Chayov Inish Livsumei? No, Says NCSY, Once Again Discouraging Drinking on Purim

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alcoholNCSY, the international youth organization of the Orthodox Union, says that just as with the Yom Tov of Simchas Torah, Purim can allow some people – especially teenagers – the license to drink alcohol with abandon.

An annual warning is 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 Motzoei Shabbos, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, 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.”

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. The rational way to read “Chayov Inish Livsumei — Ad dilo yada…” is to add” Ad viad bichlal” Until, but not beyond. Thus, to the extent one might use drink to celebrate, take care to never loose your moral compass and confuse the baruch of mordechai with the arrur of haman. It is the opposite of what many are taught — yet another proof that it’s worthy.

  2. And of course according to the NCSY the Poskim who obligate one to get drunk, dont know what they are talking about, don’t know the dangers of alchohal and of course are outdated. “Torah, changing with the times” should be their slogan!

  3. We need more to stand up against uncontrolled teen drinking. T

    Excessive drinking on Purim is just a tragedy waiting to happen

  4. Right on NCSY!

    Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski shlit”a has been discouraging (especially underage) drinking on Purim for years. I’m sure this would make him proud.

  5. Ad v’ad bichlal means to actual reach ad d’lo yuda according to must meforshim and I don’t understand the issue from FUN and ENJOY of purim isn’t it the same you could have the fun and enjoyment of sukkos without sitting in the sukkah or eating kashrus

  6. Please bear in mind two points: (1) From the rishonim to present-day poskei halacha, many have taken the position asserted by NCSY. There is nothing original or “fringe” here. (2) Remember that this piece was written for NCSY’s target demographic- teenagers and their parents. It’s very clear that the purpose of the article is to keep our community’s children safe.

  7. Indeed, The Yad Efraim in Shulchan Aruch rules “V’Lo Ad B’Chlal. But, many Poskim do not read it that way. But of course, children should not drink at all and adults should do so responsibly.

  8. It’s not against drinking per se.It’s primarily against teen drinking.That said I want to see the crowd who is up in arms against every Kol Koreh complain about this new anti drinking on Purim ban

  9. Where does it say getting drunk on Purim is a Mitzva? It only says that your CHAYIV (not a Medoraisa), Siman Taf Reish Tzadik Heh). The Ramah has a whole diffrent idea of “Ad D’Lo Yuda”.

  10. just to give a sense of how NCSY is following in the footsteps of numerous poskim (although there are of course poskim who disagree)
    the meiri
    the ran
    the orchos chaim
    the baal hamaor
    rav efraim
    and rabbi shmuel kamenetsky
    all hold that one should not get drunk on purim. rav kamenetsky holds it to be an aveirah. The baal hamaor and some of the others hold that the klall of mi chayiv inish is not the maskana of the gemara, but rather is rejected in the story of rava and rav zeira. these poskim hold it to be wrong to get drunk on purim
    the rama, the rambam, the aruch hashulchan, and the mishna berurah all hold that to fulfill this mitzvah it is sufficient to drink a little more than usual and then go to sleep (during which time you will memeilah not be able to tell the difference between arur haman and baruch mordechai). you can disagree with NCSY, but you cannot disagree with the fact that they are following in the footsteps of many leading rabbonim.


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