Message from Harav Yaakov Bender


rav-yaakov-benderWe are living in perhaps the most difficult tekufah, in terms of raising children, in Jewish history.

The street is beckoning, technology is very tempting, the yetzer hara is all around us, and for young children and teenagers, there are so many obstacles to overcome.

Yet we, the parents and grandparents of our precious children and grandchildren, are compounding the problem to a great degree.

I refer here to the burgeoning problem of alcohol abuse.

In my nearly 35 years of work in the world of chinuch,

I have never seen the absolute hefkerus and total disregard for norms when it comes to alcohol.

This is particularly rampant in the Orthodox Jewish community.

As parents, we become nearly hysterical before Purim as to what will happen to our dear yingelach over this yomtov.

We call the yeshivos, we scream, we demand, we insist, we cry out for help and beg our institutions to control the consumption of alcohol by our children.

We have every right to worry and we have every right to care. Our children’s lives are at stake.

We must remember, however, the old adage: “children follow what we do, not what we tell them.”

Children will always follow the example of their parents.

I vividly remember a commercial that used to play on radio many years ago, where a deep voice would ask a number of children: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The children would invariably answer: “I want to be a policeman just like daddy.” “I want to be a doctor just like daddy.” “I want to be a lawyer just like daddy.” And finally, “I want to be a fireman just like daddy.” And then the deep voice would resonate with one question addressed to all of us out there, listening to the commercial:

“Daddy, do you smoke?”

End of advertisement.

To a large degree the campaign against smoking has had a dramatic effect.

Daddys have mostly stopped smoking. And teenagers have stopped smoking. It’s not perfect but I venture to guess that when I was a teenager at least 70-90% of yeshiva bochurim were smoking. Today, if there are 10%, it’s a lot.

Why are we not worried about alcohol?

Why are we abusive when it comes to alcohol?

Why don’t we care about our wives’ feelings when it comes to alcohol?

There are so many shalom bayis issues when it comes to alcohol, yet these same people have no problem demanding of yeshivos to stop the drinking.

I want to state unequivocally that the overwhelming majority of kids who abuse alcohol grow up in homes and shuls where drinking is rampant.

There was a Kiddush recently in a shul in our area that included tables bedecked with fancy displays of the most expensive types of whiskey and bourbon. Johnny Walker Blue didn’t hold a candle to these expensive drinks. Kids were standing around watching their parents sample and drink from every conceivable type of bottle, mamesh like the seuda of Achashveirosh in his time. Unfortunately this is commonplace, all over the New York metropolitan area.

What is wrong with us?

It is time to make a very strong statement once and for all.

And please don’t start with the yeshivos. We are very minor players. We certainly have more to do when it comes to alcohol control.

I know we are trying; perhaps not enough.

But a school can only reinforce character development that a child  was raised with by his parents. If you, the parent, gets drunk every Shabbos, please don’t come ask me for help with your child.

It is time to stop the total excess of alcohol. Should a baal simcha put out one bottle at a simcha so that people can make Kiddush or a l’chayim?

Perhaps. I am not in favor of Prohibition or yet another ban in our communities.

But I am begging you, the parents, to get serious on this topic.

Demand of your friends and of your batei medrashim – and then, of your yeshivos – to stop alcohol abuse once and for all.

And please, control liquor at weddings. As far as I’m concerned the flowing alcohol that we find at our chasunos are a “bor birshus harabim.”

How many more children have to die, Rachmana litzlan, or be maimed in car accidents because of drinking?

How can we allow young men to drink to their hearts’ content at shalom zachars, creating terribly uncomfortable situations?

And beer is no better. It is as terrible as expensive liquor.


I am not a person who believes in any extremes. Extremes are unhealthy.

But we are near the brink of disaster with alcohol.

{ Newscenter}


  1. “There was a Kiddush recently in a shul in our area that included tables bedecked with fancy displays of the most expensive types of whiskey and bourbon. Johnny Walker Blue didn’t hold a candle to these expensive drinks. Kids were standing around watching their parents sample and drink from every conceivable type of bottle, mamesh like the seuda of Achashveirosh in his time. Unfortunately this is commonplace, all over the New York metropolitan area.”

    When these STUPID fathers will have their son die in an overdose, “maybe” just “maybe”, they’ll learn their lesson! But I doubt it!

