Giving Alcohol to Minors on Purim

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    I am a baal habus who recently moved to lakewood, and i’ve been hearing an outcry about the problem of underage drinking on purim.I come from a small out of town community where it was ok to give the bochurim to drink I dont mind giving out, but dont want to go against the communities wishes.If you can help me out it would be greatly appreciated. thanx


    Bochorim over Bar Mitzvah (13) have the same chiyuv Ad Dlo Yoda as everyone else.

    You did the right thing in the small out of town community where you came from.

    (The law allows underage people to drink if their parents allow it.)

    Make sure they – bochorim OR older adults – don’t drink to the point of unhealthiness – physically or unreasonably drunk. But they can become drunk ad dlo yoda. If it is a teen at risk or someone who otherwise needs supervision for whatever reason, greater vigilance should be given.

    Freilichen Purim!


    “(The law allows underage people to drink if their parents allow it.)”

    I’m not a lawyer so I’m not going to give legal advice, in the state I live in a father (not frum) was arrested for giving his son a Mike’s Hard Lemonade at a baseball game. He didn’t even know it had alcohol in it and he temporarily lost custody of his kids. Granted this was an extremely weird case but you should be careful, not all states have the same laws.


    You can check your State’s underage drinking laws here:


    A special Purim message from Rabbi Abraham Twerski, MD, from the OU website:

    o our esteemed rabbis and community leaders:

    As you know, I have been alerting the community of the increasing problem of alcohol abuse and marijuana smoking among Jewish adolescents. It is unfortunate that many people still do not accept that some of our own children are involved. This is happening to children from the finest families.

    Given the gravity of the problem and the ineffectiveness of prevention programs, the very least we can do is to avoid encouraging intoxication.

    Purim is soon upon us, and many people drink to excess because of the mistaken notion that there is a “mitzvah” to get drunk on Purim. Rabbi Shneur Zalman in his Shulchan Aruch (529) says, “It is impossible to serve Hashem either in levity or drunkenness.” One of the final authorities on halacha, the Chafetz Chaim in Mishna Berura (695) states clearly that the proper thing to do is not to drink to intoxication, but rather to drink just a bit more than is customary (which would be a glass or two of wine), and go to sleep. This is the proper way to fulfil “not distinguishing between ‘cursed be Haman’ and ‘blessed be Mordechai.’ “

    There is certainly no justification for drinking anything but wine. Aruch Hashulchan (695) condemns drinking spirits (liquor) in very sharp terms. Alcohol intoxication is an abomination, and overriding the rulings of the Baal Hatanya and the Chafetz Chaim by drinking to intoxication is inexcusable.

    Let us use good judgement on Purim. We should set a model for our children by not drinking to excess and by supervising adolescents so that they do not drink. We can all enjoy a safe, respectable Purim.

    I invite you to affix your signature below, indicating your agreement and support, and to distribute this letter throughout the community.


    Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.


    Even if it’s legal to give a kid alcohol, you should not provide it to minors without their parent’s permission. This is not a legal point, but a common-courtesy parenting point.

    Even addressing volvie’s point — it’s not YOUR responsibility to ensure that the boys are m’kayim Ad D’lo Yada.

    The Wolf


    Also, from the OU website:

    Just Say No, Even on Purim

    by Kelly Hartog, Staff Writer

    Courtesy of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

    Religious groups are protesting drinking on Purim following a rise in teen alcoholism.

    One is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim until one cannot distinguish between “cursed is Haman” and “blessed is Mordechai” (Talmud, Megillah 7b).

    Purim is like the Jewish topsy-turvy day.

    Unlike many Jewish holidays, which are marked by serious and meaningful customs like lighting the menorah or holding a seder, Purim’s main edict seems to be: have fun.

    On the holiday that celebrates the downfall of the evil Haman and the saving of the Jewish people from destruction, adults and children alike dress up in costumes, put on satirical spiels and conclude the holiday by eating a festive meal – and getting drunk.

    Now, concern over the rise in teenage alcoholism in the Orthodox community has led some rabbis and organizations to protest this last custom.

    This year, the Orthodox Union (OU) and the National Council for Synagogue Youth (NCSY) have produced a brochure aimed specifically at teenagers to combat the issue of drinking on Purim.

