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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
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Shabbos Holds 100 Proof for Whiskey Lovers

L’Chaim. Observing the Jewish Sabbath is secondary when it comes to saving a person’s life or performing a circumcision. But what happens a whiskey festival occurs on Shabbat? Hold a Whiskey Jewbilee.
Two Jewish whiskey lovers at the 'Whiskey Jewbilee'

Two Jewish whiskey lovers at the 'Whiskey Jewbilee'
Photo Credit: Photo: Singlecasknation blog

Jewish whiskey lovers have scheduled their second annual “Whiskey Jewbilee” for October, after the High Holidays, following last year’s stunning success of the first festival that was arranged after the wider known WhiskeyFest was held on the Sabbath.

Drinking a glass of “schnapps” and saying “L’Chaim” is not a Jewish law or even an ancient tradition, but it has been ingrained in modern Jewish life. There is barely a single Bar Mitzvah, wedding or other “simchah” without whiskey. And on Purim, the corks pop faster than one can drown out “Haman.”

Last year’s WhiskeyFest was held on Friday night Saturday, precluding many observant whiskey lovers from attending.

The relatively new Jewish Whiskey Company staged a  “counter festival” on a week night at a West Side synagogue and drew 250 people, according to The New York Times , and delivered the proof that one can enjoy a whiskey festival and still observe the Sabbath.

Whiskey companies that were not represented at the Jewbilee realized that the WhiskeyFest’s Saturday event cost them customers.

Although whiskeys are often kosher without special procedures, many producers are attracting Jewish drinkers by offering their bottles with kosher supervision.

An estimated 50 percent of former WhiskeyFest events were attended by orthodox Jews, but many of them were drawn last year to the Jewbilee, which is hoping to attract a lot more this year, with a second event in Westchester County.

The Jewish Whiskey Company pushes Jewish identity and uses a watermark of the Star of David on the front of its bottles.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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One Response to “Shabbos Holds 100 Proof for Whiskey Lovers”

  1. And this one goes hand in hand with the news that whiskey producers are trying to introduce this spirit in the lives of Jews. I know some Jews which really like whiskey and drink it, moderately (one even has a whiskey still); but can whiskey win over an entire (large) community? Who knows, with such passion and activities like the one above, it might happen.

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