December 10, 2008 3:42 am at 3:42 am #633142
Just a couple of points to follow-up.
The social laws, in the few (and it is only few) areas that do have them, DO exempt religious use. This is a fact. Indeed, otherwise it would make a mockery of the existing religious exemptions. New York State does not have any statewide social host laws. NYC therefore does not have such laws. Nassau County on the other hand, does have a county-wide social host law. And to take that as an example, this is a verbatim quote from the Nassau County social host law:
b. The provisions of this subdivision a of this section shall not apply to: i) the consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages by a minor whose parent or guardian is present and has expressly permitted such consumption; or ii) the use and consumption of alcohol or alcoholic beverages by a minor for religious purposes.
And I stand by my previous assertion regarding the Constitutionality of the laws. I say so based upon experience and case law I’ve seen in this area.December 10, 2008 5:15 am at 5:15 am #633143
The term is a “sincerely held religious belief.” The fact that the minor drinker held a religious belief based upon (say) Shulchen Orech requiring alcoholic consumption to the point of drunkenness, the point that there may or may not be other religious sources disputing this religious ruling is entirely irrelevant as a secular legal matter. He has a right to follow the religious rulings that he believes in. (Indeed it would be unconstitutional for the court to even analyze differing religious opinions, and whether they are religiously valid or not. All the court will ask is for a letter from a clergyman simply stating that the persons “sincerely held religious belief” is such and such.)December 10, 2008 5:54 am at 5:54 am #633144
Why exclude consumption from driving. The same individual who gets legally shikker on Purim Day could drive home from shul RL in an inebriated state. How safe is this scenereo? Any posters who work in Insurance, or are Actuaries I like your feedback.December 10, 2008 6:04 am at 6:04 am #633145
The Big OneParticipant
illini07, you are checkmated. whether you are courageous enough to admit as much, is yet an open question. if history is any guide, you’ll dig in your heels, close your eyes, and go back in circles repeating your disproven opinions in the hope no one will notice. But then again, they say past performance is no indicator of future results…December 10, 2008 2:03 pm at 2:03 pm #633146
The Big One:
I am nothing of the sort. Schwabbie may think that it’s an open and shut constitutional case, but I would disagree. Again, see the refusal of religious exemptions for marijuana laws as an example. If schwab’s constitutional theory was correct, there would HAVE to be an exception – yet federal and state courts have consistently rebuffed the idea.
Second, where *I” live, social host laws know no religious exception. If they recognize it in Nassau county, that’s great – but that doesn’t mean they do everywhere, nor is that constitutionally mandated. Furthermore, even without social host laws, it may be possible to bring suit in tort against the person who furnished the child alcohol. Religion is certainly not a case-closed defense in negligence cases.December 10, 2008 2:04 pm at 2:04 pm #633147
Thanks for your post. Would you please clarify a couple of questions for me? Are you saying that if someone gives a minor alcohol, and the minor suffers alcohol poisoning or some other accident (excluding DUI) as a result, the host would be exempt from any prosecution if he maintains that this alcohol consumption is required by religious law? Would the host also be not be prosecutable in any civil suit, if he maintains said consumption was required under religious law?December 10, 2008 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #633148
The Big One,
Wow, not only were you right – he proved it immediately with his negative response! After being disproven he suddenly goes ad hominem, calling him “Schwabbie” when all else failed!
And get this one – he “disagrees” with an experienced attorney! And his experience is exactly what?December 10, 2008 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #633149
How is providing a contrary argument anything what The Big One said? Under you response, any response other than admitting defeat would be proving The Big One right. (And how exactly is Schwabbie ad hominem? Do you even know what that means?)
And for your information, Mr. Schwab isn’t the only attorney taking part in this discussion. I may not be retired yet, but more years in practice does not an indisputable legal authority make. *I* have the requisite knowledge, training, and experience to carry on a meaningful and intelligent debate about the law. Do you? Does “The Big One” know enough about the law to declare me “checkmated?” I may be wrong, but I doubt it.December 10, 2008 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #633150
Have you *ever* not “doubted” your opinion is wrong?
And please do explain how calling Mr. Schwab, “Schwabbie” is NOT ad hominem.December 10, 2008 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #633151
If I truly meant anything negative by it, I would have used it consistently, but plainly in the next sentence I said “Schwab.” It was a cute-ism if you will, not intended to demean or insult.
