Drinking On Purim

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    It is quite clear that those who think that Purim is a license to get smashed will find every excuse to do so and call it a mitzvah. Those who have a little more seichel, will understand that this is total rationalization and call a spade a spade.


    oomis you are so right. Those who argue that it is “right” to get smashed on Purim are just plain arguing for the right to get “smashed”. Which in itself is a stupid argument. If you need to get smashed/drunk then you have a problem. If you have to argue for the right to do it, that in itself is an indication of a problem.

    WE have a RIGHT to celebrate PURIM. WE also have a RIGHT to keep our children, our neighbor’s children and the rest of our community and Kehilah SAFE. This is a RIGHT that some of these Rabbonim have taken seriously and some of us who have bothered to blog about have as well. Those who have chosen to use the common sense Hashem gave them will understand and do the right thing. Those that choose otherwise will do so no matter how much we try to explain it.

    Ben Levi

    It seems to me that this disscussion has moved from the realm of Halacha andMesorah in other words understanding the expicitGemorah which says one must get “plastered” on Purim to the era of feelings based upon the culture around us.

    Being that I have always been taught that strictly orthodox Jews are prohibited from allowing feeling to dictate thier analysis of Halacha there is no way I can really find a place for these feelings within normative Halachic Judaism.


    This is Beis Medrash forum not Controversial Issues… (see decaffeinated coffee)

    Just Smile

    Ben Levi –

    In regards your kiddush vs. purim argument every state has different rules about the amount of alcohol a parent can give their child and in what setting. for example – in New York a person under 21 may consume alcohol in their own home, with their parents consent. They can also consume in a licensed restaurant, with a meal, if the parent actually pours the drink. (Mere ‘consent’ is not enough)

    It is also illegal, in NY, for a minor to have a BAC above 0.02% at any time. So while it’s legal for a parent to serve their child wine with a meal, for example, they must restrict the amount to ensure they remain under the 0.02% limit.

    Most states have very similiar rules in this regard. So it makes sense a person under 21 can make kiddush at home but not get drunk on Purim.


    Just Smile –

    In New York State, as a matter of law a parent can provide permission to his minor child to consume any amount (there is no prescribed limit in the law) of alcohol in generally any place, with some limited exclusions such as within a motor vehicle. And for any reason, not just religious. Nor are there any legal restrictions on the BAC for a minor who is not operating a motor vehicle. And they do not have to pour the drink.

    Obviously, a parent is legally responsible for their safety of their child, whether their child is drinking an unreasonable amount of alcohol or engaging in any other unsafe activity. But that is not specific to alcohol consumption.

    See the link on the bottom of the previous page of this thread, to the National Institutes of Health, describing each State’s minor alcohol laws.


    I would like to know exactly who (besides teenage yeshiva bachurim) understands that the gemara means one should get so plastered on purim that they are puking their guts out and are a danger to themselves and all around them.

    Ben Levi. Mod-80. Joseph. Anyone?


    I don’t know why you are asking me. I certainly don’t think so and never indicated that I did. I don’t believe Joseph indicated that one should get that drunk either.


    just asking those who seem to be “into” the discussion.



    I’m not really into the discussion

    I just wanted to clarify one point in my previous post

    But to join the discussion, there are a lot of differing and legitimate opinions re the shiur for lo yadu.


    I just read this in a Jewish publication. It is quite eye-opening:

    “Rosh Yeshiva slams heavy Purim drinking

    In News on February 17, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    By Sammy Steiner

    Issue of February 19, 2010/ 6 Adar 5770

    Lazer Rosman, a founding member of Hatzalah in Borough Park, spoke out against making light of excessive drinking; something people do, he said, because they do not see the repercussions.

    One local mental health authority was less enthused about drinking to excess.

    Four years ago, Salamon said, he visited a 17 year-old child who was in the hospital after suffering a stroke triggered by alcohol abuse.

    Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, executive director of Project Y.E.S. and the organizer of the conference call, told the Jewish Star that drinking on Purim could have its own set of unintended consequences.

    The custodian was surprised.



    Not to take things too far off-topic, one of the things that concerns me as I make more friends among traditional Jews compared to the M.O., Conservative and Reform I grew up with is the amount of drinking. When I’m with traditional friends they start sooner, take more and larger drinks over the course of the evening, and are more likely to take their alcohol straight. I’m not saying that everyone does this, but I’ve definitely noticed it on average.