  2. We have to thank HKB”H that we have a man like Rabbi Bender amongst us and leading us. He is a tzadik who had dedicated his gadlus, tremendous kochos and amazing talents to help klal yisroel. With seemingly endless energy, passion and great chochma he is leading klal yisroel and paving the way for future ehrlicher yidden.
    Thank you Rabbi Bender for once again coming forth and confronting crucial issues affecting us all.
    Hashem should give this great person the kochos to continue his avodas hakodesh.

  3. Every single thing Hashem gives us should be handled – as the Rambam states – B’Derech HaMemutzah – the middle ground.
    Is there really something wrong with a person who learns and works hard all week, is responsible, takes care of everything, bares the weight of his family – and on Shabbos morning he wants to “let loose” a bit? I tend to think it’s just perfectly fine.
    In moderation – but fine. A bit tipsy – but fine.
    I agree that children learn from watching their parents, and if this is the father’s once-a-week “letting loose”, then the children will learn that a father must be Koveia Eetim, must support a family, must shoulder the family’s burdons, and is also allowed, once a week, to actually enjoy some embibement.
    Nothing wrong with it, and no bad lessons tought.
    Reb Shlomo Freifeld, Zatzal, would push drinks on his chevra at many Yomim Tovim, at many Kiddushim. During this time of “high” he would oftentimes gain the most ground with his Chevra, getting them to open up to him so he could make more progress with their climb to Yiddeshkeit.
    If things are done responsibly, a bit of excess is just fine. No need to get all bent out of shape.

    Actually, bent out of shape is probably a bigger hazard to our community and children than drinking.

    If children learn from watching their parents and Rabbeim, how they act, how they live – how can we expect our children to stay in healthy shape when a good portion of the parents and Rabbeim in our world are somewhat to severely overweight?

    Being overweight has been diffinitively connected to heart desease, and other health problems. How do we explain to Talmidim that it’s okay to be overweight.
    Drinking a bit too much Shabbos morning has not been proven to harm anyone. In fact, it most likely is beneficial in more ways that not.

  4. I was married to an alcoholic & I can tell you first hand it is not pretty. Everyone suffer. The wife, the kids & even the alcoholic himself. When & if he comes around he is full of Busha.
    Rabbosai, anyone who saves one life it is as if he has saved a whole world. YOU should be the ONE to save that one life. If everyone who reads this takes it to heart, how many worlds can be saved.

  5. Thank you Rabbi Bender. Once again you have stepped forward to speak about a Machla that has become out of control.

    Perhaps we cannot control what people do in the privacy of their home however EVERY Shul should immediately insist that any and all Simchos which take place in the Shul building (bais medrash, ezras noshim, catering hall etc.) must be alcohol free with only grape juice allowed for kiddush. Rabbonim can make this happen – each in their own Tzibbur. If their congregants cannot handle it then they will have to make their simchos in their own homes.

    Way to often mothers and children eat alone on shabbos because daddy is drunk. So many mothers and children must act proud and look fine in public when deep down they are embarrassed and horrified by what daddy looks like and is doing. Then daddy thinks its funny and fine (which is even sadder to know that these people are not real men.)

    Rabbi Bender you are 100% right. It starts at home. The yeshivos are the last to be blamed. The home is the first to be blamed.

    I hope you will be matzliach in this campaign and please continue to speak about it as often as possible and plead with your fellow Roshe Yeshiva, Rabbonim and anyone else you can to get onto this bandwagon and eliminate the destruction of our families and children because of the abuses of alcohol.

  6. Rabbi Bender, I agree with you but I respectfully ask you why you and all other roshei yeshiva think it’s ok for boys to drink Purim in homes unsupervised under the guise of collecting Tzedakah. I truly believe that many boys taste their first hard alcohol through this venue and the parents have no power eventhough we protest to the Roshei yeshiva about this widespread problem. Please use your voice to spearhead a movement to not allow boys to collect Tzedakah on Purim. You will solve most of the problem this way. Every major organization had said so and yet yeshivos are absolutely ignoring a problem they can fix. Have a good Shabbos.

  7. Beer is just as bad? should we make kiddush on grape juice? lets not go from one extreme to the other! yes we have a problem in our community. but don’t go so extreme that your looked at as a fanatic. wine, beer and shnaps have their place in frumkeit. too much of anything can be a problem.

