Monday, March 05, 2007

Reckless endangerment on Purim

Out-Of-Control Alcohol
More on Purim Drinking
Drunken Bnei Torah
Purim and The Search for Yossi - Part 1
Purim, and The Search for Yossi - Part 2

Read one, a few, all. I'm sure there are others.

One of my co-workers told me a dreadful story. She was invited to a Seudat Purim (festive Purim meal), and witnessed parents trying to deal with their drunken son.

In discussing the situation, she mentioned that the boy had been drinking at the home of his rebbe (teacher in a yeshiva [in this context]).

And she was particularly upset because he was only 15 1/2 years old.


To say that I was both shocked and livid is a radical understatement.

Let me get this straight: This underage boy's own teacher not only served his students alcoholic beverages, but served enough to get his students drunk?!

What kind of irresponsible person would do such a thing? And why do parents allow it?

Seriously, is it obligatory to drink at all on Purim, much less to drink enough that one can't distinguish between Haman the villain and Mordechai the hero? Whatever happened to the concepts of guarding one's soul ("u-sh'martem et nafshotechem"--quote approximate, [from Devarim/Deuteronomy?]) and choosing life ("u-varchartem bachayim" [ from Devarim/Deuteronomy?]). Don't people understand that overconsumption of alcohol can kill?

Why should my young single female
colleague have to go two blocks out of her way to walk to a Purim Seudah because she can't trust the behavior of the drunken men in the street? Why isn't it perfectly obvious that such behavior is a chillul haShem, a desecration of G-d's name?

Why should getting plastered
on Purim be considered a good thing?


Blogger Annie said...

Most sources actually say that you should just drink a little more than you are accustomed to, so an extra glass of wine (not liquor!), and then go to bed.

Tue Mar 06, 09:44:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Tamar said...

I witnessed my cousin, a boyscout troop leader, giving alcohol to all the members of his Jewish boyscout troop. Not enough to get anyone drunk, but it was still an incredibly bad idea and I'm pissed. When did Purim become the holiday where we could do all the stuff we're not allowed to do any other time? It's not a day off from Judaism.

Tue Mar 06, 01:18:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Never mind the strong stuff, Annie--just about anything more than an ounce of wine will put me to sleep! So, source or no source, I generally avoid even wine like the plague. See that woman at the Seder table drinking four cups of kosher for Passover grape juice? That's me.

Tamar, that's an outrage! And he calls himself a leader?

You get the prize for the best comment on substance abuse on Purim: "When did Purim become the holiday where we could do all the stuff we're not allowed to do any other time? It's not a day off from Judaism."

Tue Mar 06, 08:37:00 PM 2007  

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