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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 10 Apr 2020 05:41 PM and ends Sat 11 Apr 2020 06:40 PM

Its No Mitzvah to get drunk on Purim !

ח' אדר ה' אלפים תש"ע




Purim is one of the most joyous festivals of the Jewish calendar. The mitzvot of charity to the poor, mishloach manot, festive meals together with family and friends, and the reading of the megillah all help to create a true Jewish spirit and an ambiance of happiness. Indeed, when these mitzvot are fulfilled in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Torah, the entire month of Adar is imbued with inspiration and a true sense of joy.

However, there is also a sombre side to Purim which is often left untold. There are unfortunately some in the community who believe that the only way to experience the joy of Purim is through the excessive consumption of alcohol. Not only is this belief unfounded, it can create a tremendous Chilul Hashem (Desecration of G-d's name) and contravenes one of the most basic mandates of the Jewish faith by endangering one's life and the lives of others.

The Rabbinical Council of Victoria wishes to therefore make it abundantly clear to all members of the Jewish community, particularly Jewish teenagers and young adults, that excessive alcohol consumption which can lead to endangering one's life or the life of others as well as the possibility of the Chilul Hashem often associated with intoxication, is unequivocally prohibited at all times according to Halacha, including on Purim. Although the Code of Jewish Law does encourage drinking wine during the festive meal in order to enhance the joy of Purim, by no means does this override the severe prohibitions of Chilul Hashem and/or placing oneself in danger, both of which are the most serious of transgressions.

As Rabbis, we urge parents and educators to communicate this message to their children and students, and most importantly to lead by example through their own responsible behaviour. We strongly caution adults and youth leaders against the misguided practice of supplying alcohol to minors with the belief that this somehow constitutes the mitzvah of spreading joy during the festival of Purim.

Let us hope that the festival of Purim is celebrated this year in the manner in which our Sages had intended, according to both the letter and spirit of our holy Torah.

For further information please call RCV Executive Director Ari Morris on 0411 592 987 or email executive@rcv.org.au.


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