  8. kol Hakavod Rabbi Bender and thanks to for posting this!
    one tiny problem, i read through this article and as a i scrolled down to continue reading, the ad on the side of the page was a big ad from miller’s lite BEER!!!!!!!
    this is a powerful article but the advertisement that is the exact opposite of this article takes away from the impact. please remove it. tnx

  9. Why can’t we totally throw out any bachur who gets drunk on Purim? Today in our age, there is NO point for ANY bachur to drink on Purim! He is not fulfilling ANY halacha, he does NOT have the right kavannas (whatever they are), and there should absolutely be enacted ‘Prohibition’ on Purim! Don’t shake your heads…YES! YES!

  10. Why is there a MILLER BEER ad right next to this article on the Matzav website? I kid you not. How unapprorpriate.

  11. RabbiBender is 100% right. B’H in the shul where I daven this is not a problem. But on occasions I have gone to simchos where before or during Krias Hatorah I noticed ‘men’ going out and some returned being quite tipsy to put it mildly. I ws informed that thes ‘men’ are aprt of a kiddush club, where as RabbI Bender described it so weel “Blue Label’ is at he low end of the totem pole. It is a chillul hashem, the Rabbi’s of these shuls are scared to say a word or they will be left without a job or no ispallalim. I am in total agreement, that at weedings they should scap these liquor bars, it is disgusting that yeshiva boys (people) as k for all type of drinks which I never even knew existed, then we wonder what is going on. Kol Hakovod to Reb Yankel, keep up the good work.

  12. att: #8

    i find it ironic that matzav has an ad 4 some sort of beer on their website at the same time they have this article from Rabbi Bender.
    and thanx Rabbi Bender: beautifully written with some REALLY good points and now if E/o actually takes it 2 heart the world will b a better place 2 live in!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I don’t understand why you need to drink at all.
    Drink seltzer like we did on the lower east side.
    You mean no seltzer either???

  14. Nice article and I respect Rabbi Bender tremendously, but I’m not sure if it’s a Klal Yisroel issue or a local Long Island/New York issue. I am not familiar with the scenes he is describing (admittedly, I live in Waterbury, CT and maybe out of town is different, we generally don’t have hasagos such as these). But if it is true like he is describing, and not just a few irresponsible and young minded adults (alcoholics are an entire different story, and surely not the subject of this article – they respond to a very specific spiritual treatment articulated in the 1930’s)then it would indeed be sad. We need God to save his children, all of us.

  15. Very interesting , Why is there an ad for ICE COLD MILLER LITE BEER on this site, right after it is being condemned ?

  16. ??? ???
    I’ve seen teenage boys coming home throwing up drunk from visiting on Purim, and what happens at home that day, or what we see at some chasunehs – don’t ask. When I was a kid Jews didn’t drink – not frum, not frei – and if anybody had a problem they would make sure nobody knew about it. We’ve assimilated far more than we’d like to admit – or even know. Drinking is contagious – your friends do it and then you do too. Just like we consider it a shandeh for a lady to show her hair, so we should consider it a shandeh for a man to drink in public beyond that one l’chaim. Rabbi Bender deserves our gratitude for telling it like it is.

  17. as a parent in Brooklyn it scares me to see the bochurim hanging out Friday night from one Shalom zachor to the next drinking. Its really dependant on the rov of each individual shul to set limits on the alcohol allowed in.

  18. If any wives or children have the experience of fathers who are drunk on Shabbos afternoon, please know you don’t need to go through this alone. There is an organization called Al-Anon that helps the FAMILIES of drunks set boundaries and deal with the drunk’s misbehaviors to help you get your life back.

    A happy drunk is still a drunk and there are things you and your children can do so you don’t suffer because of it.

  19. # 8 – you need help. Stop blaming the Yeshivos and put the blame on the nitwits who serve the boys drinks when they come. The Yeshiva has a hard enough time collecting tuition and is trying to do whatever fund raising it can. They should stop that because irresponsible juvenile acting adults serve drinks to the kids????Seriously? Is this really Rabbi Benders problem?

    # 4 – If you do not have children that have reached their teenage years then that would explain why you say what you say, and you need to do real life research on what your challenges with your children will become. If you do have children in their teenage years and you still can say what you did in your comment then you need help and you need to have a real heart to heart talk with your wife to see if deep down she respects you and agrees with you or perhaps she is a true Eishes Chayil who wants you to be happy even if it is at the chinuch expense of your children and family. (And that is very sad that she sacrifices so much for your happiness in this area)

    Just curious – using your example provided about the guy who works hard all week and needs to chill a little – do you feel the same way that there is nothing wrong with a cigarette here and there, even if it means your children (yes girls also smoke) will try their “one puff” here and there?

