Drunk (illustrative)
Drunk (illustrative) iStock

Leading haredi rabbis on Wednesday morning called on the haredi public not to become drunk on Purim.

This, they said, would ensure people did not violate "severe transgressions."

"Even though the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law - ed.) writes that 'a person is obligated to become confused on Purim until he cannot differentiate between 'cursed is Haman' and 'blessed is Mordechai,'' at any rate, the Mishnah Berurah copies the words of the Me'iri, who wrote that regardless, we are not commanded to become drunk and lower ourselves out of happiness, since we were not commanded to become lightheaded and nonsensical," the rabbis' letter said. "Rather, we were commanded to be enjoy and be happy out of a love of G-d and thankfulness for the miracles He did for us."

The letter also stated that excess drinking leads to sin.

"And from experience, many times drinking leads to murder, such as in cases where a person drives after drinking. This is known to cause many tragedies, may G-d save us, and [drinking] leads to [transgressing] severe prohibitions, both between G-d and man and between man and his fellow," the letter reads.

"Doctors also say that excess drinking, especially among young people, causes damage to the body and brain."

The letter ends with the rabbis calling on the public not to become drunk at family gatherings, either.

"At family celebrations as well, it is imperative to be careful not to drink alcoholic beverages which may cause drunkenness or confusion, but rather to find joy in the commandments, which leads to holiness."

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