The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, August 04, 2008

On Drinking

A number of years ago, when I was still president, my shul
decided to go dry, cold turkey. It was at the behest of Rabbi Hershel Billet of the Young Israel of Woodmere who persuaded his shul board to ban hard alcohol. Rabbi Billet was looking for community support but, as far as I can tell, we were the only other shul to take that step which seemed drastic at the time.

I wrote about how that unfolded here and here.

I raise this, of course, in the context of the story of a frum teen who was recently busted for wrecking a car, on Shabbos, while totally drunk. This story was picked up in Newsweek, of all places, and is, predictably, raising public consciousness.

It takes strong leadership, like that displayed by Rabbi Billet and Rav Weinberger, to deal with these problems head on. Sadly, what's missing is leadership. Leadership by parents and leadership by Rabbanim and other so-called leaders.

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  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger David said…

    ummm, Anshei Chesed (SouthShore)under Rav Lefkowitz went cold turkey too. I think it was even before Aish did too.

  • At 2:42 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Could be but I doubt it. We did it at the same time as YIW back in 2003.

  • At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wasn't Avi Weiss the first one?

  • At 3:56 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said…

    i've heard of old turkey, 80 proof, but what's this cold turkey?

  • At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It must be a slow week in Newsweek published this story. Is it in their print edition or the website?

    A minor point. Why the inconsistent titles of Rabbi and Rav?

  • At 2:58 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    You must mean Wild Turkey.

    anon 3:41

    Had not heard about Avi Weiss but kol hakavod if it's so.

    anon 2:15

    Must be. As for Rav and Rabbi, that's how they are respectively referred to.

  • At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great post MOC, and shcoiach for being way ahead of the ball on this issue. Apropos of nothing, i wrote a thing for my shul bulletin this week, and used the word mishebayrach appropriately (i think). I just wanted to thank you for enlightening me to that usage of the word.Brad


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