61. "Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you, nor your sons with you..." (Vayikra 10:8). Rabbi Yehuda said that from this chapter we learn that Nadab and Abihu were under the influence of wine from the fact that the priests were warned about it. Rabbi Chiya cites that verse: "And wine that makes glad the heart of man" (Tehilim 104:15). HE ASKS: If the priest is required to be glad and smiling more than any other man, why is he forbidden wine which creates joy and smiles?
62. HE ANSWERS: Wine makes one joyful at first and saddens later, AND THE PRIEST MUST BE GLAD ALL THE TIME. All the more with the wine that comes from the side of the Levites, from the place in which wine abides - NAMELY, FROM THE LEFT - for the Torah and her wine are of the side of Gvurah, and the side of the priests is that of clear shining water, WHICH IS CHESED.
63. Rabbi Yosi said: Each lends to the other and each includes both things, FOR THE LEFT INCLUDES THAT OF THE RIGHT, AND THE RIGHT INCLUDES THAT OF THE LEFT. Therefore wine, BEING FROM THE LEFT, begins with joy, for it contains water WHICH COMES FROM THE RIGHT. Afterwards, it reverts to its own nature, TO THE LEFT, and becomes sad and furious and sentences judgments, AS IS THE NATURE OF THE LEFT.
64. Rabbi Aba said that wine, oil and water issue from the same place. Water and oil, which are on the right, are taken by and are the lot of the priests. This is especially so with oil, NAMELY CHOCHMAH, which is joy first and last, UNLIKE THE WINE WHICH ENDS IN SADNESS, as it is written: "It is like the precious ointment upon the head, running down the beard, the beard of Aaron" (Tehilim 133:2). Wine, which is on the left, is inherited by the Levites, so that they may raise their voices in song and not be silent, for wine is never silent and oil is always noiseless.
65. HE ASKS: What is the difference between OIL AND WINE? HE ANSWERS that oil is always in secret and noiseless, and comes from the side of the thought, WHICH IS CHOCHMAH, which is always silent and unheard, AS THE THOUGHT IS UNREVEALED. Therefore, THE OIL comes from the right side. Wine is for raising the voice and is never silent, FOR THE ONE WHO IS DRUNK CANNOT BE SILENT. It comes from the side of Ima, NAMELY THE LEFT SIDE OF BINAH, and the Levites, WHO ARE on the left, receive IT for singing and raising their voices, and are in the aspect of Judgment. Therefore, it is written: "And by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried" (Devarim 21:5). AND ALTHOUGH IT IS STATED ABOUT THE PRIESTS, it is WRITTEN: "THE PRIESTS THE SONS OF LEVI," WHICH INDICATES THAT BECAUSE THEY ARE FROM THE SIDE OF THE LEVITES, "BY THEIR WORD SHALL EVERY CONTROVERSY AND EVERY STROKE BE TRIED."
66. Therefore, when a priest enters the Sanctuary to perform a divine service, he is not allowed to drink wine, for all his actions are performed in silence. He concentrates ON THE UNISONS in silence, joins whom he should join, NAMELY MALE AND FEMALE, and he obtains blessings for all the worlds. And everything is done in silence, for all his actions are done in secret. THEREFORE, HE IS FORBIDDEN TO DRINK wine because it reveals a secret, FOR "WHEN WINE COMES IN, A SECRET GOES OUT," and it encourages the raising of the voice.
67. Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Yitzchak were on their way from the place of Maronia to Tzipori. With them was a young boy who had a mule, on whose back was a jar of wine mixed with honey. Rabbi Yehuda said: Let us discuss the Torah as we go.
68. Rabbi Yitzchak opened the discussion, saying: "And the roof of your mouth like the best wine that goes down sweetly for my beloved" (Shir Hashirim 7:11). "And the roof of your mouth like the best wine," is the wine of the Torah, which is good, for the other wine - THAT OF THE OTHER SIDE - is not good. The wine of the Torah is good for all, good for this world and good for the World to Come, as it is the wine that pleases the Holy One, blessed be He, more than all. Due to this, he who imbibes of the wine of the Torah will come to life at the time of the resurrection OF THE DEAD, when the Holy One, blessed be He, shall raise the righteous. Rabbi Yehuda said: "Causing the sleepers' lips to murmur" (Ibid.), for even in that world, he will have earned the right to speak of the Torah. Therefore, it is written: "causing the sleepers' lips to murmur."
69. The boy remarked: If it had been written, 'Your palate is from the best wine,' we would have said THAT IT MEANS FROM THE WINE OF THE TORAH, but it is written, "like the best wine" instead of 'from.' They looked at him and Rabbi Yehuda said: Speak on, for your remark is a good one.
70. He said: I have heard that he who studies the Torah and is attached to her, his remarks are said not in a whispering voice but with a raised voice, as they should be heard. For it is written: "She cries in the chief place of concourse" (Mishlei 1:21), meaning that the chants of Torah are to be said in a raised voice and not in a whisper. Then he is "like the best wine," NAMELY, as the best wine which is also not silent, and he causes the voice to be raised when he departs from the world. "That goes down sweetly for my beloved," namely, THEN he should not turn either to the right or to the left so that none will interfere with him. "Causing the sleepers' lips to murmur:" thus even in that world his lips mutter words of the Torah.