Yes, I often do actually. In the above case, I am not stating that I am 100% confident how a court would rule – merely that it is not a foregone conclusion.
Also, you still haven’t informed me of your qualifications to engage in legal debate. I think it’s only fair, since you questioned mine and have engaged in FAR more conclusory statements (i.e., where you claimed to examine a statute and were positive that Purim was covered – and then couldn’t even point me to your source or the statute).December 10, 2008 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #633152
But by the way, your calling my statement an ad hominem puts the onus of proof on you to prove that it is, not on me to prove that it’s not. This is a common fallacy that you seem to struggle with. Making an conclusory assertion does not put the burden on the disagreeing person to refute. That only happens when you back up your claim with something substantial.December 10, 2008 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #633153
Frankly I’ll rely more on Mr. Schwab’s definitive conclusions, who aside from being far more experienced than yourself, is a criminal defense attorney. I don’t know what your specialty is — perhaps fighting traffic tickets? And did you not graduate Illinois only in ’07? If not advise us the number of years of practice, so we can compare it to a retired criminal defense attorney and make our judgements.December 10, 2008 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #633154
As I explained in the screen name thread, the 07 represents the year I made the account. It’s not surprising that you would insinuate that I fight traffic tickets, as you seem to be insistent on trying to besmirch or disrespect me at every turn. I’ve actually been on the opposite side as Mr. Schwab, at the prosecution table. If you think I’m not quite familiar with the constitutional issues relevant to criminal law, you’re sorely mistaken. I’ve since moved on to a different practice area. I’m pretty sure that Mr. Schwab, if he comes back, will tell you that while he may be confident that his position is the correct outcome, it is not a foregone conclusion and that there is room for argument on both sides.
Also, I’m still waiting for your qualifications. You believed yourself qualified before, and have avoided my question by trying to focus even more on mine. A clever tactic, but I’m afraid not a very compelling one.December 10, 2008 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #633155
For the third time, I will rest on Mr. Schwab’s very experienced laurels. And my dear friend, I once again remind you your derogatory name-calling, like Schwabbie, is characterization of your general attitude (including your bad attempt at defending that name-calling.)
NOTE FROM YW MODERATOR-72: Joseph, how about your derogatory nicknames that you submitted on a different thread (twice) and I deleted before they could see the light of day?December 10, 2008 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #633156
I’m not a lawyer, but I find it hard to believe that one would be exempt from any damages (including civil damages) that result from providing alcohol to a minor simply by claiming that this was done for religious purposes. As I understand it, religious beliefs do not absolve someone from damages resulting from carrying out these beliefs, so I’m not sure why this would be different. For example, a parent who neglects to provide basic medical care to his child, claiming that his religious beliefs prohibit this, can be held liable if the child suffers an illness or dies as a result. (This past spring a Wisconsin couple was indicted for neglecting to seek medical treatment for their daughter’s diabetes; she died of diabetic ketoacidosis as they prayed for her). If Chuck Schwab is here, I’d appreciate it if he could elaborate on this.December 10, 2008 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #633157
Rabbi Joseph, lets get back to the original discussion
i want to know that if smoking is dangerous as having been quoted by many members why dont the roshei hayishivas clamp down on this terrible minhag, by the way jd says lol,
do you smoke on purim?December 10, 2008 6:45 pm at 6:45 pm #633158
Anon, you are probably correct. The Constitution guarantees the right to free exercise, but it does not guarantee insulation from liability for the harmful results to others of your religious practice. Even if a social host law has an exemption, it does not mean that there will be no liability. Social host laws make it easier to sue, the absence of them does not make it impossible. It could be a sticky causation issue, but I don’t think a lawsuit in the absence of social host laws would be doomed to failure by any stretch of the imagination.December 10, 2008 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #633159
JAPP – The Rabbonim ARE opposed to smoking.
mod – it was an inside joke that the recipient understood and appreciated. Outsiders may have not.December 11, 2008 5:29 am at 5:29 am #633160
smoking is so not cool!!! & did i mention is the #1 cause of lung cancer!!! please open a science book & look at black smokers lungs & you’ll never smoke again!!!December 11, 2008 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #633161
If one could exempt himself from any liability for serving alcohol to minors by citing religious beliefs, I’d expect every college fraternity to call itself a Jewish organization, and move Rush Week to Purim time. That way they could avoid any liability for any crimes/ hospitalizations that result from minors drinking.December 11, 2008 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #633162
Only ”sincerely held religious beliefs”.December 11, 2008 2:59 pm at 2:59 pm #633163
The fraternity may have a “sincerely held religious belief” in being allowed to serve alcohol to minors without any consequences. And the adult serving alcohol to minors on Purim may not be completely consistent in his observance of Judaism. Really I don’t think either of us want the courts to start examining our religious observance.
