Just as with the holiday of Simchat Torah, Purim can allow some people – especially teenagers – the license to drink alcohol with abandon. Not so for NCSY members.
NCSY is the international youth organization of the Orthodox Union.
NCSYers know well the annual warning issued each year by the OU’s Safe Schools, Safe Shuls, Safe Homes Initiative. Now, OU Managing Director Rabbi Steven Burg has once again issued the call for parents to alert their children to the dangers of drinking on Purim, which falls on Saturday night, February 27 and Sunday, February 28 this year.
Rabbi Burg declared, “Thankfully, many of our NCSY members and other teens have heeded our annual warnings against the dangers of drinking. They agree with us that zero tolerance will still permit an enjoyable Purim. However, too many teens still remain either unaware or unconvinced of the great risk alcohol intake on Purim poses. Once again, NCSY firmly upholds its campaign and maintains its commitment against teen drinking on Purim.”
Rabbi Jack Abramowitz, Associate Director of Synagogue Services and author of an NCSY pamphlet discouraging drinking on Purim, stated, “Alcohol can place one in a variety of dangerous situations, ranging from alcohol poisoning to foolhardy behavior. Its use is hardly a religious imperative and there are many safe and viable alternatives to having fun on Purim, some of which are mitzvot and must be done anyway.”
For the first time ever, the warning against drinking will be posted on NCSY’s new Facebook page, which, in one week of existence, already counted 2,000 members. “Social media is a great method to get the word out to a maximum number of teens,” explained Rabbi Burg. “By posting NCSY’s warning against drinking on Facebook, we can communicate with so many of our members in an instant.”