Friday, March 14, 2008

Purim, Alcohol and the Aguda

Just as an update, the Aguda came out this week with a public position on alcohol on Purim as seen in the Yated. (Thanks Wolf for the heads up.) They say that no hard liquor should be allowed, period. They warn about safety when driving. They say that no balabatim should serve alcohol to groups that are coming around collecting. Kudos for what they said. I think they should have said more.

Here's what they didn't say and should have:
1. No alcohol should be served to those who are under the legal age of drinking in this country. That means no one under the age of 21 should be getting anything alcoholic to drink. Under no circumstances should younger bochrim and teenagers be given alcohol.
2. No rebbes should be allowed to serve alcohol to their talmidim, period.
3. Being drunk is a threat to mind and body. "Ad de'lo yoda" has been misinterpreted to mean roaring drunk.
4. The ikar of the Purim celebration is hearing the megillah and is the seudah. All other "social" activities should be curtailed or eliminated as taking away from the seudah.
5. Purim falls erev Shabbos this year. One is forbidden to daven when in a drunken state.
6. Being drunk is not the Jewish derech and it should not be followed.

I know, I should count my blessings. And yes, the Aguda did say some important things. They just stopped too soon. Simcha and "soused" may start with the same letter, but that is their only relationship. Maybe if we repeat that often enough we just might get it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's at least a start. I just wonder if they also informed their memberhsip to make announcements and keep this in front of everyone.

Our rav gave a shiur this afternoon on hilchos Purim. Someone asked him if ad d'lo yodoh applied to everyone over bar mitzvah. He answered that it technically did but that he personally was saying that you have to obey local laws. His compromise was that nobody under 18 should be given anything to drink. And he definetely said that the drunkeness that we see is not what is meant. If you lose your seichel then you are too drunk.