    When my father was growing up in New York he says it was noteworthy when a Jew of any sort drank a lot, let alone got drunk. His uncle was a shame to the family because he got drunk regularly. It stood out because it was something “Jews don’t do”.

    Is this something recent? Is it due to the wave of Eastern European refugees after WWII?


    Joseph, the mishna brurah clearly states that one who gets drunk to the point of missing tefillos, bentching and krias shema is NOT fulfilling a mitzvah. Furthermore, one who makes a chillul Hashem by drinking is not fulfilling a mitzvah. Are you arguing on those points?


    Jothar, are you sure you addressed your comment to correct party? Nothing I said implied, disagreed, or even addressed, any of the points you made.


    Again, those arguing for getting drunk. Is there a shitta anywhere that states the shiur of drunkeness is to the point of puking your guts out and you become a danger to yourself and all around you.

    Ben Levi

    Jphone, I don’t know what stage of drunkenness you refer to however look at the Gemora first Perek of Brochos and the Rambam it should satisfy you.


    Listen, this is not a philosophical or moral discussion. This is halacha! Drinking on Purim is fine and is a mitzvah, to what shiur you decide. But a shiur greater than halacha allows is a chillul Hashem and an aveiroh. Sums it up for those not wanting to get into the halachic discussion?


    Wouldn’t a shiur lesser than halacha allows be a chillul Hashem and an aveiroh as well?


    not a chillul Hashem, however one could say its an aveiroh.

    Unless you agree with the Ravyah who says its a mitzvah min hamuvchar

    Ben Levi

    Or you can hold with the Seder Hayom who writes one should bring himself to the point where he is rolling on the floor throwing up.

    By the way I believe we pasken that if someone does not fulfill a mitzva then he there is a chilul Hashem involved. Meaning in everything there is potential chilul or kiddush Hashem just the degrees vary.

    That is why there are shittos that if one does one of the gimmel chamuros b’ones he is only over chilul hashem but not the actual aveira, it is the tremendous chilul hashem that causes the chiyuv mesiras nefesh.

    Basically my point is volvie is write.

    I would add in my view it is an even greater Kiddush Hashem to drink nowadays and show that not all Jews views are dictated by outside influences.


    Ben Levi I think that the Seder HaYom is a minority shita. Unless you like R’ Meir ‘choshesh lemiyutoh” aka. pay attention to the minority opinion I have herd most advocate either

    1. Until one drops asleep

    2. Until one can’t say Shoshanas Yaakov without losing place.

    3. A bit more than usual.

    The kiddush/chillul Hashem issue is dependent on how one drinks. One who drinks and behaves like an untamed monkey is going against the warning of the Mishnah Berurah, and causing a chillul Hashem, which is not atoned for by Yom Kippur.

    I personally do until I can’t say Shoshanas Yaakov with no errors, but everyone is free to pasken as they want as long as we wanting to learn will stop getting bombarded with quotations from Hatzolah members!!


    PS: Could we post mekoros for our shitos except NY State law please

    Ben Levi

    Talmid Lo Chacham: to your last statement I will heartily agree.

    If one learns through the sugya and comes out they are not supposed to drink and they have no mesora otherwise then they must follow the way they learn.

    It is the statements from those who don’t even know what mesechta the sugya is found in that have no place in the discussion.


    For many years, Jews couldn’t afford to drink “ad delo yada” like today’s yeshiva bochurim. they could barely afford wine for kiddush. Are you telling me they made a chillul hashem every Purim when they were somech on the lesser shitas?


    Bshas Hadchak has exceptions.


    Ben Levi just like the case where it is mutar bedieved to blow on Rosh HaShanah with a shofar of avodah zorah, even though it is a gezeiroh midrobonon that he is oiver. So it is indeed muttar to drink less than the shitoh midrobonon and is not a chillul Hashem Chas veChalilah.


    Quit it with the hatzolah member idea already, please. there are few kids who make chillul Hashem, but you seem to have mistaken impression that I and Ben Levi advocate drinking until puking. I repeat the seder yom is a minority opinion.

    Ben Levi

    I am chas v’sholom not saying those who do not drink on Purim because they have gone through the sugya and come out that we are not mchuyov to do so are making a chilul hashem quite the contrary.

    What I am saying is those who do not know the sugya or halachos involved and do not come from a health/Pikuach Nefesh point in saying that it is not advisable to drink.

    Rather speak out against the very act of drunkenness because the “goyim” think drinking is bad are mechallel sheim shomayim for in essence they are subjecting basic pshat in chazal to the morals of the goyim around them.

