YWN MAILBAG: To All Parents of Boys in Yeshiva in Israel

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REPRINTED FROM THE YWN 2009 ARCHIVES:

Dear readers of YWN: 

I am writing to ask you to please find out what your sons plans are for Purim and to please dissuade them from travelling around on Purim day. Here is why:

I and my family live outside of Yerushalayim. We celebrated Purim last year on Erev Shabbos. Since the kids were all off on Sunday for Shushan Purim we travelled into Yerushalayim to join my brother and his family at their seuda. My brother is a Rebbe at a well-known yeshiva and I was looking forward to watching him interacting with his talmidim and shepping a little nachas from my big brother whom I admire very much.

The seuda was underway when we got there. It was very pleasant.

A former talmid of my brothers stopped by with a friend. The former talmid, who was attending a yeshiva outside of Yerushalayim had travelled by bus to see my brother and to introduce him to his friend. The former talmid was already pretty happy and the friend, even happier. They were very leibedig, asking questions, saying divrei Torah. (Please remember that this was not even Purim for them.) My nieces were thrilled to have some interesting guests to watch. The boys were fun. They had some more to drink.

After a while I noticed from the other side of the table that the friend was drinking a lot. I discreetly took away the bottle of wine near him. He tried to keep drinking. The former talmid was more interested in hearing what my brother had to say than in keeping tabs on his friend. My brother was talking to the other bachurim who were there (and who had been invited to his seuda and were his talmidim) and didn’t notice this boy drinking more and more.

To make a long story short, the boy ended up, literally, under the table, asleep. The bag of Purim props that he brought with him sat in the corner, unattended. When the men wanted to dance later in the seuda, they moved the table. I had my 12 year old son shove the guy over so he wouldn’t be trampled on.

At the end of the seuda, he had awakened and was on the sidewalk, retching. My sister-in-law called a cab for him and PAID FOR HIM to get back to his yeshiva. From Yerushalayim to the city where his yeshiva is located is a 40 minute ride. She had to pay about 200 shekel to the driver, more than usual, because the driver was convinced the boy would mess up the seats of his car (highly likely). Remember that my brother and his wife had never seen this boy before and are living on a very small budget.

I was outraged. The boy scared our kids (and me: I thought he would throw up all over my sister-in-laws house!) And then worst of all, they had to pay to get him out of there. I don’t even know his name.

Parents please, know that if your son drinks too much he may be putting himself at the mercy of people who may not even know him. This boys stuff was totally unwatched – his wallet, his bag. Had he been sent home by bus, as was his plan, who knows where he would have ended up. Or who would have taken advantage of his physical and mental state.

Tell your son to stay close to home, or to hook up with someone who will not be drinking and is interested and capable of helping him.

May this Purim pass with all of Klal Yisroel enjoying, staying safe and healthy.
And may we bring Hashem nachas from the way we celebrate His yomim tovim.

Wishing everyone kol tov, Nechama S.
Israel




61 COMMENTS

  1. Um, it seems that the writer has been exposed to too many purims. We don’t want anyone chas v’sholom ending up in the hospital, but we always have a bochur or two asleep on the floor.
    After all, you’re not drunk enough if you can lay on the floor without holding on.

  2. Purim has become a holiday fraught with alcohol, I don’t understand why a bochur needs to get smashed on this the Jewish National day to get smashed. Will it take the death of a gadol’s son or something more serious to cause people to stand up and take notice?

    Have a sober purim.

  3. I am a physician who has treated a dead drunk yeshiva bochur for the past two years. The first was a boy around 18 years old who had collapsed on a bench in a shul (the yeshiva is nearby) and was moved to make room for the mispallelim on Purim night (the 15th of Adar). He was lying onthe floor, had vomited and his head was in a garbage pail when I met him. He was unconscious. I went to inform the Rosh HaYeshiva who at first thought this to be a joke. When informed that one of his students was drunk, he asked incredulously, just one? When informed that his talmid was unconscious he took me more seriously and came to investigate. He assigned two bochrim to help me move him to the dorm. I did what was medically necessary to assure that he was not in life threatening danger. I remained with him, as did two of his friends, until he woke up around an hour later. I spent some time talking with the bochrim about the concept of Tzelem Elokim and how we had just witnessed the exact opposite, the degradation of Man to the level of an animal or worse. I hope that we parted with a deeper understanding of Simcha and the obligation of Jews to reflect the sanctity of our G-dliness even on Purim.

    Last year, I was called to see a boy from another yeshiva. He was also unconscious, age approx 19. I stayed with him for about 1.5 hrs until it was almost Shabbos (Purim was on Friday last year). After seeing the boy in his sorry state, I quickly went to the Menahel’s residence and Boruch Hashem, he was 100% sober. He took this issue very seriously and accompanied me immediately back to the yeshiva. I attended to him until shortly before Shabbos (as mentioned) and then called Hatzolo to transport him to a local ER where he made a Chillul Hashem (a drunk Jew) and woke up seven hours later. To the credit of this outstanding Menahel, he stayed with his talmid for the duration of Shabbos.

