Purim: To Booze or Not to Booze

How to get really high.

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Comments (10)

(10) Yishai, March 20, 2008 3:30 PM

Did you know...

Goyim drink to forget, Jews drink to remember. Something to think about...

(9) Anonymous, March 19, 2008 5:50 PM

Is Torah not enough...

The best natural high in the world is the Torah. To me, I feel most fulfilled and intoxicated when I am studying the Torah and I learn something new about Hashem. Sure, the wine is great, but, nothing beats how I feel when I am enveloped by a sensation of awe and wonder about our miraculous Maker. This Purim, do some studying and find something you didn't previously know about Hashem that absolutely excites you, then share it with a few people, and get them high on Torah with you.
Hope you all have a safe and fulfilling Purim. Shalom

(8) Nechama, March 19, 2008 9:47 AM

I have heard several Rabbis discuss this subject and the bottom line is: If you know that you behave in a way that is vulgar, shameful or humiliating, don't get drunk! In those cases, it's not a mitzvah.
If you just get silly and your wife or children are embarrassed, ask a Rabbi before Purim. Shalom bayis (family harmony) is a very important subject in Judaism.
As far as how to get "high" is concerned, try helping others, like bringing shaloch monos to children or the elderly in a hospital. Now, that's a real high.
Happy Purim!

(7) Anonymous, March 18, 2008 4:37 PM

a problem not just for children

As a Jew who suffers the disease of addiction, this was a very problmatic issue for me when I entered recovery. I asked my Rabbi, who knew my situation, and he said, when we were commanded to get drunk of Purim, that command was only for those who did not have the disease. One of the many reasons I love my Rabbi. Of course, we are conservative, and that might not sit well with the Orthodox.
And thank you Rabbi for pointing out, alcohol is actually a despresant.

(6) Yossie, March 18, 2008 3:56 PM

Mitzvah, or just alcoholism.

A lot of people say that it is a Mitzvah to get so drunk, that one does NOT know the difference between Haman and Mordechai. Strictly speaking, that may be the Halacha. I say, that we should first make sure that keep all the other Mitzvahs, that are less dangerous. For example, show up to Shule on time, Daven with a Minyan, etc, etc. If a person did ALL of the 613 Mitzvahs, (except for those that we cannot perform because we do not have the Bais Hamikdosh) and the only one that he is missing is getting drunk on Purim, then please get in touch with me, and I will watch you every second on Purim, so you can get drunk.

(5) Yaron Salmen, March 18, 2008 2:48 PM

Dance everyone dance...

I t5hink the best way to get high together is and has always been to dance together.Alcohol only emulates the high one experiences when happy with one's loved ones. Rejoice and be happy with the family and friends; thats how we have traditionally and eternally gotten high; good food, good friends, maybe one glass of wine, but always dancing.
"Come to the valley, run thru the clover, harvest is over, dance, everyone dance...dance where the corn was high under a golden sky,dance where the wine was born, dance, everyone dance..."

(4) Andy, March 18, 2008 12:00 PM

a natural high from being a Jew should be ones normal state but not on Purim

It may be that the idea of drinking in order to blur distinctions [unable to differentiate between Mordechai and Haman]is what makes Purim so unique that even in messianic days we will keep it. At that time the Jews special relationship with God and positive role throughout history will be clear to all. Jews behaving as Jews will finally seem normal to the world. On Purim drinking induces a forshadowing of peace and oneness with the world which in reality is not yet here.

(3) david, March 18, 2008 10:27 AM

So I feel a little differently then the two people commenting. At first I thought Zev was talking about X-Mas! But after thinking about it, of course there is a similarity when it comes to delivering Mishloach Manot...we just dont come down the Chimmeny to do it!
Giving is a great thing. But it not the only thing that we are taught to do from a textual stand point when it comes to Purim. We are actually told to drink. So I think the first thing is to teach our people about the holiday. There is an appeal to enjoy Purim because drinking is acceptable. But that should only be to increase our joy. Not to be the only cause of Joy in the first place. The high should come from the fact that we are alive! I mean really, we were nearly slaughtered at this time, and many times after. So my joy comes from the fact that Jews are still alive in this world. Like one of my Rabbi's said to sum up all Jewish holidays. "they tried to kill us, we won, lets eat"!!! In this case make a L'Chaim! It does not need to get out of hand...just have some alcohol to enhance the Joy of being alive. The joy of the miracles hidden within the miracles. That Hashem did for us. This is so amazing, and creates so much joy. Focus on this, and make a few L'Chaims to this....to Life! And it will be fine.
Conversely, those who dont get the holiday, who dont fully understand what was going on, might be making L'chaims in an ironic way to potentially harm their lives. And this can be avoided by educating them. As a parent, a teacher, a friend...make the essence of this Holiday understood, and enjoy it!

(2) Zev Singer, March 17, 2008 3:00 PM

Live it up on Purim - the right way

Your orientation is wrong. Purim is not supposed to be a holiday of getting but of giving. Instead of furtively looking for happiness by getting drunk and getting gourmet delicacies, e should look to give. Happiness will be a by-product of the degree of our giving to others.

In the past, we have done several things to enhance our Purim.

-visit and spend time with some older people, who don't need our homentashen and grape juice but deeply appreciate our conversation and concern. Purim is when you don't have to dig up excuses to explain why you are visiting someone.

-dance to Yiddishe music with people who come to our house and whom we visit. You'll be surprised how people enjoy this – I have acquaintances who come by only once a year for the express purpose of dancing together

- invite boys to come and dance and collect money for charitable causes. My family loves the joy yhese boys bring along with them

-go to a Purim-fest in a local shul. There is some speaking, dancing, and much merriment.

- invite a needy friend to our meal. Last year it was a lonely friend, who comes to us periodically. We sang and boisterously danced with him, showing him how he was part of our family. As he laughed and enjoyed himself, we were left with the deep feeling of satisfaction that we had brought cheer into someone else's world.

Drink to loosen your inhibitions to reach out to others. Don't drink to loose yourself.

(1) Mordechai Bulua, March 16, 2008 1:16 PM

Make Rebbes Responsible

The major problem with our youth is that they stay at their rebbes homes for hours on end, and the schnapps and wine is theirs for the taking. I propose the following solution. Firstly, no schnapps at all should be served. Secondly, bottles of wine should not be on the table for the usage of the boys. Rather, there should be one bottle in front of the rebbe who has complete control who may pour ONE cup (and only one cup) to any bochur that comes to his house. If they see that the bochur is "off the handle" he shouldn't be given even one cup. Rebbes should be made resonsible for any bochur lying on the floor and plastered in their house. An announcement should go out that not only Ba'alei Batim (adults other than rebbes), but even rebbes must be made responsible for the alcoholic intake of the bochrim under their care. A freliechen Purim to all, In MODERATION!!


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