    May i point out Chazal obviously did not feel that the act of drunkenness in it’s own right was a bad thing.

    Instead of people foolishly bashing that which they do not understand how about trying to understand Chazal you might learn something.


    Ben Levi I couldn’t have put it better


    Lets make a list of which shiur we think is most meikel to most machmir


    1. Shitoh of Magen Avraham

    2. Rambam

    3. Orchos Chayim

    4. Ran


    Chazal have spoken against drunkenness in multiple places. They DID think it was a bad thing. Purim is a chiddush, and ein lach bo ela chiddusho.


    I agree Jothar. Which shitoh do you follow in regards to shikrus on Purim


    I enjoy some wonderful grey goose, laugh at my “Read eicha on Purim” teetotaling friends, bentch and daven maariv with a minyan. I also limit my drinking the night before so I can daven with a minyan the next day and focus on megilla reading.


    We should just drink a little bit alcohol because of the danger involved to ourselves or others G-d forbid.

    We can have a good time without getting drunk 🙂


    Jothar, which halacha says you should drink the night before????

    Ben Levi

    Aries, please see Otzer Midrashim Chelek Beis the first or second Medrash.


    Aries, the ikker mitzvah is the day, but we drink the night before due to the chumra of the Ohr Zarua 🙂




    lets bear in mind that the tragedy that almost took place instead of the miracle on purim, began because of basically a drinking party. we have to be careful with our alcohol consumption. alcohol has a tremendous power. we all know, nichnas yayin yatzah sod. however if a person gets too drunk, the effect is muddled. a person who is “high” has a great power to improve hgimself on purim. it lowers your inhibitions, which not only makes us do stupid things at times, but also gives us the ability to get past our own inhibitions in terms of teshuva. it gives us the opportunity to look past our inflated egos, and look within ourselves and see that we really need to change and it allows us to truly make a powerful kabala al ha’asid. it gives us the ability to feel a true charata for things we may have done, which is why yom kippur is only “k’purim” we dont have that aid on yom kippur, we dont have this loosening of our inhibitions, we dont have the ease that we do on purim to do a real teshuva. but if you overdo it, of you drink yourslef totally drunk, if you drink yourself sick, if you drink yourself to the point where you have absolutely no control over any of your actions, you lose that positive benefit that the alcohol gives us. hashem gave us a tremendous opportunity to improve ourselves on purim, who are we to throw it in his face???


    i dont find the difrence between a 14 year old and a 17 year old were both machayuv till adi lo yada


    hudyrox, correct. No difference. The psak of ad delo yada doesn’t mean literal “shichruso shel lot” according to the mishna brurah, the poseik of the yeshivish world. It means drinking a bit more than usual and napping.


    yes…for some reason…people chuck the mishna berura out the window on purim…yet in the rest of the year its naaseh v’nishma…


    What about the obligation to obey the just laws of the state and country which we live in? Is that a factor?


    apparently not…i think its more of the netiyah towards fulfilling their teivos rather than real zeal in performing the mitzvah…and we all have to work on our teivos


    From my post in the “minors and alcohol” thread:

    I went through the poskim in order, with all of the major poskim covered- no cherry-picking or selective quoting. Feel free to double-check.

    Let’s start off with the Tur, Orach Chaim 695.

    1. The Beis Yosef (aka the mechaber in Orach chaim and the Mishna Brurah) quotes the Ran and Rabbeinu Ephraim- idchi ley maamar derava based on story of Rava and Rav Zeira. In other words, chayav inish is NOT lehalacha.

    2. He then quotes the Orchos Chaim- levsuem IS kehalacha, but it doesn’t mean rolling on the floor drunk in your own vomit. To quote the lashon hakodesh,

    ????? ????? ????, ???? ?? ????? ????? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ??????? ???? ???? ?????? ?????, ?? ????? ???? ??????? ???

    “drunkenness is completely prohibited, and you do not find a bigger aveirah than it, as it causes illicit relations, murder, and many other sins besides. however one should drink a bit more than he is used to”. (translation mine)

    3. On another point, the Beis Yosef says that there is no mitzvah to drink at night because it says YEMEI mishteh vesimcha- the DAYS of drinking and happiness.

    4. The Bach says punkt fakehrt of how you quoted it. He does start off saying what you said, but lehalacha says like Rabbeinu Ephraim and the Ran- idchi ley. However, one should drink enough to be happy, and one should still have one’s wits about him (“daato alav”) even if he can’t stand in front of a king. This is NOT rolling on the floor in the vomit drunk. Furthermore, even THIS level is lemitzvah velo le’ikuva.

