (of any sort) including alcohol, sitting with the Rabbi in a form of a discussion to answer a question like this.
The word marijuana / weed should have been used in the response.
Lets not be scared of it, understand it like alcohol and then address the issues associated with it.
Its another level of education that we must share with all.
(7/12/2018 11:07:44 AM)
Rabbi JJ Hecht. Z"l
I heard that each morning, Rabbi Hecht would take a cup of vodka before putting in an exhaustive day in his work for the Rebbe as head of NCFJE
But here is the difference...he utilized properly to energize in avodas hashemi. Not the same to drink all night and sleep through zman krias shema and Teffila...and turning into an alcholic... saying....this is Chassidus!!!
(7/12/2018 11:09:37 AM)
Wow - a must-see.
(7/12/2018 11:41:52 AM)
thank you
I wish every person in my shul would hear this answer. and the kids who look at the adults!! Thank you Rabbi Paltel
(7/12/2018 12:49:30 PM)
Reb Moshe
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's psak is that marijuana is asur.
(7/12/2018 1:32:11 PM)
We probably can't go on mivtzoim either, because of the damage that may come if done wrong...?

ps pls dont say things in the name of the rebbe if the rebbe does it troughout the nesius. Thank you.

pps. Rabbi Paltiel, when was the last time you said "zog lechaim" by a farbrengen? or did you just discover this Shita today? (Let us be clear, he didn't say that it can be a tool if used wrong, he said: "In the early years, the Rebbe himself said l'chaim (True), but at a certain point (when exactly?), he didn't want people saying Lchaim..." (gulp, what did i just hear??). Please please take that statement back. This is clearly NOT TRUE!!!!!!
(7/12/2018 2:28:23 PM)
wow finally!
Thank you for this amazing eye opening and raising awareness video!

Finally our rabanim and mashpiim are being honest and open about the problems! Im team #CancelTheMashke!
we clearly are not on that madreiga like the elter chasidim back in russia!

and we bh have a Rebbe like no one else who cares so much about us chasidim!
lets bring more yirah to chabad! lets finally accept that we as chasidim can and should learn from other types of yidden who have yiras shamayim! i see first hand that chabad is bh starting to learn so much from other chasidim and litvaks!
we need to teach them our heilige chasidus and learn from the what yisras hashem truly means!
may hashem see our forming unity and bring us moschiach and the rebbe now!
(7/12/2018 2:54:04 PM)
observer from london uk
Thank you Rabbi Paltiel for saying what needs to be said so eloquently.. The truth is not always palatable and unfortunately as you say we are so afraid of the gevura/yirah aspect of yiddishkeit that we pussyfoot around these issues fearful of offending anyone . This causes so much more harm.
I have a hilarious tip for anyone who wants to get rid of their mashke in a productive way. My husband (a chassidishe Yid) who rarely drinks, received a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label. Not wanting to throw it away he decided to soak the mouth pieces of his shofaros in the mashkeh and see what happens. He is the bal Tokeah in his shul and believe it or not, the tekios that year were crystal clear, smooth and beautiful!! Another useful idea is to pour it in your car engine. I have no idea what would happen but it probably would`nt be wasted.
(7/12/2018 4:30:24 PM)
Thank you Rabbi Paltiel for finally taking a stand on this very disturbing issue. For some reason, alcohol has been treated like a cheifetz dkedusha by many in our community when really it is at best a means to an end. Rabbi Paltiel is correct that in our western culture it is cool to get drunk and some Lubavitchers use the say Lchaim line as an excuse to imbibe on alchohol while pretending they are participating in a Farbrengen or simcha. I personally do not enjoy alcohol but felt a lot of pressure in my bochur days to drink since it was considered the Chassidish to do so. And if I were to refuse alcohol, I would be labelled as a Misnaged or a Mara Shchora.

I remember stepping outside 770 one Simchas Torah for some fresh air, feeling depressed about the booze-fest that was taking place inside, and how it felt so different to the festive and fun atmosphere which would take place in my (Ashkenaz) shule growing up at home. As I waded through the garbage and vomit to find a bench to sit on, someone looked at me and said you look so depressed, come on, say Lchaim! I responded Lchaim vlo lamavess taking a line from Tefillas Geshem which we had recited the day before.
I once stayed at a Shliachs house for Shabbos and he basically treated alcoholism as the 1st commandment, taking precedence before Anochi Hashem Elokecha. It was very uncomfortable and he didnt let me refuse to drink it.

Even as recently as last week a relative of mine said he was approached at his office by some Lubavitch bochurim to put on Tefillin. He gladly performed the Mitzvah but then they offered him some Lchaim. He said its 1:30pm and I at work, why on earth would I want to be drinking now? He found this to be very inappropriate and I agree. In all my years of going on Mivtzoim as a bochur I never associated drinking Mashke with encouraging people to do Mitzvos and dont recall others doing this Then again, maybe I hang out in the wrong crowds.
(7/12/2018 6:54:47 PM)
Well said
For those who missed the point, the answer is no. The point of Mashke by a Farbrengen isnt to get high. Its because And by a Farbrengen . Today people abuse this and therefore, forget about marijuana which is solely meant to get high, even Mashke should not be used.
If one wants to smoke marijuana, . But to say its chassidish? ?