    I have spoken to my sons about the misplaced devotion to inebriation on Purim and of course to the importance of reflecting our Tzelem Elokim at all times. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that some Roshei Yeshiva and Menahalim appreciate the serious health risks of alcohol intoxication. There seems to be a difficult to understand tolerance for the misbehavior the occurs on Purim which exposes our precious children to serious health risks.

    I have purposefully avoided any halachic content in my article. The points for and against are well known and I am not a posek. Suffice it to say that I never saw any of my Rabbeim drunk on Purim. May Hashem protect all of our children this Purim and redeem us speedily as He did through Mordechai and Esther in those days.

    I would sign my name but I have no desire to publicize the yeshivos or the bochrim involved in these incidents. I assume that they have made their own Cheshbon Hanefesh and will be more mature this year.

  4. thanks a reminder for parents who have children out of reach in israel, or any place for that matter.everybody has an achreius to make sure that nobody gets drunk in his or her domain.any day and especially on purim.a freilichen purim to all.

  5. Lets get plastered! that is whats on everyones mind. I dont understand how people dont understand that im drinking from shabbos untill the taanis then breaking my fast with glnfittich. come on man and get with the program.

  6. חייב אינש לבסומי עד דלא ידע………….בין ארור המן לברך מרדכי ואיתא בחז”ל דזהו ע”י שתית יין
    מפסיק לשטיות אלו לא לשתות זהו נגד חז”ל

  7. The Gemarah says that we should get drunk on purim. So us balebatim (who love bashing the Bnei Torah BTW) are going to stop this; it sound great! Let’s talk about the beauty of purim, bochurim and yungerleit that learn the whole year (soberly) in yeshiva and one day a year (actually only a half because they learn purim morning too!)they are Mekayem a mitzvah D’Rabanan (same as Megillah and Mishloach Manos btw) to drink on purim. Anyone that was at any purim Seuda with Roshei Yeshiva and their talmidim (all of them either drunk or high) sitting and talking divrei torah and Devarim Hayotzim min halev can gain so much from that! So instead let’s lash out against those holding up the world!!!!
    Just like Chanuka when we need cuation with the fire, so too purim we should teach our children caution with alchoha!
    A Freilechin Tamid!!!!!!!!!

  8. that sound like it was terrible for you
    hope this year it works out better for you and your family….besides there is a famous sayin..if you cant beat them ……
    a freilechen purim to you and your ENTIRE family!!

  9. I honestly don’t understand the point of this article. This boy was at a REBBE’s house! If we can’t trust our kids at their REBBE”s house to be taken care of, where should we encourage our bochurim to spend Purim? This article is in fact saying “TELL YOUR KIDS NOT TO SPEND PURIM AT REBBEIM’S HOUSES” Moms-would you rather they get drunk in the street?!
    I personally don’t see the point in fighting the getting drunk issue. The fact is,everyone gets drunk and your kid will to. However, You CAN tell them to be careful,and pray that they will.

  10. I myself never drank nor will I ever drink anything other than grape juice.

    Rav Avrohom Yitzchok Ulman shlita, chover of the Badatz of the Edah HaChareidis and rov of Givat Shaul, told me that for the mitzvah of Purim it is enough to drink just half a cup of grape juice, and there is no need to sleep a little bit or so (as some think).

    I myself usually drink something like 2 liters of grape juice, which I like much more anyway. I absolutely don’t like wine or anything else with alcohol.

    I’ve seen in my family what alcohol can do to people, and because of that, I decided that I am never going to use wine (or beer), even on Purim or Pesach.

  11. I know of an excellent segula for having kids who follow the Darkei Hashem…

    Be A ROLE Model for them.

    For Purim this year, you may consider dressing up as a law abiding citizen who does not give alcohol to minors.
    FOR ANY REASON.
    If you believe that Chayav Enosh Lebesumei takes precedence over v’nishmartem me’od, v’ahavta L’rayacha Kamocha, and Kedoshim Tehiyu, then KEEP YOUR SON HOME under YOUR WATCH for Purim, where you can carefully educate him how to be a Naval B’reshus Hatorah.

  12. To anyone who ever spent Purim by Rav Pam zt”l will know that he totally against his bochurim getting totally drunk and acting like the mishigoim we see today. His Purim chaggiga featured serious dvar torahs, almost no laytzanos and a Purim niggun that sounded more appropriate for a solemn day than for Purim. But then again this was Rav Pam.

  13. 12, that’s beautiful, but there ARE boys who will start drinking at NIGHT. Where is the mitzvah in THAT? Where is the chavivus for the mitzvah and yiras Shamayim at the thought of risking being sober enough to do the established 4 mitzvos hayom the next day?!?

    What’s the solution? Knas, suspension for buchrim who drink at night? Not enforceable, but I’m sure that even those who encourage lightening up about this can’t advocate drinking at night, especially for the underage crowd.

  14. 1. I have yet to meet a woman who prefers men get drunk on Purim then stay sober regardless of halacha. Thus, unfortunately to a certain extent part of this woman’s statements (or any other woman who has posted here) should be disregarded.

