Is it appropriate for someone who has been drinking alcohol to pray? What do the Talmudic sages say about what to do?
The tannaitic text states very clearly that one who is drunk is exempt from prayer, as does Rabbi Hanina; they have no obligation. However, the question that next arises: can one who has been drinking alcohol pray?
Rabbah son of Rav Huna decides there should be a qualification to be made amongst those who have consumed alcohol: those who have merely been drinking, versus those who have reached the point of drunkenness: if one has merely been drinking, they shouldn't pray, but it's okay if they do so. Those who are drunk are not only exempt as the previous beraita stated, but shouldn't pray and their prayer is an abomination.
What constitutes one who has been drinking and what constitutes being drunk?
This text has a parallel in the Talmud Yerushalmi of not praying when drunk, but instead of a subjective measurable distinction, offers an objective measurable distinction:
Although not directly related to prayer, a different system of a minimum objective drinking amount to constitute "having drunk" is found in the Tosefta: