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Jewish Journal

Everyone is Suddenly Irish on March 17th!

by Julia Bendis

March 18, 2011 | 11:33 am

Why does everyone become Irish on St. Patrick’s day?  Even the Jews.  When has it become a good thing for Jews to start drinking?  Have you ever seen Jewish people drink?  No, that’s because most of us can’t hold down our liquor, and its not pretty.

I am definitely the “drinker” in the family, not my husband.  His idea of a drink is ordering a glass of wine at dinner, finishing half of it and me having to drive home, because he looks like he is about to pass out.  I usually order a beer, but when it arrives the server gives it to my husband, assuming I am having the wine.  Because that’s usually how it works: the girl gets a fru-fru drink with an umbrella on top, and the guy orders a beer.

Not even close with Jewish men, unless its my Father.  He has a glass of Vodka, or as he calls it “water” with everything.  And yes, I said a glass not a shot.  His Grandfather wouldn’t even get out of bed until the wife brought him a glass of Vodka in the morning.  But, I guess when you’ve survived the Holocaust, and find yourself living under the Soviet regime with all your adult children and grandchildren under one roof, you DO need a glass of Vodka before getting out of bed!  We all needed alcohol to get us through the day, the earlier the better.

I am pretty sure my in-laws think I am an alcoholic.  Living in Cleveland, amongst 99.5% Jewish population, there ain’t much drinking going on…  So, when I have a beer once in a while, as my Father passes Vodka around to everyone around him before dinner has yet to arrive, and my Mother in the corner laughing her head off because she’s already had her half a glass of wine, I can only assume that they are dialing Jewish Alcoholics Anonymous under the table!

Its like the scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the Greek family keeps getting the Americans drunk, offering barbecued sheep amongst other delicatessen…  Only in my case, its the Russian Jews trying to serve up stuffed fish with its head still on and washing it down with Vodka.

Going back to my previous question about Jewish drinking, I ask this again: do Jewish people really think they can party on St. Patrick’s day like the rest of the population?  No, they can’t.  It really is not a pleasant site when you see Moshe at the bar, red as a lobster after one beer, with a green Super Jew t-shirt looking as if he is about to puke his guts out before 10 p.m.  My suggestion to all my people, do not pretend you are Irish for one night trying to impress the ladies with your drinking abilities and your cool shirt, it will only make you look like the Jew that you are, red-faced and all.  Stick to a fruity Bahama Mama with an umbrella on top!  Its Sexy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I was born in Ukraine, in the former USSR, and grew up in Riga, Latvia which is on the Baltic Sea.  My family and I immigrated to the United States in 1989, right before the...

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