    2. It is certainly the responsible thing for this bachur to reimburses that Rabbi for the taxi ride. (I’m not sure if halachicly he is obligated or not)

    3. Alcohol and Purim go hand in hand. Chazal instituted it!

    However with that said I’d like to introduce a thought for everybody to ponder on Purim.

    It is nice to urge teens not to drink, but unfortunately I think we overlook the human psyche involved. We can’t expect someone over Bar Mitzva (who has been told and reemphasized tO as well, that he is now a man and fully obligated in mitzvot) to all of a sudden become a child again when it comes to this mitzva. There is a concept of Pas BiSalo.

    I think the following statement should become our guideline.

    “There is ABSOLUTELY **NO** obligation to drink if you are worried of transgressing any halacha or are worried about possible medical repercussions. Furthermore, alcoholic intake by minors should be limited to ONLY TWO cups maximum (of WINE ONLY, NO MIXING!). Adults SHOULD NOT offer alcohol to any minors that were not invited to their seudah.”

    This type of statement does the following:
    1. Those kids that really would prefer NOT drinking, but feel guilty thinking they are not following halacha will be comforted by a decision to refrain.
    2. Those that non-the-less want to drink regardless of warning will have some guidelines at least to drink responsibly. (Those that want to drink w/o restrictions will do so regardless. There’s little you can do for them unfortunately.)
    3. Adults are many time unwittingly guilty of being an accomplice. They either think to themselves, “It’s Purim” w/o considering the consequences or they don’t consider that the boys that pop by have probably popped by half a dozen other houses where they were served a cup or two of alcohol. That adds up and can literally turn out that a kid drank 10 – 20 cups of alcohol by the end of the day! Each adult should carefully determine whether a minor is sober or not and in truth, if he drank already he’s already fulfilled his obligations, so what are you tying to do, Hidur Mitzva?

    IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT ANYONE WHO INTENDS TO DRINK AND DOES NOT DESIGNATE A DESIGNATED DRIVER **PRIOR** TO DRINKING IS SURELY OVER “TISHMOR ES NAFSHOSEIHEM”!!!!!!

  15. חייב אינש לבסומי עד דלא ידע……
    just get wasted and forget about all of your worries
    its purim for crying out loud!!!!

  16. For all of the geniuses who are machmir on this halacha… and are concerned about the reality of teenagers who have been told at their bar mitzvah that they are not minors:

    Purim is the opportunity to teach your teenager that being an adult is a RESPONSIBILITY,not a privilege. As an adult, you have a CHIYUV of

    Lo Sa’amod al Dam Reyacha.
    Hochayach Tochiach.
    V’ahavta L’reyacha Kamocha…

    even on Purim.

    How one keeps these, together with the ADDED mitzvos hayom of Purim, has been discussed in seforim for centuries. If you saw a teenage kid eating on Ta’anis Esther, would you start rambling about halacha, and chashivus hamitzvos, or would you first investigate to find out if perhaps he has a reason?

    Like diabetes, R”L.
    Or an eating disorder (yes, boys have them too)
    Or some other medical problem.
    And therefore he is POTUR.

    It is time for the FOOLS in our Kehillos to understand that we have real, serious problems going on, and some of the misrepresentation of chazal going on in the name of Purim is MASKING the problems.

    If you believe that on Purim the Shulchan Orech CHANGES, and that Human Nature is the new Avodah Zara… Your message is being studied well by the young adults in your environment.

    If you believe that a halacha that you like, supercedes the ones that are more difficult for you… That lesson is also not being lost on the teenagers who have concluded that you are a hypocrite.

    As much as teenagers have minds of their own,(as they should), those minds are YOUNG and IMPRESSIONABLE. Purim is a time to pay attention to YOUR CHILDREN. If your child discovers the thrill of becoming DRUNK to drown out his PAIN, he will not wait until next Purim for another “Fix”.

    He will in fact find out that there are many times when he can Drown out his Sorrows, instead of developing COPING SKILLS, and his Rebbeim or Parents will not notice.

    Like on Simchas Torah.
    And Shabbos Afternoon.
    And at Melaveh Malka.

    You do not give up your achrayus to your fellow Jews on Purim. No Matter what age they are.
    Ain Am Ha’aretz Chosid.

    May we all be zoche to learn from our mistakes, and become smarter… in time to rescue the next generation from substance abuse.

  17. I have seen bochurim come prepared with a pocket flask of *whiskey* at a (non-purim) chasuna (!!) more than once. I know that this is not necessarily a widespread phenomenon, but it nauseates me to think that this is how a ben-torah comes to join his chaver’s simcha.

  18. Segulathon – for the most part you speak well, but I’m not sure you’re coming out clear. It sounds as if you are saying two generalizations.

    1) That people drink on Purim to forget their problems and 2) that drinking on Purim shows a lack of responsibility. I certainly hope that I’m misunderstanding you.

