The Contradictions of Alcohol in Judaism

In addition to our articles on Hinduism, Christianity, Qadiyanism, etc., we now continue our series on Interfaith Critique by turning to Judaism.

One of the most significant differences between Jewish and Muslim laws is the distortion and interpolation of the scriptures by Jewish Rabbis.[1] Historically, Rabbis knew very well that Allah Ta’ālā had declared many things as forbidden. Their messengers taught them the same. However, the Rabbis permitted forbidden things for themselves.

Allah Ta’ālā says,

So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.[2]

Example: Wine

We find that in the Talmud, Rabbis debate and wrangle with one another about wine; whether the use of it is good or evil. The Rabbis were well aware of the evil effects of wine on the drinker himself, as well as the entire society.

Study the following Talmudic texts:

1. ‘When wine enters, sense goes out; when wine enters, the secret comes out! There is nothing which brings lamentation upon man so much as wine. Wine leads both men and women to unchastity.’[3]

2. ‘Do not become intoxicated and you will not sin.’[4]

However, the consensus of opinion in the Talmud is that whilst drunkenness is bad, drinking is good! Subhānallah, this irreconcilable theory resembles the trinity concept in Christianity, in the sense that it also cannot be understood as rational and it cannot be reconciled.

Other Rabbis in the Talmud say:

1. ‘Before a man drinks wine, he is simple like a sheep and quiet like a lamb in front of its shearers. When he had drunk in moderation, he is strong like a lion and declares that there is none equal to him in the world. When he has drunk more than enough, he becomes like a pig wallowing in filth. When he becomes intoxicated, he becomes like a monkey dancing about, uttering obscenities before all and ignorant of what he is doing.’[5]

2. ‘One cup of wine is good for a woman, two are degrading, three make her act like an immoral woman and four cause her to lose all self-respect and sense of shame.’[6]

In essence, wine is seen as one of the good things of life by Jews. A Rabbi says in the Talmud,

‘There is no gladness without wine. Why is it said for what he has sinned against his soul? Because he withheld himself from wine!’

Judaism looks at the consumption of wine as a positive good. In fact, drinking wine is an integral part of all Jewish religious and social functions.[7]

Before a pious Jew takes the glass of wine, he recites the following, ‘Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, who has given us to drink of the fruit of the vine.’

Having understood the above, as Muslims, we come to understand that the encouragement of wine consumption by the Jewish religion nullifies any other virtue that Jewish dietary laws might outwardly convey.

Notes

  1. Islam Versus Ahl al-Kitab: Past and Present p. 84 [Maryam Jameelah]
  2. Sūrah Al-Baqarah: 79
  3. Everyman’s Talmud, Dr A Cohen, EP Dutton, New York, 1949 pp.232-233
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Islam verses Ahl al-Kitab: Past and Present p. 85 [Maryam Jameelah]
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