AS PURIM APPROACHES, OU LEADER CALLS ON PARENTS TO TALK TO THEIR CHILDREN ABOUT DANGERS OF DRINKING
Once again this year, as part of the Orthodox Union's Safe Schools, Safe Shuls, Safe Homes initiative, OU Executive Vice President Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb is calling on parents in advance of Purim festivities to alert their children to the dangers of drinking. Purim begins this year on Thursday, March 20 with the reading of Megillat Esther. Rabbi Weinreb’s message is as follows:
Celebrating the miracle of Purim is a most enjoyable time for our community. It is a time to celebrate our deliverance from the danger of extinction as a people.
Unfortunately, however, the Orthodox community has experienced tragedy as a result of accidents related to excessive drinking. Excessive drinking poses serious health risks for the inebriated as well as those around them. Purim simcha is appropriate but the kind of reckless drinking that takes place in many circles is not in the spirit of Yahadut (unity).
In today’s climate, where youngsters have increased access to all types of excesses, having too many drinks on Purim leads to future problems. Many teens who have fallen away from a stable life situation point to a drink at a “Kiddush Club,” a drink on Purim, or a smoke at a Purim party as the starting point for their addiction.
We are therefore asking parents to join together and to carefully monitor their children over Purim. It is important to know where and with whom your teens will be throughout the holiday. Please talk to your children about the dangers of drinking. In this way, we can ensure that we all experience a Purim filled with Orah, Simcha, Sasson, V’ykar (light, gladness, rejoicing and splendor).