Drinking on Purim in The Talmud

With Purim coming up in just two weeks, this episode is the second in JewishDrinking’s Purim 2020 series, with a third episode to be published next week. This week’s podcast/video episode features Professor Jordan Rosenblum, the Belzer Professor of Classical Judaism, the Max and Frieda Weinstein-Bascom Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose recent book just hit bookshelves a month ago. The new book, Rabbinic Drinking: What Beverages Teach Us About Rabbinic Literature, is intended to introduce readers to rabbinic thought in the Talmud “through the rabbinic drinking glass.”

This week’s episode is on this brief discussion in the Babylonian Talmud (Megillah 7b):

אמר רבא מיחייב איניש לבסומי בפוריא עד דלא ידע בין ארור המן לברוך מרדכי

Rava said: “A person is obligated to drink on Purim until they do not know between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordechai.”

רבה ורבי זירא עבדו סעודת פורים בהדי הדדי איבסום קם רבה שחטיה לרבי זירא למחר בעי רחמי ואחייה לשנה אמר ליה ניתי מר ונעביד סעודת פורים בהדי הדדי אמר ליה לא בכל שעתא ושעתא מתרחיש ניסא

Rabbah and Rabbi Zeira made a Purim feast with each other and drank. Rabbah got up, slaughtering Rabbi Zeira. The following day, he asked for mercy and revived him. The following year, he said to him, “Come, master, and let’s make a Purim feast with each other.” He said to him, “Miracles do not happen each and every hour.”

Here is the podcast and video episode:

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