alcohol in religion

These 17th Century Monks Went on a 40-Day, Beer-Only Lenten Fast… With the Pope’s Approval

These 17th Century Monks Went on a 40-Day, Beer-Only Lenten Fast… With the Pope’s Approval

The past two years have been good to hard-drinking disciples. Pope Francis famously declared wine a necessity in 2016, and former Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 90th birthday with a beer and bretzels in August, 2017. Only one beer in recorded history received an actual blessing from the pope.

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How the Church Saved the Wine Industry During Prohibition

How the Church Saved the Wine Industry During Prohibition

Catholic churches need wine. It’s written in the Code of Canon Law that uncorrupted grape wine be served during communion. But sacramental wine is more than just fermented juice; it’s a stand-in for the blood of Christ and his sacrifice. And in America, the history of this sacred wine, and the destiny of those who make it, was ironically shaped […]

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The 15 Things You Drank If You Grew Up Jewish

The 15 Things You Drank If You Grew Up Jewish

Growing up in a Jewish household gifts you have many anecdotes to share at a not strictly kosher  – I said strictly, OK? – dinner party. You can talk about the scientific differences between regular best friends and camp best friends, why learning twelve years worth of Hebrew has still left you embarrassingly unilingual, and the […]

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The Evolution Of Alcohol Across The Three Monotheistic Religions

The Evolution Of Alcohol Across The Three Monotheistic Religions

Why is it that one can observe a religious Jew filling his cup to the brim with wine on a Friday night, while a religious Muslim wouldn’t be caught dead holding a drink? The world’s three major monotheistic religions have overlapping yet distinct relationships with alcohol. The evolution of alcohol in religion can be traced back […]

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How ISIS Upended The Unspoken Rules That Governed Winemaking In Hezbollah’s Heartland

How ISIS Upended The Unspoken Rules That Governed Winemaking In Hezbollah’s Heartland

When Lebanese winemaker Serge Hochar died last year in a swimming accident, Chateau Musar, the family-owned winery that he ran for most his adult life, was operating in a surprisingly stable environment. ISIS had not yet gained access to the Bekaa Valley, the winery’s location and Lebanon’s foremost wine-producing region. Hezbollah was indeed operating in […]

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Getting Buzzed In The Biblical Sense: Booze & Drugs In The Bible

Getting Buzzed In The Biblical Sense: Booze & Drugs In The Bible

Recently, Rabbi Moshe Elefant, COO of the Orthodox Union (the lead Jewish organization in kosher certification), stated that he had spoken with a handful of medical marijuana companies interested in obtaining an OU stamp of approval for their product. It seems that marijuana is much more likely than bacon to become kosher in the near […]

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