Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Noach - 5782

MIDDAY DRINK

 “Noah, the tiller of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and he uncovered himself within the tent." (Bereshit 9:20-21) 

Noah was a great person. The Torah describes him as a righteous and perfect individual. Yet his first action following the flood was criticized by the Rabbis in the Midrash.

An intoxicating drink is a good thing if consumed at the right time (and, of course, in the right amount as well). However the Mishnah in Avot states: "Rabbi Dosa ben Hakinas said: Morning sleep, midday wine, children's talk and sitting in the assembly houses of the ignorant put a man out of the world."

Midday, when we experience the mental clarity of noon, is a time to achieve and accomplish. Without doubt, it is fine to end the day with a glass of wine or a shot of bourbon to remove the edge and appreciate the wonderful gifts of life. However, the clarity of Midday must be utilized, and not be hazed by alcohol. 

Regrettably, at a time that was designated to build the world with new clarity, Noah did some "midday drinking" and, as the Torah notes, he paid a price for his lack of judgment.

Shabbat Shalom