Sad sight

When we were at our hosts’ house for the Purim Seudah (festive meal) last night we looked out of the window every time we heard loud singing. It is a religious neighbourhood, so we did expect a lot of Purim merriment.

What I saw hurt me and saddened me. One particular time there were two teenage boys, maybe my son’s age (14), weaving their drunken way down the street. In the centre of it. One of them was gesticulating wildly with an almost empty bottle of what looked like scotch / bourbon in one hand, and a lit cigarette in the other. They paid no heed to the cars. They walked right up to a moving car, and motioned for the driver to roll down the window. When the car drove on they continued their drunken walk in the midst of the road.

Part of me wished I knew who these boys were. Part of me was glad I didn’t. If I had, I would have called their parents to come pick them up. If the parents had refused, what would I have done? Would I have called the police? I don’t know. There was a lot of drunkenness around, according to my boys, who I am proud to say did not get drunk. My 7 year old came home after spending the weekend with his father, and proudly told me “I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol”.

I am glad my message got through to my kids, but why are there other teens taking advantage of this day to put themselves in such danger??!! So many rabbis this year spoke out against drunkenness, condemned it in strong language. What can they do to actually get the message through to those who need to hear it?

I am told that as bad as I thought it was last night, it’s worse in Monsey. Please tell me it’s not so….

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14 Comments

  1. I don’t know what young teens think. Our friends’ daughter wasn’t home when we walked back from the seudah (she claimed the NCSY Party Bus had worn her out and didn’t want to come – she’s 13) and didn’t COME home until midnight. Considering Purim is also her brother’s yahrzeit, it’s a hard holiday for the whole family but it was terrifying not knowing where she was and if she was safe. She did, by the way, stroll in at midnight wondering why everyone including the police were concerned.

  2. Chanief says:

    I am more prone to asking what are the ADULTS thinking? Alcohol
    should be carefully watched so that these LSD don’t have access to it. In addition, they should be behaving in a responsible manner with alcohol, even on Purim, so that they are appropriate role models for the childten around them. Teenagers are naturally curious. If they see that the adults around them are having a raucous good time as a result of the alcohol
    they are imbibing, they naturally want to try it themselves. A good time can be had without alcohol, and if do you want to drink it can be done in a way that doesn’t result in an unhealthy attitude toward alcohol in the children observing it. For the record, I love beer and wine and my children have seen me drink it, but I never get drunk or overindulgence in their presence. It just sends the wrong message, even on Purim. Alcohol should enhance the Purim atmosphere, not be the be all and end all of it… Done with my soapbox now. Anyone want to borrow it? ;)

    • Chanief says:

      I posted this using my phone. Interesting how the autocorrector fixed my typos. I do not endorse the use of LSD either ;) that should say kids :P

  3. swiss says:

    On the one hand, the Rabbis condemn drinking, on the other hand they serve the drinks to these teenage boys…

    As far as I heard from boys this age, the rebbes at school organise heavy booze parties for them on purim, and no one wants to miss out on it…

    • HSaboMilner says:

      at my eldest son’s Rabbi’s house he told them before hand that he would not be serving them any alcohol, but if they wanted to bring their own wine, that was ok. but only wine, no spirits.

  4. Chaviva says:

    WOW. I didn’t see *any* of this in my neighborhood, but maybe I wasn’t up late enough on Saturday night. Our teens came to the shul party in their silly costumes and downed Ben and Jerry’s and soda pop like the other kids and adults. Baruch HaShem.

    So sad and unfortunate.

  5. frumgoth says:

    my kids were with their father, who never drinks, not even on Purim, and there was no teen drinking at the seudah that he brought them to. However, last year my friend’s son was at a seudah where there were copious amounts of liquor. He got really drunk, but thankfully managed to get himself to a friend’s house where there was a responsible adult who took care of him after he vomited all over her living room. Yes, it is very sad that this irresponsible drinking is encouraged in the Orth. culture, even if it is only one day a year

  6. Lady Lock and Load says:

    I think the boys yeshivos should do some sort of production or a play. These boys love to act and need the attention. They have so few outlets.

    • Offthederech says:

      They should close down the yeshivas.

    • frumgoth says:

      That’s a very good idea, Lady Lock and Load. Maybe if they had something like a production to put their energy and creativity into, problems like this could be reduced. (I was going to say eliminated but that’s too much to hope for).

  7. Rebecca says:

    How do these young people differential between ok on Purim and definitely not, against the law in the US? How do parents know that their child will not enjoy the feeling enough to try it again, not on Purim? It saddened me that your 7 year old would even think to say he didn’t touch a drop of alcohol. Here is one place that I don’t understand. Being modern Orthodox would to me explain that certain acts are still forbitten in modern culture and civilization. G-d forbit, a million times that a drunk child walked into a car. I know that parents or anyone else for that matter could be brought up on charges of child neglect if they knowingly and intentionally gave alcohol to minors.Certain lines should be drawn.

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