    The brochure is being distributed to some 10,000 OU synagogues and NCSY chapters throughout the country and can also be downloaded from the NCSY Web site (

    The two-page pamphlet features cute diagrams printed in wine-colored text. It explodes the idea that you’re “supposed” to drink on Purim, and has catchy headlines that include “Breaking News: A nonalcoholic version of wine is now widely available! It’s called grape juice.”

    “Purim in general is an amazing wonderful holiday but a lot of kids take it to excess,” said Rabbi Steven Burg, national director of NCSY. “It’s important to send a message in this brochure that this is not carte blanche. It’s not a Jewish frat party where it’s OK to get trashed in this 24-hour period.”

    Burg said that Purim was chosen to launch the pamphlet because it’s a major holiday in the Orthodox community.

    “Over the years drinking on the holiday has been taken to excess and I don’t even think we realize it,” he said.

    But combating drinking on Purim is not the end goal of course; it’s putting an end to teenage alcoholism and all forms of substance abuse – a trend that’s on the rise, say those who work with teenagers.

    Some current events have made the problem more pressing. In November 2004, 42 high school kids were arrested for drug and alcohol abuse at a party of a Livingston, N.J., yeshiva student. And, just last month, an Encino boy died from a drug overdose while in yeshiva in Israel, while four others were arrested there on drug dealing charges.

    Many in the Orthodox community have recently demanded some institutionwide action against an often hidden problem among kids. And Purim – along with other religious events that encourage drinking – has also come under fire.

    Last month, the OU called for an end to Kiddush Clubs – an ever-popular Shabbat morning custom where some synagogue congregants leave services during the haftarah reading for bite to eat and a drink or two.

    Despite protests from congregants, some synagogues have taken action. Young Israel of Century City was among the first, sending out a letter to its members to say that a Kiddush Club “sets an inappropriate example for our children,” and citing a young man who said the beginning of his substance abuse began as a child with alcohol at his shul’s Kiddush Club every Shabbat morning.

    Certainly, the rise in substance abuse among teens is not confined to the Orthodox community, but the OU’s new task force signifies that the religious community is taking notice.

    The whole community is in denial, said Rabbi Mark Borowitz, the founder and director of Beit T’Shuvah, a Jewish rehabilitation house who himself is a recovering alcoholic.

    “None of us have wanted to face this problem,” he said. “And the OU should really be commended for saying OK, we have this issue and we’re not just going to sit around and do nothing.”

    Borowitz says teenage alcoholism is on the rise across the board.

    “Kids are looking for something to get out of themselves and that’s always problematic,” he said. “As things get worse in the world there’s more hopelessness and there’s more need to escape.”

    Burg said that the community’s denial of the problem is melting – and that the OU’s new anti-drug task force will help. Under the banner of “Safe Homes, Safe Shuls, Safe Schools,” the new program will hold meetings, provide educational material and guest speakers throughout the country. In addition, NCSY has posted materials on its Web site discussing the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. There is also a sign-up list for kids to publicly promise to avoid taking drugs and alcohol.

    “We want our kids to have a clean, moral life,” Burg said. “And we need to bring a heightened awareness to parents to keep their eyes open. Teenagers are not adults. They still need love and a hug and understanding.”

    Burg, who is hosting 150 teenagers this year at his house, will lead by example: this year he will only serve grape juice.


    “Even addressing volvie’s point — it’s not YOUR responsibility to ensure that the boys are m’kayim Ad D’lo Yada.”

    I beg to differ.

    Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh L’Zeh.

    Its each of our responsibility to help ensure we all fulfill our obligations.

    And appropriately (i.e. not unhealthily.)


    Sorry… I disagree. Even if I would give alcohol to minors, I would NEVER do so without parental permission.

    The Wolf


    I agree with you on that… assuming you are using the halachic definition of minor.


    Volvie, one doesn’t hava a halachic obligation to make sure a bochur fulfills HIS mistaken notion of what the shita is. As long as he drinks his revi’is and naps he is yotzei.

    Secondly, there is no mitzvah to drink at night, so there is clearly no hciyuv to give a minor alcohol at night.


    Jothar, many of us follow the shita of the Shulchan Aruch and Remo on Ad Dlo Yoda. This isn’t a “mistaken notion.” Also, the shita of sleeping is based on the person falling asleep as a result of the drinking. (i.e. the alcohol puts him to sleep.)