    After all, 1) the vast majority of Yidden that drink on Purim don’t get out of hand. It just looks that way at times because we tend to watch the minority that go so way over board that they take the stage. When we really think about it, how many Yeshiva bachurim are actually found lying on the ground in their vomit? How many really put themselves into a dangerous stupor? In my experience perhaps 5%. I hear a side to say that everyone has to forgo this mitzva for the sake of a minority, but that is not for common people to decide. Halacha must be left for the gedolim. Otherwise, we risk another Reform Judaism.

    2. As far as drinking to forget one’s problems, I hear the possibility, but I never met someone who did so. Besides, such a person doesn’t need Purim as an excuse to drink away his problems.

    The REAL reality here is that people don’t REALLY know the halacha. For instance, the Rambam holds to drink enough to make you go to sleep.(That is my Rosh Yeshiva’s psak) The Kol Bo holds to drink a little more than normal (IE. get just slightly buzzed). This is the psak of the Mishna Brura.

    Those that drink irresponsibly are irresponsible people who negate the words of the Chaya Adom, “If one believes that drinking on Purim will interfere with his performing any Mitzva, such as reciting Birkat Hamazon, Mincha, or Maariv, or if he will behave in a boorish manner, it is preferable that he not drink.”

  19. #19 tzippi – You are absolutely correct. There is no halachic obligation and therefore no excuse for drinking at night. I’ve never understood those that do.

  20. #15 Daniel Breslauer, the inyan to sleep a little is in the mishna brura where he says that by sleeping you are mikayim ad dlo yada. The rama says that one should drink yoser milimudo. I doubt that grape juice counts for anything. The mitzvah is to drink wine (not hard liquor or grape juice).

    In my opinion, one good way to fulfill this is not to drink so much during the year so that a few cups of wine will suffice for yoser milimudo. Hows that for a chumra?

    And there is NO mitzvah of ad dlo yada at NIGHT. There is an inyan to be marbeh b’seuda at night which most people probably do anyway as it is after a fast. There is also an inyan to be b’simcha at night so perhaps that is why people drink.

    If you do drink, be responsible. Don’t drive. Try not to throw up in people’s houses, in Yeshivos, etc. If you do throw up in someones house or in a yeshiva, be responsible about it and apologize the next day and maybe consider paying to help clean up (I assume most Yeshivos pay for extra janitors on Purim)

  21. #12, I agree that there is a mitzvah of ad dlo yada and that Purim CAN be a great thing. It is a beautiful thing to see talmidim and their Rebbeim enjoying Purim together, saying divrei Torah, Purim Torah and singing and dancing. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with people who drink so much that they don’t enjoy their Purim. If you are passed out on the floor you are not enjoying Purim. If you are acting violent or vomiting then you are hampering the simchas Purim of others and probably are not enjoying it yourself either. Purim is a day to get closer to Hashem, not to act like goyim.

    Another thing, there is no heter to smoke on Purim. I can understand if someone wants to say that liquor (as opposed to wine) counts for “livisumai” but there is absolutely no reason to smoke.

  22. #14 You wrote: “and there is no need to sleep a little bit or so (as some think).” You mean those that “think” like the Rema in OC 695? The Rema says that one may drink more than he is used to and then sleep. When he’s sleeping he’s fulfilling ad d’lo yada. Please don’t just say things without having your facts straight. It’s a b’fayrush Rema in the Shulchan Aruch.

  23. I got this article from KolTorah.org it’s a great publication, check it out.
    There is an obvious question which one must ask himself on Purim: why would the chachomim instruct us to get drunk? The Biur Halachah answers simply that since all of the miracles of Purim were done through wine, the commemoration of the events should be done with wine as well.

    A second answer can be found in this week’s Torah reading. This week, we will read Parashat Zachor in which the Torah says “Zachor,” “remember” [what Amalek did to you], followed by “Lo Tishkach,” “do not forget.” The double language seems to be redundant; why are both necessary? It is possible to suggest that the word “Zachor” is meant to direct our attention to the use of the same word in the Aseret HaDibrot regarding Shabbat. We learn from this connection that just as we do the mitzvah of Zechirat Amaleik, the remembrance of Amalek using words, we also do the Mitzvah of Kiddush using words. Perhaps one can further the connection by noting that just as on Shabbat, we drink wine to recall the significance of the day, on Purim, when it is crucial for us to remember Amaleik, wine is also used.

    This alternative is quite compatible with the Gemara (Megillah 7b) which discusses the Halachah of drinking on Purim. Rava states that there is an obligation to become intoxicated on Purim until one does not know the difference between “cursed is Haman” and “blessed is Mordechai.” The Gemara proceeds to relate a story involving Rabbah and Rabi Zeira. At their Seudat Purim, Rabbah arose and slaughtered Rabi Zeira. On the next day, Rabbah davened and Rabi Zeira was brought back to life. Perhaps Rabbah acted so radically because he became so drunk that he mixed up “cursed is Haman” with “blessed is Mordechai” and thought Rabi Zeira was Amalek, so he killed him as the Torah commands. However, according to Rabbeinu Ephraim, this story serves as a refutation to Rava’s statement to demonstrate the dreadful results of drunkenness.

