Did you know that Jews like whiskey? It is true! Jews like whiskey! A lot of my early Jewish memories are closely tied to whiskey. Every holiday and wedding and Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah featured whiskey. And not just any whiskey, but good whiskey. Single-malt Scotch Whiskey.
And Purim? Forget about it.
Anyway, I guess this was a secret? Something people didn’t know? Well, New York Times found out and wrote an article about the decades-old trend, covering a new WhiskyFest-related event called “Whisky Jewbilee:”
The bond with whiskey goes way back. Mr. Blashka said early Jewish immigrants to America, unable to trust the provenance of local wines, turned to certain distilled liquors, including whiskey. “Because the wine was an issue, typically spirits was their avenue for drinking,” he said.
It’s a good thing whiskey wasn’t mentioned in the Torah!
As recent decades have ushered in a revival in Scotch, bourbon and other whiskeys, Jews, like many other groups, have moved beyond the usual blends and have developed more sophisticated tastes. “Now we have many whiskeys that we know are kosher,” said Rabbi Aaron Raskin of Congregation B’nai Avraham in Brooklyn Heights, whose preferred whiskey is the smoky Laphroaig, a single malt from Islay. “It is used to add to our joy.”
But really, Rabbi Raskin, what’s the real reason you’re so excited about all this whiskey?
“And it helps attendance at synagogues,” he added.
I can only imagine that this news will only increase the mourning on Tisha B’av.