    BTW, you’ve mentioned the Mishna Brura on other threads. The MB paskens in accordance with the Remo (that one should become intoxicated) but then adds that it is better not to become intoxicated if it could affect one’s observance of other mitzvos, such as davening or birkas hamozon. But the MB’s ikur psak is to become intoxicated.

    I’m not familiar with the distinction you made between night and day, but I’ll take your word on it for now.



    Fine. But you have to understand that there are other legitimate shittos. And it’s not your job to see to it that a minor follows YOUR shitta.

    Keep in mind, that according to you, I guess, I’ve never fulfilled the mitzvah since I’ve never been drunk in my life.

    And I plan to go on that way.

    The Wolf



    Please note that in NJ, the parent of the underaged person MUST be there at the time of furnishing in order to not violate the law.

    1. a. Anyone who purposely or knowingly offers or serves or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages or entices or encourages that person to drink an alcoholic beverage is a disorderly person.

    This subsection shall not apply to a parent or guardian of the person under legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages if the parent or guardian is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages or to a religious observance, ceremony or rite. This subsection shall also not apply to any person in his home who is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages who offers or serves or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages or entices that person to drink an alcoholic beverage in the presence of and with the permission of the parent or guardian of the person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages if the parent or guardian is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages.

    2C:33-17. Availability of alcoholic beverages to underaged, offenses

    ” No person shall sell, deliver or give away or cause or permit or procure to be sold, delivered or given away any alcoholic beverages to 1. Any person, actually or apparently, under the age of twenty-one years; “

    As we may put it, the Issur is not on the Bochur, its on you for being the “noysen Michshol”.

    A parent may provide their own child with Alcohol, as per section 65C:

    2. A person under the age of twenty-one years may possess any alcoholic beverage with intent to consume if the alcoholic beverage is given:

    (a) to a person who is a student in a curriculum licensed or registered by the state education department and the student is required to taste or imbibe alcoholic beverages in courses which are a part of the required curriculum, provided such alcoholic beverages are used only for instructional purposes during class conducted pursuant to such curriculum; or

    (This law is for the minor, not the furnisher).

    If someone else provides they (seemingly) can be prosecuted, but I am not (willing to come out as) a Lawyer. Of course, one can first give the drink to the parent and then have the parent furnish to the minor.

    NJ also has an exception for “consuming alcoholic beverages during a religious observance, ceremony or rite”, but risk Purim on that on your own health.

    I look forward to Volvie or anyone else’s response.


    Wolfish, If the bochor says he holds of a psak of a lesser shiur, who am I to argue with him? Of course I would respect that and not force him to drink more than he wishes! 🙂 And I would fully grant he is yotze the mitzvah.

    But a Yid has a Chezkas Kashrus, and if he tells me he holds of the most common understanding of ad dlo yoda – to become intoxicated to the point of being unable to make a distinction between Arrur Haman and Baruch Mordechai…


    there is a problem in our camp and a person who has that problem might not have a chyiv to drink on purim at all


    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


    gavra, the religious exception would suffice in New Jersey. In fact, all states as well as federal law allow for the religious exception which would cover Purim.

    In New York and California the laws are seemingly more liberal and do not have Jersey’s furnishing restrictions. In any event, even without the religious exemption NY and CA allow parental permission anytime.


    volvie: As I pointed out:

    1: the parental exemption is only if the parent is present/furnishes by themselves.

    2: I wouldn’t be sure of convincing a jury of the religious exception. Rav Shmuel’s statement could be used as evidence against, and then you would have to disown him and bring your own expert who would be willing to testify against him. If I were a non-Jewish DA, I would bring this one to trial (unless there is precedent that you are withholding), especially if the minor (or someone else) is damaged. In that case, the insurer will sue you for damages due to furnishing, and you will have to prove the exemption in court.

    3: The religious exception is during the rite, not as a general exception. Again, I would press the case.


    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”.

    Then, since I’ve never been drunk in my life, I guess I have no part in Klal Yisroel.

    Where do I turn in my membership card?

    The Wolf


    Wolf: I think that was a “Purim Vort”


    Please note, in many places, if you serve alcohol to a minor (“minor” defined according to the laws of the State), and that minor gets into or causes an accident, the person who gave him the alcohol can potentially be held liable for any damage, hospitalization or death that occurs as a result of that minor’s alcohol intake.