    Do you truly think what you write is the best way to raise your kids? Would you allow your underage child to drive your car even if it is just for a few blocks and just local because why not? Do you think a person wakes up one morning an alcoholic or maybe just maybe it all starts with the 1 drink here, and the one need to chill there, and the ok so it’s not so bad to try something new here etc. etc. etc.

    When your child C”V is drunk and kills someone in an accident will you feel the same way? Of course not! so why take the chance.

    Your comment was irresponsible and inappropriate. Rabbi Bender has successfully raised tens of thousands of wonderful Talmidim. You have raised none. He trumps you big time!

  20. i’m reading this article on motz’ shabbos in E”Y, and to the right of the article, there’s an ad for Miller Lite !!!!

  21. Thank you Rabbi Bender for taking a stand for our community. When I got married a number of years ago, I remembered a very similar shmuz from R Bender to us bar mitzvah boys about not touching alcohol and the role of real simcha at a simcha. To the consternation of my parents and in laws I insisted on not having a bar at my chasuna. We had a few bottles of wine on the tables and my father had a bottle of scotch for controlled and limited lchaims.

    I had literally a dozen people from rabbanim through the hall manager coming over to thank me for this. I had never realized what an issue this has become in our community until I realized how many people noticed the lack of serious liquor at a simcha.

  22. everything this gadol hador says is true. but let us not forget that the weakest part of any yeshiva is its dorm. at home, there are two parents to care, oversee and control 3 – 4 -5- 6 or more young adults. we send our young men and ladies off to yeshiva or seminary to be on their own for no reason. a good dorm can have one adult probably a 28 year old to supervise 15 – 30 ‘young people’. what do we expect to happen. in the old days children were sent off to dorms because there were no yeshivas in town to send them to. today we do it to give our children ‘freedom’ and let them ‘grow up’. what do we really expect to happen. a child belongs at home every night until he gets married. the pasuk says a man leaves his father and mother and surprise it doesn’t say and he clings to his rosh yeshiva – it says he clings to his wife. a son or daughter belongs at home until they get married.
    R’ Yaakov used to find places for the bachrim in the dorm to stay with families every Shabbos because he felt that if a child could not be home at least let him be with a family.

  23. The not sure about everyone else but as i scrolled down the article and r bender mentioned beer there was an ad for miller lite on the right of my screen. Not so thought out matzav!

  24. #8
    Two things from your response have me confused. 1) did u read the article? Rav Bender clearly discusses the issue of boys on purim and points out that the problem starts with parents at home. 2) do u really belive that you are more experianced and smarter then Rabbi Bender to say he will solve more problems following your advice. There must come a point when ppl learn to listen to our leaders and not question everything they say.

  25. I find it ironic that Matzav has a huge Miller beer ad on the side of this page. Are they on the side of Rabbi Bender and finding a solution, or are they part of the problem?

  26. I honestly feel that as a community, we Jews are perfoming Mitzvos and learning by rote, and not because we are inspired to. Something is very wrong with our system and we are clearly looking for thrill elsewhere.

  27. Was at a shalom zachor Friday night and it was unbelievable the ammount of liquor being consumed by these young people in their early twenties.
    Shot after shot

  28. Am I stupid or perhaps davenning in the wrong shul? or maybe blind?
    I daven in a very popular shul and attend simchos there and in many surrounding shuls frequently. yes I see the displays of fine whiskies and enjoy making l’chaim on them. but I have never seen the excesses and drunkenness that is referred to in this article and comments. While there may indeed be people who over indulge or even get drunk I don’t think it is a shul or simcha problem. it is their problem and should be addressed as such. Maybe shuls shouldn’t serve kugul or cake because some people eat to much and get fat and have high cholesterol? enough of blaming your problems on everyone else!

  29. Lack of Tznius by the Mothers is a far greater danger to the child than the Fathers taking a little Li’chaim.

  30. There also is a big issue with the kashrus of scotches. After an hour-long meeting with HRH”G
    R’ D. Feinstein Shlita with E. Weinstein, one of the Govt.’s top mathimaticians, who has done massive research on scotch (and sherry casks),RDF said that one should buy single malt scotch with a hechsher. The only approved (non-sherry cask) list is on the StarK and Chicago CRC websites. RDF didn’t address blended scotch which EW has stated one needs a calculator to figure out the 1 to 6 ratio(including the baluah in the barrel) of the Shulchan Aruch. Chivas, occording to their
    statements has 40% of each bottle brewed in sherry casks. Blue Label’s website states “Even a layman can taste the sherry”, which according to the Minchas Yitzchok is absolutely assur!
    Do we trust the statements of these multi-million $ company’s statements, when they absolutely don’t want anyone finding out their trade secrets?
    Shuls and caterers have begun cracking down.
    I recenbtly was in a liquor store and the owner
    asked each baal simcha what shul he was from. He then told him what whiskies were allowed by that shul.
    Many frum Yiddin are drinking traif whiskies!

