Tuesday, September 9, 2008

L'Chaim

Fiddler on the Roof made the Jewish drinking slogan “L’Chaim” - To Life! - famous. Where does the phrase come from? Why do Jews say “To life!” when drinking?

Many concepts in Judaism can best be understood through exploring where they are first mentioned in the Bible. The first person to drink wine was Noah, shortly after he emerged from the Ark. He got drunk and humiliated himself in front of his sons, before two of them covered him with a blanket.

The next to get drunk was Abraham’s nephew Lot, whose daughters took advantage of his inebriated state to become pregnant from him.

We wish “L’chaim” to others when we drink in the hope that the alcohol we consume will not do any physical or spiritual damage to us. It has been scientifically suggested that those who drink wine in moderation actually receive health benefits from it. Health benefits = good life! We’ll drink to that! L’Chaim!

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