    Wolf: I think that was a “Purim Vort”

    That’s okay. I had no real intention of “handing in my membership card” just because my lack of drunkenness didn’t meet with his approval. 🙂

    The Wolf



    1. That is New Jersey specific. NY and CA, as I pointed out, does not have that provision.

    2. The DA is not going to bring a losing case in the first place, where the law clearly provided a religious exemption and there was parental consent. Additionally, the State (i.e. DA) cannot introduce theological or religious evidence, so that point is moot. The defense merely needs to establish a sincerely held religious belief. Many shitos provide that; the DA or Judge will not (and legally cannot) “pasken” or accept one shitta over another.

    3. The religious exemption, both on the federal and state levels, are not limited to rites. Purim fully qualifies under it. (Ironically, note your own quote of the relevant NJ statue above states “shall not apply to… a religious observance, ceremony or rite.“) Purim, including the obligation to drink alcohol, is a religious observance.



    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???


    Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky Shlita, who’s on the Moetzes, clearly paskened against you, Volvie. So batla daatcha etzel rav Shmuel Kaminetzky Shlit”a unless you’re also on the Moetzes.

    Furthermore, if the bochur suffer5s alcohol poisoning and seriously hurts himself, are you telling me there’s no teviah in shomayim for your role in giving a potential poison to smeone who’s clueless as to its effects?

    Ben Levi

    When I was in Ninth Grade before Purim My Rebbi ( an established Posek) got up and gave a shiur on Drinking. Basically he was very firm it stating whether or not someone drinks at the age of thirteen is between him and his parets and all his talmidim should discuss the issue with thier Parents.

    He then went on to explain how even if one Drinks there is a “safe” way of drinking and a non-safe way and he gave a detailed guide as to what practices must be avoided at all costs (mixing, drinking on an empty stomach etc..) It is one shiur I have never forgotten and I still tell over many parts of it to others.

    (Rabbi Yossi Rosenberg happens to have an excellent article about drinking in this weeks Yated)


    This is going to be a departure from the usual posts in this thread, as it will actually site sifrei halacha instead of “internet Torah” quoting various seforim or “boych svaros”.

    There is usually an issur to be mevatel one’s daas, and the mitzvah of drinking by the sudas Purim is the exception to the rule. The mitzvah of drinking is connected with the seudah, and there is no mitzvah of seudah at night (OC and MB 695).

    The Mishna Brurah (THE poseik for those in yeshivish circles, not the obscure seforim quoted as the heter) says (based on the Pri MeGadim) that the shita of the Rem”a is “raui laasos”- i.e, that is the PROPER shita to follow, NOT the shita of getting completely stoned. Therefore, giving alcohol to a yeshiva bochur is a VIOLATION of the halacha he should be following, even if it’s in the daytime, even forgetting about the secular laws of giving alcohol to minors. At night, of course, when there is no mitvah, it’s as assur as it always is to drink. The Shaarei Teshuva brings down that those who come to improper behavior should NOT drink more than usual, and quotes the gemara of Rabbi Yehuda bar Ilai who only drank on Pesach, meaning he never drank on Purim. So a real yeshiva bochur trying to fulfill the mitzvah as properly as possible will be following the Rem”a, NOT the other shitos.

    The Beis yosef furthermore says (Brought down in Aruch Hashulchan 695) that drinking so much is ASSUR. If a bochur wants to drink that much, he is oveir an aveirah. So claiming a bochur who wants to reach shichruso shel Lot is being mekayem a mitzvah is wrong, as according to many mainstream poskim he is doing an aveirah. The Aruch Hashulchan holds the mitzvah is to drink, and drinking more than little bit is a reshus, whereas it’s usually assur. So if a yeshiva bochur comes to my house at night asking for alcohol, I tell him there is no mitzvah to drink at night, so it’s an aveirah. In the daytime, I say that the mitzvah is at the seudah. And at the seudah, I quote the mishna brurah. So Volvie, when should you give a bochur alcohol, even if there’s no sakanah problem (which there unfortunately is today)?