    5. The maharsha in Bava metzia 21 agrees with this, and says a tzurva meirabanan (A real talmid chochom) is allowed to claim he reached a level of ad delo yada on Purim even though he was yada. Clearly no issur in remaining sober according the the Maharsha.

    Now we move on to the Shulchan Aruch.

    6. The Taz says a deep vort about how elevated arur haman is, but Baruch mordechai is even more sublime. you drink until you can’t comprehend this fine difference. This isn’t ROFIV (rolling on the floor in vomit) drunk either.The Taz explains the Rema like his shver the Bach- ein laasos kein- it’s assur to take the gemara literally as idchi ley like the Ran- we don’t pasken that way.

    7. The Mogen Avraham says that Ad delo Yada means you can’t calculate gematrios of arur haman and baruch mordechai. Not ROFIV drunk either.

    8. The Pri Megadim in the Mishbitzos Zahav approves of the Taz, and quotes the Pri chadash who agrees with this that “ein laasos kein” and says “vechein raui linhog”. See later for more on the exact wording of the Pri Chadash.

    9. the Yad Ephraim says that one should drink to be happy, but not beyond that.

    10. To be fair and honest, the Shaarei Teshuva quotes the Amudei Shomayim that his father used to be mekayeim the words kepshuto when he was younger. However, one shouldn’t do so if it leads to devarim shelo kehogen.

    11. The Pri Chadash (the one quoted by the Pri Megadim in the mishbitzos) argues on Rabbeinu Ephraim whop said idchi ley, and holds that ad delo yada kepshuto is technically how we pasken. So theoretically one is doing a mitzvah by doing ROFIV. HOWEVER, now that the doros are mukulkalim (his words, not mine- since the generations are ruined, one SHOULDN’T drink so much, and by not drinking so much he’ll see blessing from heaven since he’s doing so lishmah. So he argues THEORETICALLY on the Ran and Rabbeinu Ephraim, but agrees PRACTICALLY.

    12. Someone in the back of the Friedman edition Shulchan Aruch asks on the Rema why he wrote it the way he did, if it’s based on Rabbeinu Ephraim, and one SHOULDN’T drink that much. Regardless, the mishna brurah paskens like the Pri Megadim who paskens like the Pri chadash that one shouldn’t drink so much.

    13. The Sefas Emes quoted by Volvie is on Megilla 7b, according to the Piskei teshuvos. I read it as saying one doesn’t need to get to ROFIV. The Piskei Teshuvos reads him as saying that one SHOULDN’T, just like the Yad Ephraim.

    14. I did not look up the Chacham Tzvi.

    15. As for the Shlah, I looked at the Kitzur Hashlah and he mostly rips the drinking going on as being sechok vehollelus instead of simcha shel mitzvah, and that people think the Torah doesn’t apply over Purim, and this is an “avon pelili-” a tremendous sin.

    Bottom line- the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of mainstream poskim hold that one shouldn’t drink himself to ROFIV. The Pri chadash, who is halacha according to the Pri Megadim and Mishna Brurah, says that with the destruction of the generations, ad delo yada is like the mitzvah of yibum, NO LONGER APPLICABLE.

    It is an AVEIRAH, according to many poskim (Ran, Rabbeinu Ephraim, Beis Yosef, Bach, Pri chadash, Pri Megadim, Mishna Brurah, Yad Ephraim, Shla”h), to drink to the point of shichruso shel lot. And NOBODY holds the Torah becomes hefker.

    It is an AVEIRAH to give alcohol to any minor, even forgetting about dina demalchusa, as you would be causing them to violate the words of the poskim.


    What about women? Are they permitted in drinking ‘ad d’lo yodah’?


    annie: No.


    why not?


    Women are obligated to hear the Megillah and to rejoice and partake in the Seuda on Purim, for they were part of the neis. As far as ad d’loi yoda, however, the Rivevois Ephraim (Vol.1 Ch.161) and others rule that it is inappropriate for women to become intoxicated.

    Indeed the Mishna Brura (OC 199:6, in Sha’ar HaTzion), in the laws of birkas hamazon, explains that the reason women are not obligated to make a mezuman is that a mezuman should ideally be performed on a cup of wine and it is unseemly for a woman to do this.


    Mods how in the world did that post go through??

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