Actually I gave this as an extreme example. The religious exemption to social hosts laws, as described by Chuck Schwab, is big enough to drive a Budweiser truck through. Also, as I’ve mentioned above, it’s not consistent with other areas of law, which don’t allow religious exemptions for neglect/ abuse. I’m not discounting Mr. Schwab’s experience, but I think that just because this type of crime has never been prosecuted doesn’t mean it never will be prosecuted. As illini07 noted, not all social host laws have religious exemptions, and probably neither do all teen party laws (which have a lower threshold for prosecution in that adults can be held liable even if no crime results).December 11, 2008 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #633164
First like Mr. Schwab mentioned, social host laws represent a small minority of jurisdictions. Second, Mr. Schwab didn’t just describe the law, he quoted it. And yes it may be big enough to drive a truck through, but that is the law of the land as passed by the legislature. Third, a court would be obligated, if necessary, to evaluate a claim to have a ”sincerely held religious belief”, and perhaps the reason we haven’t heard a prosecutor bring such a case is precisely that – the drinking is legit and like you said you could drive a truck through it, and neither a prosecutor nor a court really want to deal with a case that delves into religious claims – so they naturally avoid it, especially considering it is a strong legal defense.
Bottom line? L’Chaim!December 11, 2008 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #633165
To be a little more clear on my personal view, for what it’s worth:
The likelihood of a prosecution for stam providing alcohol to a minor on purim, while conceivably MIGHT be prosecutable (though as Schwab pointed out, unlikely) is extremely low without any other problems. One exception to this might be large parties held on college campuses by various Jewish groups. I’ve known a few of them to get raided, though as far as I recall the only people who got in trouble were the underage drinkers, and there was some story about the parties having gotten so popular that many non-jews were showing up for the free booze. Be careful about that, though I doubt anyone here is likely to be involved with such an activity.
The likelihood of action is greater where something bad happens as a result of the minor drinking. There are a number of ways through which one could be held liable, even in the absence of social host laws. At the very least, the lesson is to control what goes on in your home, and what might happen after people leave. Be responsible and cautious. Liability is nothing compared to the grief you will feel if the child that leaves your house kills someone, gets killed, or both (c”v).December 11, 2008 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm #633166
I’d add to your post that in addition to the danger of driving while under the influence, which most people are aware of, there’s also the danger of alcohol poisoning and of a minor becoming a victim of an accident/ crime because his judgement is impaired due to alcohol consumption (althought I think the last would be much tougher to prosecute).December 11, 2008 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #633167
jOSEPH,December 11, 2008 6:32 pm at 6:32 pm #633168
i have heard from my brothers that the rabbanim are much less strict on purim, and if this is true why do they feel its any better to smoke on purimDecember 11, 2008 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #633169
Personally, I feel that my rebbeim were not really less strict. They may have tolerated slightly more “shtick” than usual, but as far as drinking/smoking, they were strict. Probably particularly because a school accredited in the state which has teachers serving students alcohol was too much potential for danger and chillul Hashem for them to stomach. They wouldn’t chastise us if we came a little shikkered up, but they ALWAYS made sure we were safe and didn’t do anything stupid. I doubt any rebbe would disregard their students’ well-being.December 11, 2008 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #633170
I just find it interesting that all the same people who are always complaining about Rabbonim being too “restrictive” & “banning” everything in sight are the very same people who are most adamant about “banning” smoking. (Not that I condone it).
I assume that the reason for this is because all these people understand that smoking is dangerous for the body.
So why can’t you understand that Rabbanim feel it’s equally important – if not more so – to “ban” things that are dangerous for the neshama?
The “teretz” is, because the Rabbonim care about your neshama But you only care about your body. (i.e. “taivos”)December 11, 2008 8:22 pm at 8:22 pm #633171
Good point mod.
