Celebrating Purim responsibly (29/02/11)

In the lead up to Purim, Chevra Hatzolah, David Southwick the Member for Caulfield, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) have joined forces to remind the community of the dangers of alcohol misuse in the youth sector during this chag.

Rabbi Yaakov Glasman, President of the RCV, stated that there is a common misconception amongst some in the community that excessive drinking is considered a mitzvah on Purim. “Jewish law makes it abundantly clear that drinking alcohol in a manner which puts one’s health in danger or makes one prone to behavior which brings embarrassment to the community, is completely and utterly forbidden”. Rabbi Glasman added that much of the true focus of Purim is lost when drinking becomes the central theme of this festival, “we should be concerning ourselves with the joy of Purim and the mitzvot of hearing the Megillah, helping the needy and giving mishloach manot to friends”.

David Southwick  is pleased to remind families of recent changes to the legislation involving the secondary supply of alcohol. The Victorian government’s reforms make it illegal to serve alcohol to young people in private homes with fines up to $7000 for any breaches.

“In particular during the Festival of Purim and the parties associated with it, it is important that young people and their families know to act responsibly and follow the law. This loophole that allowed young people to drink legally as long as they were in someone’s home has long been a concern for parents and it is great it has been closed” David said.

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