R. Sheshet says he can exempt the entire world from responsibility for any sin that anyone may have done – because of the verse that equates mourning for the Temple with drunkenness. But transactions made while drunk are upheld when sober. Rather – don’t pray when drunk. Especially if you’re really intoxicated. Though if you’re truly as drunk as can be (as drunk as Lot!), you won’t be held accountable. Really to what extent can a person focus…? If you are distressed, you should not be praying or learning or paskening. Or if the weather is getting to you. Or if you have a to-do list preying on your mind. Or if you are physically uncomfortable, because of lice. Even the littlest thing can be distracting! Also, how are you supposed to spend your night hours – in that the “moon was created for Torah study.” R. Hisda’s daughter rebuked her father for not getting enough sleep; he retorts that try days are long, but short when it comes to being dedicated to Torah study. “Sleep fast, because there’s so much to do tomorrow.” Note – these cautions about focus and the elements that can distract us are very practical! Also: the very famous statement that you know a person’s character – in how one is with regard to liquor, to finances, and to anger. And also in one’s laughter. Back to halakhah: and back to Jew-non-Jew eruv coordination, and the lack of trust of Chazal for non-Jews as a general population. The calculations presumed for a non-Jew who lives in the inner or outer courtyard, with Jews in the outer or the inner courtyard…. challenge our modern sensibilities, or what our modern sensibilities have been.
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