    Bottom line for litvish yeshiva bochurim, and you can confirm it with the Mishna Brurah and the Aruch Hashulchan, along with Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky Shlit”a:

    There IS a mitzvah to drink on Purim. The is, according to many poskim (among them the Beis Yosef), an AVEIRAH to drink to shichruso shel lot, as this leads to many aveiros. According to the Aruch Hashulchan, it’s a reshus to drink to that point, but the mitzvah is just a little bit. According to the Pri Megadim, who is seconded by the Mishna Brurah, the Rema’a method is the PREFERRED way. Finally, there is no mitzvah to drink at night. So by not giving a bochur alcohol, you are being MACHMIR on halacha, not meikel on halacha, even forgetting about chamira sakanta mei’issura.Volvie’s “common understanding of ad delo yada” has as much halachic standing as the common misconception that shalach manos needs to have 2 brachos. A little bit of light chases away much darkness.

    I Rock

    If it says ad d’lo yada, why not?


    Wrong, Jothar. Rav Shmuel was speaking to Project Yes teens at risk, advising them caution, NOT to the tzibbur at large. I already invited you to the Yeshiva in Philly on Purim to observe for yourself how the bochorim fir zich.

    Don’t forget to bring along genuk yayin to be mekayim ad dlo yoda.

    The Gemora (Megillah 7b) quotes Rovo that “one is obligated liv’sumi [Rashi – to become intoxicated with wine] on Purim ad d’loi yoda [until one cannot distinguish] between ‘cursed is Homon’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai'”. Shulchan Aruch (OC 695:2) and Remo, rule in accordance with Rovo, and state that this is an obligation. The Bach states that according to the Tur one is literally required to become so intoxicated on Purim that one is unable to distinguish any difference between ‘cursed is Homon’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai’. The Shelo Hakodoish and Chacham Tzvi are said to have fulfilled Rovo’s ruling literally. The Shelo Hakodoish is also quoted as stating that one who is frail by nature is exempt from becoming intoxicated – the implication being that one who is fit and healthy is obligated to become intoxicated. The Rambam (Hilchos Megilla 2:15) rules that one should take wine to the stage that one becomes intoxicated and falls asleep. The Sfas Emes explains that the obligation of ad d’lo yoda is a requirement to rejoice and drink continually. And the Seder Hayom states that one is to become inebriated on Purim to the point that they are rolling on the floor throwing up. The Mishna Brura paskens in accordance with the Remo that one should become intoxicated.


    I’m pretty sure that the chillul Hashem of adults being caught providing alcohol to minors, minors getting arrested for possession of alcohol and adults getting arrested for public intoxication is worse than holding of a psak of a lesser shiur. Also for those of you who think there’s a difference between “kids at risk” and your son who’s the best boy in the top yeshiva, you really need to pull your heads out of the sand.


    Volvie, how bochurim fir zich in Philly has no bearing on halacha. Last time I checked, the poskim for the litvish oilam were the Mishna Brurah and the Aruch Hashulcha. Furthermore, if you ask Rav Shmuel Kaminetzky Shlit”a what he thinks about how the bochurim in Philly fir zich on Purim, I’m sure his response won’t be as enthusiastic as yours.

    Volvie, nothing you said contradicts anything I said, except I elaborated more as per the Mishna Brurah. you DISTORT the Rem”a when you quote him the way you do instead of the way I do, which is based on the lashon of the Mishnah Brurah. The Shl”a is NOT the derech haspak of Lita, which is why we Litvaks talk to our wives when they are nidos and wash negel vasser in the morning on our right hand instead of our left, and wash 3 times instead of 4. The Bach and the Chacham Tzvi were not basrai- the Pri Megadim and the Mishna Brurah are, and their psak that the “lesser psak” is PREFERRED is final. The Sfas emes is chassidish, and I’m referring to the litvish mesorah. My Rosh Hayeshiva ZT”L never drank himself to the point that he was rolling on the floor in his vomit, and used to always quote the Gr”a’s pshat in ad delo yada,which did not require so much alcohol. Which roshei yeshiva drink themselves into a drunken stupor? The fact that they don’t is the biggest proof that how the bochurim fir zich in Philly is not the preferred method of behavior, which is obvious to any bar bei rav dechad yoma who knows how to read a Mishnah Brurah. they are available in English as well.


    Jothar, I’m not going to continue in a tit-for-tat regarding your distortion of the sources. I’ve already pointed that out.

    If you’ve never seen LITVISH Roshei Yeshiva good and shikur on Purim, I’m not sure which planet your living on. Feel free to Yeshiva hop this Purim, and you’ll run out of fingers counting all of them.

