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February 24, 2013

A Purim Plea From A Haredi Paramedic

Passed Out In Mea Shearim On PurimLast night at 2:00 am my radio went off for an unresponsive child. As with every call my mind started searching what can cause a child to become unresponsive? Was it croup? Was it a high fever? Was it seizures? No it wasn’t. It had not even occurred to me that a local yeshiva already had its Purim Chagiga.

Passed Out In Mea Shearim On Purim
A Purim scene in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem several years ago

A Purim Plea From A 15 Year Veteran Hatzolah Paramedic
Yeshiva World (Written Friday, February 22nd, 2013)

I guess it started early this year.

Last night at 2:00 am my radio went off for an unresponsive child. As with every call my mind started searching what can cause a child to become unresponsive? Was it croup? Was it a high fever? Was it seizures?

No it wasn’t. It had not even occurred to me that a local yeshiva already had its Purim Chagiga.

There we were standing, several Hatzolah members in the middle of the night in someone’s bedroom with terrified parents and an unresponsive 16 year old. בּ”ה he did survive his ride in the ambulance and a very unpleasant night in the ER, with his parents. I’m fairly confident he learnt his lesson, but the big question is when will we?

Even if we choose to ignore the fact that serving alcohol to a minor is illegal and puts you in jeopardy of financial penalties and even jail time, please don’t forget the fact that alcohol is dangerous.

Alcohol poisoning kills EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

If you think it is cute to watch a young man drink as a rite of passage into adulthood, think about the Hatzolah members that have to leave their families and seudas to deal with all these sick children and the terrified parents. Think of the terrible חִלוּל ה’ and horrific headlines your bottle can create.

How about this year lets be makpid onוְנִשְׁמַרְתֶּם מְאֹד לְנַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם and וקִדַשְתֶּם and חֲנֹךְ לַנַּעַר עַל־פִּי דַרְכּוֹ and not be so makpid on עַד דְּלָא יֵדַע , and maybe with the money you save by not buying all that alcohol you can increase the מַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיֹנִים you give to our brothers that were so devastated by Sandy this year.

Best wishes for a safe and freilichen Purim.

Comments

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The parents will escape prosecution because they'll claim the drinking is a religious rite for kids, WHICH IT ISN'T.

I guess the commandment is to drink until we can't tell the difference between a teenaged Haman and a teenaged Mordecai?

What's next, smoking?

Kol hakavod. Finally, a haredi says something sensible

So let me get this straight. A chiloni drinks to excess and endangers himself and/or others and it's "Oh you see? It's because they have no Torah! If he was shomer mitzvos he'd be a more civilized person!"
A chareidi drinks to excess and endangers himself/others and it's "Ach, but he was trying to fulfill a mitzvah!"

There is a lot of truth to what the member of Hatzolah is saying. Alcohol can be dangerous if taken to excess, but for anyone, not just teenagers. There is much misunderstanding of "ad lo yada": It means being able to forget the difference between Haman and Mordechai, which can be accomplished by drinking slightly more than usual, or through sleep, not by getting dangerously shikkur.

However, the paramedic is gravely mistaken in thinking that people will magically cease giving alcohol to minors because of an iron-fisted law. If laws against recreational drug use can't stop people from using drugs, then why would laws against alcohol (which can be handled with safeguards such as lower alcohol content, fewer drinks, and combining it with food and non-alcoholic drinks) magically prevent people from serving alcohol to their adolescent sons, especially when they could always claim religious freedom or scream anti-semitism through the family lawyer or pols like Hikind? The Haredi paramedic is exhibiting delusional, statist thinking when he argues that the solution to a social problem like being a shikkur is for the state to use its iron fist and throw people in cages. Hasn't it ever occured to the Haredi paramedic that getting shikkur/stoned is a victimless crime, or how parents or other adults are supposed to teach responsible drinking to their sons if they can't legally serve them alcohol until 21?

Perhaps the paramedic should urge people to lobby their state politicos to repeal the fascistic, prohibitonary relics called drinking age laws, and tell the gang of 535 in DC to cut it out with highway funding blackmail.

Since when is binge drinking a mitzvah?

Been celebrating all day, so missed everything. Yasher koah to YL and Sarek on the songs.

If most young men had a choice between being with men and binge drinking, or hearing women and sneaking off to masturbate, could their really be any question which they'd choose?


This is typical of this generation's mindless over-fulfillment of chitzonius (the meaningless outer visible manifestations of so-called mitzvas).

I can say, that with the exception of the Russian peasant Lubavitchers, there was NEVER any puking-passed-out drunkenness during my days at yeshiva (1970's era). Our "keeping" of Purim consisted of dancing around the rosh yeshiva's table with his family (women included) clapping along. We were allowed < 4 oz of wine by Rav Hutner on Purim and any sign of drunkneness was punished by expulsion from what at that time, was a pretty prestigious yeshiva.

Today's "hiddur mitzvas Purim" of drunkenness is the same shit as the no-college, no women, white shirts only, long kaftan crap that passes for hareidi Judaism today. Displeasing to God, displeasing to our Jewish and gentile neighbors, and displeasing to our own well-being.


Posted by: three_oaths | February 24, 2013 at 08:32 PM

Three oaths, NYS law allows parents to allow their child to drink moderately under their own supervision. The problem usually isn't moderate drinking when parents are around; it's binge drinking when they aren't. As a parent of teenage boys, I allow them to have moderate amounts of alcohol at the family table and this is precisely the education that you describe. I fully support laws which prohibit other adults from getting my kids drunk when I'm not around. Religious freedom is a non-issue here.

I believe that if a few adult frum Jews are sent to jail after allowing underage drinking at Purim parties, there will be fewer of these incidents.

This is probably the best post I have ever read at FM. Wow. Will pass this on, and heavily. Thank you.

(The human body has zero tolerance for alcohol. One tiny dose damages the liver, and therefore impedes THOUSANDS of chemical and enzymatic functions of the liver, damages the insulin receptor cells, spikes blood sugar, demands more insulin from pancreas..... Another proof that their beliefs have no connection whatsoever with a Creator that would never, ever tolerate alcohol... and apparently doesn't, as we see how many people are so deeply damaged by alcohol).

Great post. Especially,

"If you think it is cute to watch a young man drink as a rite of passage into adulthood, think about the Hatzolah members that have to leave their families and seudas to deal with all these sick children and the terrified parents. Think of the terrible חִלוּל ה’ and horrific headlines your bottle can create."

Extra good blessings and energy to the author. Best post of the year, maybe ever on this blog. Standing ovation and thanks

@R. Wisler, you are a smart cookie, a good thinker, and a VERY good communicator.

The only thing better than my own articulate expression is finding someone who says what I was thinking... better than I was about to, lol. I hope I get to meet you someday. You are a keeper.

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