  31. The advertisment for Miller Lite!
    Right alongside this great and long overdue message.
    Was that just a coincidence or deliberate?

  32. I am a father who drinks very little (and that is a mild understatement…) yet my boys drank considerably more when they were in Yeshiva, (but B”H much less today).

  33. There’s an advertisement for beer next to the article!
    By the way, to the person who advocates the Rambam’s “middle ground” that is only when all things are equal, but when there’s an issue, you have to bend to the other extreme in order to be in the middle.

  34. It has also become the “style” for all our Kosher Jewish publications to have page after page in beautiful color advertising all the newest wines and liquors, and how to pair the white wine and the pink (rose) wine with your fish dishes, meat dishes, etc. I realize a publication makes their money through advertisement, but they are trading our boys’ yiddishe neshamas for the almight-y dollar. It is time for them to stop the advertising and beautifying drinking so it doesn’t become so beckoning to our people.

  35. As I read this beautiful words, I look to the right of the screen as see an advertisement for “Miller Lite” lol

  36. Thank you Rabbi Bender for sticking up for the Yeshivos once again. As a Mesivta Rebbe I can tell you that it’s about time we called a spade a spade. We did not create this problem! Yes, I give my class a shmooze before Purim how they are only allowed to drink with their parents permission/supervision etc, however Purim is not the cause of our alcohol abuse issue. It’s the idiotic immature behavior of the adults in our communities who need to drink away their pain (?) stress(?) unhappiness (?). Please ask yourselves , will you be able to say ” yadenu lo shofchu es hadam hazeh” ???

  37. I love Rabbi Bender. I love bus style. He is a really special man. However, I must respectfully disagree.

    There are a few points that I would like to point out.

    1) Rabbi Bender says “I want to state unequivocally that the overwhelming majority of kids who abuse alcohol grow up in homes and shuls where drinking is rampant”
    The evidence is to the contrary it is the children of parents who are so vehemently opposed to drinking that when exposed to it go to extremes. Children who are exposed to responsible drinking are the least likely to go to any extreme. As with any extreme, banning-instead of teaching responsibility- creates a minefield that can explode.
    Addiction specialists have suggested that the reason our community has the lowest-yes the lowest-ratio of addicts is precisely because of our culture of responsible drinking-lechaim’s.

    2) The notion of an abuse crises is also a fallacy. Are we a community rampant with drunk drivers? Are we home to alcoholics drinking everyday-at 8am? Us there a constant of cases of over-drinking and hospitilization?
    No. It is the uncomfortable situations. It is the small ugly episodes here and there. Etc.
    Yes, these aren’t optimal. But, these are not crisis.

    3)to be cont…

    Please let us do this properly.
    Lets educate responsibility. Not go to the extreme and create a worse situation.

  38. I think we need to start thinking more about solutions than problems. Everyone needs to work together. Many of these children may be trying to suppress feelings…which is what alcohol does. It’s a numbing agent. What are they numbing? And yes parents are the #1 bearer of responsibility in this situation.

  39. Why can’t the householders stop feeding the boys hard alcohol? Why does collecting have to mean getting drunk? Why should the Yeshivas stop collecting when we can pressure the hosts instead not to intoxicate them?

    And #6 – R’ Bender has clearly stated that Prohibition is not the answer. Most ppl can tolerate making kiddush – at home or in shul – on a cup of Kedem kiddush wine. It’s the “other stuff” that is the problem, and grape-juice-only is not necessary to control that!

  40. right on target (but Rav Bender always is in Chinuch) I just wanted to add — if this is NOT a problem in your home, you still need to be aware of it when letting your children go to someone else’s house for a Shabbos Seudah. I have witnessed children/teens being a Shabbos guest at a table and plied with liquor as that was normal in that home. Be aware of the situation of your child’s friends’ homes. If the parents drink, you probably don’t want your child at that Shabbos Seudah.