    The Mechaber and Remo rule in accordance with Rovo (Gemora Megillah 7b) that “one is obligated liv’sumi [Rashi – to become intoxicated with wine] on Purim ad d’loi yoda [until one cannot distinguish] between ‘cursed is Homon’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai'”. (The Gemora then relates that Rabbo and Reb Zeira once had the Purim meal together and became intoxicated. Rabbo rose and slaughtered Reb Zeira. The following day Rabbo prayed for Divine mercy and Reb Zeira came back to life.)

    The Pri Megodim (Mishbetzos Zohov 695:2) and Mishna Brura (695:5) rule in accordance with the Remo. The Maharil (Ch.56) rules that it is desirable to become intoxicated. The Rambam (Hilchos Megilla 2:15) rules that one should take wine to the point that one becomes intoxicated and falls asleep.

    Ben Levi

    With all due repect R’ Yakov Horowitz is not a Rav or Rosh Yeshiva and there many chinuch approaches he advocates that are quite cotraversial.


    Daf yomi just started Sanhedrin. They should have started with the eighth chapter, Ben Sorer U’Moreh. After we study the full chapter we can re-visit this topic.

    Volvie, I did look up the state by state laws.

    For many it is only the parent who can furnish the wine.


    volvie – “If you’ve never seen LITVISH Roshei Yeshiva good and shikur on Purim, I’m not sure which planet your living on.”

    Name one. Are you referring to Rav Aaron, or Rav Moshe, or Rav Hutner, or Rav Ruderman, or Rav Shmuel, or Rav Jafin, or Rav Soloveichik, or Rav Elya; which one?


    i think the issue of whether or not to give alcohol to minors on purim should be quite open and shut. as we all know, minors, and in fact anyone has no problem getting alcohol on purim. and we all know that minors have no sense at all when it comes to such thing, and im not bashing minos, many adults have no sense either. therefore, id say you should not give alcohol to minors. they cant control themselves. they are so overwhelmed by the liberty of drinking and so enamored by it that they lose control of themselves, and will drink anything that is liquid. therefore i feel that you should never give a minor alcohol on purim, because chances are he already had some, and youre just making him stoned drunk, or if he hasnt had any, it probably means that he had enough sense not to drink himself under the table, and im sure he’s dealing with enough peer pressure as it is without the added pressure of an adult shoving alcohol in his face. someone who is 21, while he may also be obsessed with alcohol, at least has enough sense to know he shouldnt even if he does drink a lot, and therefore you can offer him alcohol, but you should only do so if he doesnt appear to be drunk yet. if he is drunk already, and you offer him alcohol, you are damaging him, and potentially others, and that should be avoided.

    what i have just said goes for the day overall of purim. as for the seuda, first of all, at that point, dont offer anyone hard alcohol. theyve probably been drinking all day anyway, of theyve had something, and they really dont need it. only wine should be served. again, be vigilant as to the state of your guests. if you see that they are already drunk, dont serve them alcohol. you are only damaging them and potentially others. someone who is not drunk, or who will not get drunk by serving wine at the meal, offer them a cup. do not put the bottle in front of them. observe them. observe your guests. if you see one of your guests is getting too drunk, or out of hand, stop giving alcohol. its just common sense. we all know there is a mitzvah to drink on purim, i dont think anyone denies that, but we must be responsible. purim does not fall into the category of “eis laasos lahashem heifiru torasecha” and none of us i hope would get stone drunk during the year because we see it as wrong, therefore no one should get stone drunk on purim, because it is still wrong. as i said above, alcohol on purim can serve a tremendous purpose on purim, it can bring a person to do teshuvah, it can bring a person to better hiself, it can bring a person closer to hashem by breaking down the barriers that we have up all year round. but much like anything in this world, it also has the power to destroy if not used in moderation. of overused, if abused, it has the power to destroy lives, families, friendships, and least of all property, which even though we paskan you are not chayav for, is not advisable, seeing as even that can lead to a destruction of a friendship.

    purim is a very auspicious time for us as a klal it is a time where we can really grow and become better people if we use it as it was meant to be used. but it is also a time with the potential for great destruction. ???????? ????????? ?????????? ???????????? ??????????? ?????????? ??????? ???????? ?????? ??????????:

    and volvie…if they do get stoned drunk, they are wrong, and yes a rosh yeshiva can be wrong…they are wrong because it leads to people like you using them as a heter for over-drinking, and as leaders of the community they are responsible for the influence they have on people.