I disagree with the Rabbi in regards to banning Mashke completely for anyone under 40. The Takana of the Rebbe is good enough. Lets actually implement not more than 4 and stop this idea that its Chassidish to get drunk and high.

P.S. reward and punishment is not a contradiction to unconditional love. There is and .
(7/12/2018 7:24:08 PM)
Black white gray
Someone commented "everything in moderation"

Except, not everything.

There are things that are explicitly treif, min hatorah. Or from shulchan aruch. And then there is klipas noga - something neutral which can be used for good, or bad. Our choice. Our avoida.

Alcohol is not treif. It is a tool that if used inappropriately can be dangerous. Like a car. The Rebbe made clear his position on it. DOn't worhsip it. It is not the barometer of chissidishkeit. I beleive I saw an answer that indictaed even not to make kiddush on it (as we saw the rebbe never did).
Under 40, don't drink more than 4 (probably ounces).

Anyone who makes it completely treif pollutes the conversation. You can abstain from it completely yourself if that's how you wish to address this potentially dangerous potentially useful tool. But to asser it for others is projecting your insecurities and (if in the name of rebbe) falsehoods.

Marjuana is an interesting conversation, but no one has the authority to equate it with alcohol in the conversation about rebbe position (unless they can show a written position by the rebbe for all).

We have th epersonal responsibility to decide for ourselves (and for those who rely on/ask from us advice what weed is and whether it is something to be controllably used as a tool. I also heard of the rebbe's answer about thta it has different effects (and thus perhaps isn't useful for a farbrengen). But I don think the rebbe said it is ossur. And i can opine that is because it could theoretically be used, by some, in certain sceanrios, as a useful tool. I can imagine someone learning a maamor under weed influence and getting deeply moved spiritually. Just as someone dancing with gusto at hakafos with alchohol. But since you're on your own with weed, if you're a staunch chasid, you have a mashpai, so discuss with him.

I equate weed with the internet. It too is a tool which can be used either way.

For all such gray area matters, I feel it is best to educate people HOW to make choices, not to tell them your choice. Utilizing Noga this way becomes most effective.
(7/12/2018 9:46:12 PM)
how come we've never heard of medical alcohol, but medical canabis is a huge and growing field of research?
oh, and weed never killed anyone and never will- but alcohol abuse kills innocents every day.
(7/12/2018 10:25:28 PM)
Reb Moshe's P'sack
Now, I don't use weed, and don't recommend it's use for anyone just for fun or "feel good." However, Reb Moshe, ZT"L, lived in the times when weed was illegal (Din malchuscha din). If it would be legal, I wonder what his P'sak would be.
(7/13/2018 9:58:12 AM)
Thank you!
Thank you Rabbi Paltiel...What I don't understand is why the yeshivos promote drinking. B"H my sons are grown up now but we spent many hours discussing this topic throughout their teenage years. Why are mashpiim farbrengeng with young teenagers just after bar mitzvah with mashke? And then they get loose and start speaking in ways that I don't want my children to speak. Then I had to explain to them that even though these are a mashpiim - who normally I would be telling them to respect and look up to, that such language is not acceptable in my house.
How many hours I spent talking to other parents who all agreed with me, but the hanholos did what they wanted to and our talking fell on deaf ears. I can understand the "not more than four" once the boys are older and it is legal for them to drink. Until then, even one lchaim is too much! They are just being trained to turn into alchoholics.
Nice to hear your opinion, and happy it was made public. I only hope it would help for others.
(7/13/2018 10:33:52 AM)
everyone wants to be such great chossidim
but the chossidim back then also fasted a lot, davened the entire day, meditated with yichudim...that nobody wants to do but just the mashke they want to take on?
(7/13/2018 6:29:31 PM)
To #5
Agree 100 percent. You couldn't have said it better!
(7/14/2018 10:06:12 PM)
Alcohal kills 100,000+ a year
Marijuana kills 0 every year

Mashpia: drink alcohol it's chasidish
Mashpia: your kicked out of yeshiva for smoking marijuana.

(7/15/2018 3:34:51 AM)
The Rebbe said clearly in the later years, and very very frequently, that in truth one really does not need to consume a large quantity of alcohol in order for it's good effects to benefit by a farbrengen. The Rebbe even motioned to a tiny drop, if a person believes properly, will open that person up to be b'simcha without any hagbolos. In a heoro there, I believe it was 5748, the Rebbe mentions that the only reason a person would have any desire to drink more than the tiniest drop is because the desire is coming from the nefesh habahamis which has a nature for constantly demanding more and more and more, and therefore it will demand more mashke. The nefesh elokis can take a tiny drop and even none at all and emerge with a holy simcha.

Let's face it folks, lubavitch and ch is a veritable cess-pool of prikas ol and everybody wants to do whatever they want and it's easy enough for anyone who wants to to justify even the most degenerate behavior. I believe the reason is purely that over all these years people still have not got the Rebbe's message and have not gotten with the program. People believe the chiddush of the Rebbe in dor hashvii is shlichus, and it is, but it is barely the tip of the iceberg. We have to get with the program, enough with the dor shishi stuff.
(7/15/2018 4:16:16 PM)
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