Ethics

For the week ending 21 November 2009 / 3 Kislev 5770

Heading Off A Binge

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: I sometimes find myself sitting at a wedding meal near a fellow who is obviously imbibing too much alcohol and is in danger of getting drunk. What is the right thing to do to help him avoid embarrassing himself by losing control of his actions?

Answer: Taking away his supply of liquor will not always work because there is always more at another table. What you can do is enlist the aid of his wife or another member of his family who may have the ability to either control him or take him home.

If such help is not available you can tell him that he doesn't look well and offer to take him outside for some air. This break may be successful in bringing his drinking to a halt, especially if you whisper into his ear that continued drinking will seriously harm him and embarrass his family and friends by spoiling the atmosphere of the wedding.

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