Dina Demalchusa Dina And Purim

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  • #608142

    simcha613
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    There is a din that we have to obey the laws of the country that we live in. How does this effect Purim specifically in terms of underage drinking? Obviously if the secular law tells us to violate a halchah, then the halachah takes precedence, so anyone over 13 must drink. But what about when a chumra comes in conflict with dina demalchusa? The Rama says (and the Mishnah Berurah/Pri Megadim even say it’s ideal) to drink more than usual and fall asleep. There is no requirement to get wasted or even tipsy (though, to be fair, I’m not sure if the Rama means that this is ideal, but you are definitely yotzei). Now many want to “machmir” (myself included) and drink much more than that requirement, but what of one of those machmirim is underage? Is it better to fulfill a chumra that is not require by halachah, or dina demalchusa dina?

    Just to further discussion, there might be two points that imply the chumra (at least in this case) is more important:

    1. it could be once an underage person drinks, he violates the secular law regardless of how much he drinks. So once he drinks more than usual, he has violated dina demalchusa dina, and drinking more won’t make the dina demalchusa dina worse. So once you have violated dina demalchusa dina to fulfill the main requirement, there might not be a reason (at least from the perspective of dina demalchusa dina) to stop there because you’re not violating any more secular laws.

    2. I don’t really know the parameters or dina demalchusa dina. Does it apply to anything other than monetary law? It could be that the law that forbids underage drinking doesn’t even fall within the halachah of dina demalchusa dina.

    #928258

    “The Rama says (and the Mishnah Berurah/Pri Megadim even say it’s ideal) to drink more than usual and fall asleep.”

    Teenagers should not be drinking at all during the rest of the year except for wine at Kiddush and perhaps a drink on Simchas Torah. Therefore, drinking a small amount will be considered “more than usual” for them.

    “it could be once an underage person drinks, he violates the secular law regardless of how much he drinks. So once he drinks more than usual, he has violated dina demalchusa dina, and drinking more won’t make the dina demalchusa dina worse. So once you have violated dina demalchusa dina to fulfill the main requirement, there might not be a reason (at least from the perspective of dina demalchusa dina) to stop there because you’re not violating any more secular laws.”

    Incorrect. Secular law is more nuanced than you think it is. It’s not just a blanket restriction on underage drinking and that’s it. There are laws regarding providing alcohol to minors, public intoxication, etc. Furthermore, the more intoxicated a person gets, the more likely he is to suspend his common sense and do something that would be a violation of a different secular law. And of course, one should consider the fact that obviously intoxicated teenagers will attract more attention from police than those who have only had a little to drink and are functioning perfectly well.

    #928259

    YW Moderator-007
    Moderator
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