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


    WOW. INCREDIBLE. Volvie, I just came back from the beis midrash to be me’eyein into the poskim, and EVERYONE you quoted says there’s NO mitzvah to drink to the point of shichruso shel Lot! And While roshei yeshiva do drink, they’re not “rolling on the floor in their vomit” drunk, certainly not like they “fir zich in Philly” (and other yeshivas- let’s not just pick on Philly).

    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 a chumra to NOT give alcohol to anyone, as you would be causing them to violate the words of the poskim.


    Shichruso shel Lot? LOL! Whoever, other than you, ever said about shichruso shel Lot?

    (Ben Levi quoted the Seder Hayom that we should be “ROFIV”, but I didn’t see anyone post they pasken like him. The reason for this, writes the Seder HaYom, is because Haman sought to spill our blood to the ground, so we attempt to emulate this by allowing ourselves to end up on the ground.)

    I’ll grant you one thing Jothar, you are humorous.

    It must be fun building up straw-men so that you can knock them down.

    Reading what was actually said, well, must be boring for you.


    Here is a great story from the Shema Yisrael Torah Network:



    can we all try to keep the double posting to a bare minimum…?


    I’m not a lawyer, but I would expect that if a kid becomes sick enough from drink on Purim to end up in hospital or worse dead then the “Well it was a religious thing” would not fly as a defense. I am pretty sure when they wrote that law they had the idea of a small quantity of wine at a kiddish or communion, not drunk to the point of requiring medical attention. Of course I’m not a lawyer and don’t really know what would happen in that case, but would not wish to find out.

    Actually I’ll be at work on purim this year ;(. Its not a day off from us and due to other reasons I don’t have a vacation day to use


    Volvie, if I’m attacking a straw man,

    1. what shita of drinking ARE you talking about and supporting, which agrees with all the poskim mentioned above and coincides with the “mitzvah” of giving alcohol to minors?

    2. What shita of drinking are you against? You are already on record as supporting drinking until one throws up, which sounds like “Shichruso Shel Lot” to me.

    Ben Levi

    I unfortunatley do not have the patience to write a detailed rebuttal of the “list” of “mainstream” Poskim quoted earlier. however I would suggest that one looks up the actual Sfas Emes instead of relying on the Piskei Teshuvos’s quote of it (as recomended in numerous haskomos on the Piskei Teshuvos, secondly I would point out that the interpetation of the Maharsha to the Gemora in bava Metzia clearly implies a chiyuv shikrus to the extent we need a gemora that is matir a tzurva m’rabanun to claim he was mekayim this shiur even though he did not. Thirdly I would reiterate what I have already mentioned before The shita of Rabeinu Ephraim is questioned by numerous achronim amoong them the Pri Chadosh and perhaps that is why it was never accepted.

    Lastly I would reiterate specifically because there most definiteley were Gedolim who held not to get shikur each person must follow his mesorah. I chose to folllow that of the Gedolim and Rabbanim I followed all of whom got drunk to the point of “ad di lo yudah”, One specifically happens to be makpid only to drink from a becher on Purim since he is being mekayim a mitzva.


    Ben Levi, by “mainstream” I mean the ikker poskim. The poskim quoted were the ones on the actual pages of the tur and Shulchan Aruch. the mishna Brura paskens like the Pri Megadim who paskens like the Pri Chadash. You can’t get more mainstream than these.


    Ben Levi, what does “ad delo yada” mean according to your rabbeim?


    Jothar, Do you agree there are 100% valid shittos that are abided by many mainstream Yidden in Klal Yisroel that hold it is either required or preferable to become drunk to the point of “ad dlo yoda” (arrur haman/baruch mordechai)? If you can’t admit this fact, there is no point in having this discussion.


    what does “ad delo yada” mean according to your rabbeim?

    Rabbi Avigdor Miller, tz’l, states that ad dlo yada means ad v’lo clal, in other words up until but not including. I realize this is not the usual understanding, nevertheless this is what he holds. I do not know his source.

    He holds in other words this point is not to be reached, and anything less is the maximum and not the shiur.

    I did not hear him express a minimum but he states that the purpose of drinking is to stimulate your Simcha WITHOUT losing your seichel.


    im pretty sure thats the shita of the “rash” as well

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