    The Magein Avraham (60:2) states that one fulfills the Mitzvah of Zechirat Amalek by praising Hashem with the words “LeShimcha HaGadol,” “to your great name,” in the Berachah of “Ahavah Rabbah.” If this is the case, it would explain why many other authorities believe that on Purim the mitzvah is not specifically to get drunk, but to express happiness. This would also fit perfectly with the language used by the Meiri as quoted by the Beur Halachah, who explicitly states that we should not just be happy about “Shtus” (meaningless frivolities), but out of our love of Hashem and what He did and still does for us.

    We learn from this that Judaism, unlike other religions, fights evil not only by destroying it, but by smothering it in goodness, Torah, and Mitzvot. It is imperative that we keep this in mind constantly as we strive to be an Or LaGoyim (light to the nations).

    -[KOl Torah not YWN]Editor’s Note: For a full Halachic discussion of the obligation to drink on Purim, see Rabbi Jachter’s article on this subject, which is available at http://www.koltorah.org and in Gray Matter (volume one pp. 234-238).

  24. The Beis Yosef qoutes that the biggest avairah one can do is get drunk on purim, bisum doesnt mean shikur.
    eventhough there are two opinions on this, but anyone who cannot comply with whats expected of him when drunk – see biur halacha – should certainly rely on the Rishonim qouted in Beis Yosef!

  25. its israel, just be happy we arent all smoking hash and deal with the fact teenagers outside of their parents views after a long winter zman will let loose.

  26. How did your brother who you admire so much react to the described purim experience? Was he as troubled as you were? I suspect not. I suspect he just shepped nachas from his talmidim and enjoyed a purim in good taste. Please, don’t get carried away! Purim is a time for simcha and included in the mitzva is a chiyuv l’bisumei ad d’lo yoda. True there are many different shitos how to be mekayim the mitzva but be aware that it is a mitzva that is taking place. True the bochur in the story doesn’t seem to have the right kavanna but there are many people who aren’t mekayim mitzvos with the right intent. Are you going to asser eating gefilte fish on shabbos because of all the jewish diabetics who don’t curb their cravings for oneg shabbos?
    To conclude I quote the Bina L’Ittim and Nitei Gavriel as quoted in the Daily Halacha e-mail:

    1278. “The mitzvah of drinking more wine than usual on Purim is one of the specific mitzvos of Purim day in accordance with the Rimazim and Sodos (secrets) included in the mitzvah; and one who withholds from fulfilling the mitzvah because he doesn’t understand the mitzvah has no part in [Klal] Yisroel, and in the acceptance of the yoke of the words of our holy Rabbis”.

    Bina L’ittim Drush 21, Nitay Gavriel 73:1 fn1

  27. The Chidushei HaRim (the first Gerrer Rebbe) used tell of a yid who saved up money to go to do an aveira. On the way to do his aveira, he passed through a town & found the towns people crying. When he inquired as to the reason for their sadness, they told him that the puritz who was owed a lot of tax money by the local yidden, had taken many of the local citizens & was holding them hostage. Upon hearing this, the yid (who if you recall was on his way to do an aveira) asked how much was owed to the puritz. When he heard the amount, he immediately removed that amount from his money pouch & handed it to the puritz, who immediately released the yidden.

    In shomayim there was an immediate upheaval. On the one hand this gentleman was deserving of major s’char for giving the money that he had prepared for his aveira for, pidyon shvuim. On the other hand he was a simple Jew (if there is such a thing) who was on his way to spend quite a bundle on doing an aveira. The decision was to give him the power to bless & that his blessings should be mekuyam. As much as that too could be a problem, & in order that he shouldn’t give inappropriate blessings (such as to bring the dead back to life) he was also given an extremely addictive personality which led him to be toasted most (if not all) of the time.

    Once during a difficult time for the Yidden, the Ba’al Shem Tov (who obviously knew the story of this Yid) sent his talmidim to find this Jew to get a brocho from him for the sake of Klal Yisroel. When they arrived & found him smashed all of the time they almost gave up, until one day they finally caught him sober & pulled a brocho out of him (by promising him some good mashke of course). That’s how & why they ended up hearing the story from their Rebbe, the heilige Baal Shem.

    The Chidushei HaRim tells us that the same concept applies to Purim. Since The Ribono Shel Oilam gave Klal Yisroel such a day of the year when every Jew has the ability to ask for all his (& any other Yids) needs, there was a fear that people would make inappropriate request. Therefore Chazal gave us a Mitzvah to drink on Purim ad d’lo yoda (go for it bro) so that in our drunken stupor we won’t have the seichel to make inappropriate requests.

    The Chidushei HaRim tells us that if someone forgos sobriety “leShem Shomayim” he won’t lose out because of it!

    So get ready brother Purim is coming! This is the day to get high! “Leshem Shomayim” (& maybe – hopefully- when u’r there you’ll even remember to ask for something special – for yourself or a yiddishe brother).

    Keep in mind though, that the days leading up to this day are nothing to ignore. (See the first seif of kitzur shulchan aruch hilchos taanis Esther).

