Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

But Not Including

I have a couple of fun Purim-posts scheduled for tonight and tomorrow, but first a brief serious word. OrthoMom posted a much-needed warning about the perils of underage drinking on the holiday. I find it fascinating that the stricter the yeshiva environment all year, the more of this excess seems to occur there on Purim, condoned if not actually encouraged by the rabbeim. It always reminded me of the Star Trek episode Return of the Archons, where a computer-controlled society was absolutely placid and peaceful most of the time, except during fixed "festival" days where everyone went completely berserk, rioting, smashing windows, raping, etc.

Of course, these children are only imitating what they see in their elders. Many people take the Talmudic homily about drinking "ad d'lo yada" - until you don't know the difference between blessing Mordechai and cursing Haman - as a halachic mandate, carte blanche to get as plastered as possible.

My paternal Zaideh Z'L had much sage advice to dispense over his 101 years, often backed up with his own unique spin on a verse in the Torah or a Talmudic statement. His take on Purim drinking (for adults, let along kids) was that when we say it should be "ad d'lo yada", the "ad" is "ad v'lo ad b'chlall". This is common phrase in Talmudic legalistic terminology, meaning "up to but not including". I.e., my Zaideh concluded, when you imbibe at the Purim feast, get tipsy but not completely wasted.

Now I only hope that despite my current frame of mind, I can stick to this guideline myself this year. If not for me, then for the example I set.


At 3/13/06, 4:49 PM, Blogger ליפא שנילצער said...

May the Ribono shel olam grant us all infinite joy on the wonderful day of purim so our souls should find his grace and presence abundant in the obvious, hidden and everything in between

At 3/13/06, 11:44 PM, Blogger blueenclave said...

Hear, hear! B"H my husband can't drink very much.
Happy and joyous Purim
(World Baseball Classic:
Dominican Republic 7, Cuba 3;
Venezuela 6, Puerto Rico 0;
Korea 3, USA 1, bottom of 4th.
In the Dominican game, Albert was part of 3 double plays, walekd twice and scored a run)


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