  41. nothing is sadder than having a police officer drive young drunk yeshiva bachurim to your house(because they refuse to go home) on shabbos because alcohol was served at a tish without supervisionion. Please let’s alll be responsible for our children.

  42. Isn’t it ironic that Matzav posts this msg from R’ Bender but has an ad for Miller Lite beer right next to it…
    Or is that only my computer???

  43. From where I sit in Boro Park, I do not see any problem. Yes, every morning’s l’chayim is a religious ritual,
    and yes, Shabbos Kiddush is enjoyed,
    but I have yet to see anyone become drunk.
    Possibly, the problem is in the Five Towns and in New Jersey.
    If anything, people in Boro Park do not want to over imbibe. During weekdays, whether in shul in the morning or at a simcha at night, they’re afraid of how it would affect their driving.
    However, whereever a problem exists, drastic measures should be taken. In Woodmere, a shul has absolutely prohibited ANY alcohol.

  44. I agree with the posters who recognized the insensitivity of posting a beer ad alongside this important essay. I know ads pay for you to be online, but you should be able to choose wisely what to advertise where.

  45. Rabbi Bender l”chaim ,I’ll drink to that. Its starts with watching fathers drink and kiddush clubs which should be assur in shul

  46. I think that we need some introspection and it goes beyond the drinking. Let’s get back to basics. I think that it is time that parents remember that once they have children, their focus can no longer be about fun and friends. They are now responsible for a family unit and with that comes behaving as adults.

    How many people have forgotten that Shabbos is the quality time WITH THEIR FAMILY not to socialize with their friends and have their children get bored and walk away from the Shabbos table!

    Let’s not kid ourselves. The Western culture’s breakdown of values is impacting our community. The fact that everything is about fun – devoid of substance has impacted our community. Sadly, this includes drinking and sinking to the low, low point of our Gentile neighbors who have only about their drinking escapades to brag.

    If parents abdicate their responsibility to act as parents, who should be nurturing their children and setting a positive example for them, then why are we surprised that we have such problems with teens. Even if one invests everything to make his home warm and nurturing, his neighbor is not and your kids are subjected to the bad behaviors of your neighbor’s kids.

    It is time to grow up and time to wake up.

  47. Kol hakovod to Rabbi Bender. This is not a new problem. Here in Woodmere, and specifically the Young Israel of Woodmere non wine alochol has been banned in the shul for over 12 years. Rabbi Billet has been a visionary on this topic for many years. Nice to see others in the community are now following his lead.

  48. Mr. or Mrs., Ms. Cleveland: It’s fairly obvious you don’t have teenage boys. Parents have NO say in the matter of boys parading around to collect for their yeshivas on Purim. No matter how much parents will protest, the kids go anyway
    Incidentally, this is a universal problem
    Aside from that, you just need to fix your spelling errors and then maybe we could have a frank discussion

  49. Thank you Rabbi Bender. As a community, we need to act.
    I want to respond to #4. Clearly, you are either not aware of the depth of the problem or you are naive in the extreme to think that “drinking a bit too much Shabbos morning has not been proven to harm anyone”.
    Let me tell you a story. There was once a respected ba’al ha’bus, involved in shul matters and various other tzorchai tzibbur. He was a kind, considerate, responsible and thoughtful man; a very capable administrator who would do anything for others and for his family. He enjoyed the shul kiddush on shabbos (he claimed that his drinking started in his youth) and he generally was able to manage it–after a cup of vodka, he would walk home and conduct the seuda with zemiros with even more zest than otherwise. Over the years, his shabbos fix just was not cutting the cheese and he would come home from work and “hit the bottle”. After about 30 years of a drinking addiction, it became harder for him to hide the impact of the drinking. He was fired from his well-paying job and his mind and body were complete wrecks. He couldn’t remember things that he had done a short while earlier and he fainted a number of times in shul. His family stepped in to try to send him to rehab, but as the family was to find out, in order for rehab to work, a patient has to want to get better and to recognize his illness. The man today, lives a pitiful existence. He refuses to get help and his family refuses to support him as an addict. He misses family smachos, his wife, children and grandchildren, is an irresponsible person and is a shadow of his former self. The man is my uncle. Please people, wake up and have the talk with your shul executive. Appoint a responsible “Sar Hamashkim” to control the flow of wine and whiskey. Limit the number of bottles that can be brought to a simcha. Have the Rabbonim talk about it from the pulpit. What happened to my uncle can and will happen again if we do not act.

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