    Drink wisely. Don’t overdo it. Don’t EVER drink and drive (chas vesholom), & remember that mitzvas hayom is mishte haYayin (dry red is my favorite) not booze!

    Peace, Love, & Harmony. 4ever!
    Ch@imK™

  28. To the one who wrote the article and David S purim last year was not on friday I think You guys had a little too much to drink yourselves I think that its time to give up on this issue and just enjoy it its really not a chilul hashem when bochurim get drunk. have you ever seen goyim getting drunk? well I did and I am an emt on a non jewish company You should see how these guys act and what they say as oppose to our bochurim who mainly will sing jewish songs ten decibels to high or cry rebbe rebbe I wanna learn and the fact that they end up sick is not good but its good in the sense that you can tell they really have NO CLUE HOW TO DRINK wich I think aint so bad after all!!!!! so just enjoy Your purim and get some nachas from your drunken leibedige sons(AND HUSBAND)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Unfortunately the scene of boys drinking too much is not limited to Purim only. On our most recent trip to Eretz for the Bris of a grandson, our son decided to have the Shalom Zachor at his home. We are a blended family so we have from kippah serugah to Yerushalmi works. One of our sons cousin through marriage showed up without another cousin and explained why he wouldn’t show up. The young man hosted some bochurim for Shabbos who ended up so stoned and drunk that they literally not only threw up all over the place but wrecked the couples home as well.
    Midweek, on a bus in Yerushalayim there were 4 boys who literally couldn’t walk a straight line and the words they used were terrible of the lowest.
    Unfortunately this doesn’t happen overnight. Some of these boys were no different at home and the parents have the attitude of Out of Sight Out of Mind.
    Any parent sending their son overseas should have a responsible person who keep tab on them even if it costs a few dollars.

  30. to 37,

    If a Jew is publicly drunk, it’s a chillul Hashem.

    Every person knows that getting drunk is bad. So a frum drunk is less bad, but still bad.

  31. I believe this issue needs to get beyond the whether or not to drink question to a deeper issue. Why do some boys make bad choices? Drinking on Purim is a reasonable choice — as many have mentioned, even to the extent that it impairs one’s faculties to some degree. With that choice must come others: not to drive, act like a mentsch, etc. and of course, not to drink too much. Some of our boys need better education in making good choices. (As do some of the adults involved.) The boys who drink too much often down hard liquor in soda pop quantities. They should know better. And anyone who sees someone pouring like that, should know better and stop them.

    Purim is a unique opportunity to don and doff masks, to learn more about ourselves. It is a growth opportunity. Let’s approach our boys with this idea — it’s a chance to take responsibility for others better — a chance to have fun — maybe try drinking in normal quantities and see more of our personalities — maybe the boys who drink too much are showing a hefker side of themselves that they and others need to address directly and honestly.

  32. These immature bochurim think Purim is an excuse to drink, throw up, & generally offend everyone around them. What makes it worse is the Rebbi who encourages it (at worst) or ignores it (also stupid.)

    There’s no reason why Purim has to = DRINKING. I don’t believe the inyan of drinking enough so you can’t tell the difference between the rasha & the tzaddik is to be taken literally.

    Please: NO DRINKING & DRIVING! No tragedies. No organ failure from too much alcohol. And a freilichen, SAFE & enjoyable Purim for all.

  33. how come americans are always busy with chilul hashem, loshon horah, vnishmartem m’od… etc… all the GENTLEMEN kind of mitzvos ? and when we see a mitzvah that goes against being a gentleman we run and have a million explanations as to why it’s asur ? I’ll tell u why ! Do u notice that the same people who bash drinking on Purim are the people who their wives and daugthers dress like the Goyishe gentlewomen ?! that when it comes to tzniyus and a lot of other mitzvos they are not the first one to be makayem. It all starts and ends with being a GENTLEMAN ! Pls come to a chasidishe purim tish or to a frum yeshiveshe farbrengen where ppl get drunk in a beautiful way with song and praise to hashem ! If you see your son acting inappropriately on Purim make sure that he’s not revealing what he’s exposed to a whole year(pritzus in your own home etc…)

  34. I had my 12 year old son shove the guy over so he wouldn’t be trampled on.

    If it’s my son, PLEASE next time lift him carefully and put him in a bed (with a rubber sheet if necessary).

  35. “Have a sober purim.”

    No, do not! The halacha mandates that we drink. Drink smartly, drink safely, but certainly drink.

    Also, I think educating our boys on how to drink safely will be far more effective than trying to get them not to drink at all. Anybody that knows anything about alcohol knows that taking the equivalent of 16 shots in 15 minutes is stupid, bordering on suicidal. If we would tell our boys how to drink safely instead of trying (and failing) to stop any drinking at all, we wouldn’t be having these problems.

  36. ck613:
    That’s very nice for a Gerrer chosid, but those of us unaffiliated with Ger must trun to our own poskim.

    Besmart:
    “Why dont the gedoilim forbid drinking due to zakone and chilul hashem.”