The question is what to be Machmir in, Purim or Ushmartem Meod Lnafshosaychem. (The smoking issue is not Purim itself, but that someone may get hooked, or the legal aspects)
I don’t think the Yeshivish Rabbanim “ban” anything on Purim, as they know its a Gezarah shein Hatzibbur Yachol Laamod Bo.December 12, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am #633172
ILLINI07, in the more right wing yeshivas they are much less machmer on purimDecember 12, 2008 8:05 am at 8:05 am #633173
If that comment was adressed to me & you are calling me “mod”,
THEN YOU’RE ON THE WRONG THREAD. lol as all the BY girls would say.December 14, 2008 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #633174
why arent the gedolim speaking out against it if so terrible, i cant figure this out, seems many of the posters know better than the gedolim what to make an issue about.December 16, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am #633175
WOW THANX 4 ALL THE INFODecember 16, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am #633176
Are you sure you have the 13 ikrim straight?
The gedolim don’t have to speak out against everything.
They are good at knowing what to speak out against, they don’t HAVE to speak out against anything. Their presence in this world is good enough. See Sanhedrin 99b towards bottom. They definitely know better than YOU.December 16, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am #633177
13ikrim, sorry i think i misunderstood you, that post should be aimed at the others, who i now think you were arguing with.December 16, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am #633178
jdsayslol, will you please spred this CR discussion in your own yeshiva,
p.s. do you smoke on purim and if you do ask your menahel to see if he agrees to youDecember 16, 2008 1:00 am at 1:00 am #633179
i wasnt arguing i was kleringDecember 16, 2008 1:02 am at 1:02 am #633180
jd, smoking is no kler you know full well that its assurDecember 16, 2008 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #633181
“So why can’t you understand that Rabbanim feel it’s equally important- if not more so- to ‘ban’ things that are dangerous for the neshama?”
This argument is circular. What is the body if not a vessel to enhance the neshama? One’s purpose in life is to fulfill mitzvot and do tikkun olam, which is impossible if one is physically ill. Smoking is prohibited because a person who is lying in bed with lung cancer is limited in his or her ability to perform mitzvot. Similarly, smoking shortens a person’s life. Yes, we should be eager to get to Olam Habah, but the important thing is to maximize our time in Olam Hazeh so we can accrue as many mitzvot as physically possible. Simply put, smoking and other activities that endanger our physical health serve as barriers to Torah observance.December 16, 2008 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #633182
Right or wrong, it sounde like you missed the point.December 16, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm #633183
your logic is a bit off,
smoking is not comparable to ruchnius things as we know smoking kills because we see the results and have satistics to prove it
the arguments against rabbonim banning things are either
that the things they are banning arnt harmfull to the neshama (wich in most cases is pretty hard if not impossible to prove either way).
or that banning it wouldnt be an effective way of taking care of the problemDecember 16, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #633184
The arguments for banning generaly are,
The things they are banning are harmfull and either banning IS effective or even if it isnt at least they are taking a stand against it and showing how things should be according to that why dont they ban smoking (im not taking sides here just pointing this out)December 17, 2008 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #633185
Anyone hear heard of Alan Carr’s book against smoking???December 17, 2008 5:24 pm at 5:24 pm #633186
we honestly believe that once the Rebbeim stop their smoking, the Bachurim will stop smoking…..why cant Rabbonim assur smoking…..its mamish a drug…..what is so special about it?????? smoking just causes more problems…..did you ever notice people who smoke don’t have that many friends, they get sicker quicker than everyone else…..most importantly, what ever happened to the Mitzva of taking care of your health…..obviosly they dont care about their health and the people around them if they are smoking……December 17, 2008 7:07 pm at 7:07 pm #633187
JAPP: im in my school right now i started it on theyre computers everyone is readiong it with meDecember 18, 2008 2:30 am at 2:30 am #633188
Smokers who post the next time you have an urge to smoke go to the fridge (take out the celery), and stick a stalk of celery in your mouth. Celery is very comforting and calming to the nervous system. A nice juicy carrot is high in vitamin A is another good choice. Licorice is another one, because it is good for the Adrenal Glands. Let food be our medicine. Maybe consider the possibility of buying a vegetable juicer, and making vegetable juice every day yummy!!!!!!!!December 18, 2008 3:32 am at 3:32 am #633189
those are fattening nicotine patches. (not the vegetables, but “let food be our medicine”)December 18, 2008 3:37 am at 3:37 am #633190
yankdownunder: i dont have any desire to smoke anymore especially since im in anew yeshiva where no one does and ure advice i wouldnt do if u paid me but thanxDecember 18, 2008 3:52 am at 3:52 am #633191
yankdownunder: i like your way of thinking!!!
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