As part of its Safe Homes, Safe Schools, Safe Shuls initiative, the Orthodox Union once again reminds the community to be safe on Purim.
“In past years, our community unfortunately has heard of countless stories of teenagers and young adults involved in car accidents on Purim due to drunk driving. It is time for parents and teens to be proactive and make certain that safety is the overriding concern throughout Purim,” declared Rabbi Judah Isaacs, director of the OU Department of Community Engagement. “Bodily harm through intoxication is not a mitzvah on Purim, and driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, leads to impaired judgment, and chasve’shalom, a possible catastrophe.”
In addition, NCSY, the Orthodox Union’s international youth movement, once again this year has emphasized that teens should not consume alcoholic beverages; all NCSY Purim events (as are all NCSY programs) are alcohol free.
Rabbi Judah Isaacs added, “We live in a society awash in alcohol. Any football game – right up to the Super Bowl – will have one beer commercial after another. No matter what values are taught in the home, in the yeshiva, and in the shul, our Jewish youth come into contact with other, less desirable, values as well. Just as at Simchat Torah, the OU sends out a message to our teens that Jewish holidays can be celebrated with joy and spirit without indulging in spirits.”
“Purim presents a particular problem because driving is permitted. So we emphasize, to the teens and their parents alike, that a freilicha Purim can turn to a tragic Purim in an instant thanks to alcohol. There are plenty of ways to have holiday fun without putting oneself – and others – at risk.”