    Because the Gemora, Rif, Rosh, Rambam, Tor, and Shulchan Orach all say it is an obligation.

    Shaggy:
    “When you get drunk, you kill thousands of brain cells and thus shorten your like. Does this bring honor to G-d? I think not.”

    When you get drunk on Purim, you fulfill the commandment of “chayav inish livisumay”. Does this bring honor to God? Most certainly!

  37. bestbubby:
    “These immature bochurim think Purim is an excuse to drink, throw up, & generally offend everyone around them. What makes it worse is the Rebbi who encourages it (at worst) or ignores it (also stupid.)”

    An excuse?! It’s actually an obligation. And the Rebbi who encourages his talmidim to drink is encouraging them to follow the halacha. Definitely not “supid” in my book.

    “There’s no reason why Purim has to = DRINKING. I don’t believe the inyan of drinking enough so you can’t tell the difference between the rasha & the tzaddik is to be taken literally.”

    Well the Rif, Rosh, Rambam, Tor, and Shulchan Orach all disagree with you.

  38. “Just like Chanuka when we need caution with the fire, so too purim we should teach our children caution with alcohol!”

    Well said. The danger inherent in both fire and alcohol do not take away the mitzvos that must be done with them. We must do these mitzvos smartly and safely, but we must do them. Period.

  39. Let’s get real. Anyone who wants to get drunk will find any excuse in the book, or many books to get drunk!!!! Nothing that anyone says will stop them. It has NOTHING to do with Purim. Basically they are taking “ad shelo yado” and turning it into a “license to kill”. Enough said.

  40. “yrg says:
    February 26, 2010 at 2:36 am
    To the one who wrote the article and David S purim last year was not on friday I think You guys had a little too much to drink yourselves”

    You are the one who already had too much to drink. These posts are from the archive. If you don’t know what an archive is look it up in a dictionary.

  41. aries2756:
    “Anyone who wants to get drunk will find any excuse in the book, or many books to get drunk!!!!… It has NOTHING to do with Purim.”

    That’s a pretty harsh generalization. Do you really believe that every single person drinking is not doing it because of Purim? What happened to being dan es kol ha’adom li’kav zchus?

    Also, even if they are doing it she’lo lishma, so what? If somebody eats on Pesach because they like to eat matza instead of because Hashem said so, what’s the problem? Mitoch she’lo lishmah, ba lishma.

    And might I add that your logic goes the other way, too. Anyone who doesn’t wants to get drunk will find any excuse in the book, or many books not to get drunk!!!!… It has NOTHING to do with Purim.

  42. I heard a great shiur about women and Purim and the main topic was how we connect Hishhtadus and Emuna and when to let go and let Hashem do it without our “help”. One such point was about Purim: men and bochurim who get drunk when they do it out of love for a mitzva r able to reach big madregos, the hard part if for the women to do their mitzva which is what Ester did after all the Hishtadlus: she gave up control and left it in hands of Hashem. We should do the same, our mitzva on Purim is to respect this mitzva even if it makes us feel like we r losing controlof the situation… That does NOT negate the fact that men and bochurim need to understand WHY they r drinking which will usualy cause them not to dangerously intoxicate themselves. Be careful and let go! Purim Sameach

  43. FYI:
    1. The Bais Yosef, Rabbeinu Epfrayim and the Rosh say that one should NOT get drunk – it is a sever issur and ther is no greater issur than that. (said by Hilchos Purim – Tur)
    2. Binyan Olam (sefer written for Yeshiva Bochurim) chapter 1012 – “all this is without a doubt wicked and wrong – yeshiva bochurim should not get drunk, rather they should learn the laws of Pesach.
    3. Rema, Mishna Berura, and Pri Migadim – drink more than one is used to ad then go to sleep.
    4. Mi’iri on that Gemara – we were never comammanded to get drunk.
    5. Ba’al Hamor says that we do not Pasken like that Gemara.
    6. Chochmas Manoach and the Ran say that it is improper to get drunk.
    7. to explain arrur haman and baruch mordechai – see the rashash who says that they had a piyut which was very long beg. with Arur Haman – and during that Piyut make a mistake.
    8. On the now famous Lechaim video Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twersky speaks about the grave danger of under 21 drinking and says it is ASUR for teenagers to drink ANY amount on Purim or Simchas Torah.

    There are many others who have written about the grave dangers of teenagers drinking.

  44. While breaking the law is not a good idea, weight is the main factor in alcohol tolerance, and prior exposure is also a part of it.

    A 16 year old 6 foot tall 200 plus pound shtarker can handle alcohol, but should not be served a drop of it for legal reasons and because he probably isn’t mature enough not to test his boundaries. A slender 20 year old bochur in EY where 18 is the legal age should watch out even though he is legally allowed to drink, as he might not be physically able to handle much alcohol.

  45. I witnessed a similar incident a number of years ago. I was in a neighbor’s house, a prominent rebbi in a prominent yeshiva on purim night as he hosted a mesibah for his talmidim. Hatzoloh was called by another boy to the scene for a chaver who was drunk.

    When the first hatzoloh guy walked in, he used some code words (which I found out later were indicative of a high priority emergency) to call for backup. Apparently the boy was blue because he was barely breathing. The rebbi, also drunk (which shocked me) came into the room and demanded to know who let hatzoloh into his house an that they leave. They, as did I, tried to explain to him what was happening but sadly, he was too drunk to really comprehend. He became physical with the hatzoloh men and one of them told him if he wanted them out of the house, he should call 911 – which he promptly did. There was NO stopping him, he was out of control. This is a man I know for years and his behavior was uncharacteristically shocking to me.
    When the police arrived (they came rather fast, I don’t know what he said to them), they asked who called and why. One of the hatzoloh men seized the opportunity and told the officer that “HE” called because the rebbi was hindering their treating of a serious victim. (by this time they had put a tube into the bochurs throat).

    Point is: Boozing up causes physical harm AS WELL AS chilul Hash-m IN EVERY WAY!!! Forgive me for being repetitive, but THERE IS NO MITZVAH in getting wasted.

    Rebbeim MUST KNOW NOT TO PLY TALMIDIM WITH ALCOHOL and MUST SET EXAMPLES by themselves REFRAINING from drinking to beyond “ad deloi yodah”.

    I really wonder how many such cases there are every purim.

  46. I really feel as a bochur growing up in yeshiva is the only place where drinking ,specifically on purim is a way to reach a level of ruchnius that can only reached by drinking .this may be correct but to talmidim who are still developing there brains ability to understand what there rebbe is asying get instead a strong message not from a regular guy on the street who cars what that guy does ,but from his rebbe that drinking is now not only okay but that is an outlet to hashem that must be used to become closer to hashem,purim is where the drinking part of our mesorah begins to influence our society in the ugliest ways ,whatever your feelings are towards drinking should be done should not be ,just look if there is one family in your neigborhood suffering and saying tehillim there should be a hafagana whatever something needs to cghang i think it should start with havein one year were no rebbes get drunk see how that goes down .Maybe then kids will have less braindamage .

  47. We have an obligation to teach our children about the
    facts of alchol. But when we send our children out to yeshiva’s where we cannot see what is going on,the RABBANIM and ROSH YESHIVA’S ARE RESPONSIBLE. 18-19-20
    are still CHILDREN. If they act without responsibilty
    on Purim how can you tell me they are ready to get married? We should all see alot of nachas and gezunt.

  48. Just wondering: why is it that with something like mitzitzah bipeh people act like its “yahuraig vih-ahl yaavor” and refuse to even contemplate stopping the practice because “azoiy hut de tateh getun” even though a baby recently died from it, but with drinking on Purim, they are quick to condemn and demand it be stopped??? Purim has always been about drinking, and being mikayaim “ad dilo yudah.” If someone got drunk under the table (as often happened), it was all part of the fun. Nowadays, if today’s balebatim would have it their way, Purim would involve davening vasikin and learning in Yeshivas Mordechai Hatzadik all day! Purim has never been “celebrated” this way. I understand that Yom Kippur is Yom Kippurim, but when did Purim become like Yom Kippur?? For the record, I am a clean-shaven middle aged ‘balebus.’ Not some drunk Yeshiva bochur. Let the bochurim enjoy Purim the way it has always been enjoyed!

  49. Um, just to add, three boys from my neighborhood got arrested for underage drinking. A man in my neighborhood got arrested and detained overnight for giving out booze to teenagers. A teen got arrested and quite a few points on his license for drunk driving and underage drinking.
    Get it into your heads, people. It’s against the law to give people under age 21 liquor. There is such a thing as dina d’malchusa dina. Maybe we’re accustomed to giving wine to kids because of the ‘sacramental purposes’ clause, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a judge who will let you off for underage drinking or supplying alcohol to a minor because of sacramental purposes.

  50. Food for thought to apply to this topic. living in Israel my children are exposed to alot of smoking and as a result many children can be seen w/ cigarretes on purim. Some 8 yrs back when my 10 year old was droppping hints that he also desired to do so, my wife went ou and bought a pack of cigaretes and on purim morning she sat with him in the privacy of our bedroom and they both attempted to smoke their first cigarette together. After they coughed their faces off, my son didn’t feel the need to sneak behind our building and smoke w/ the boys. The next year he asked my wife to break the pack out again and they TOGETHER made a second attempt. The next year their meeting was not necessary as he already got it out of his system. Since it was done in a not naughty way, he didn’t have ‘mayim genovim’ pushing him.
    Many of my wife’s friends who were horrified by my wife’s approach are now dealing with children who at the age of 18 are addicted to smoking.
    The point is that you have to deal with the metzious instead of talking in terms that apply only to a perfect world. Be there for your children in a real way instead of attempting to dictate the unrealistic.
    I believe this story has applications to the present topic.

  51. How come nobody mentions the significance of the word “AD?” If you are “drunk” you have passed the limit of “AD.”

    A “Ben Torah” should know his limits. If not, he should not be drinking alcoholic beverages in the first place.