A Student Publication of the Isaac and Mara Benmergui Torah Academy Public Relations Department

Purim 5761 Vol.10 No.23b

Date of issue: Chutz Laaretz:14 Adar 1675 -- Walled Cities:14-16 Adar 5761

This weeks issue has been sponsored
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the following upcoming events:
Moshav Band & Piamenta Concert - March 22
And by Rabbi Jachter in honor of his book, Transparent Things,

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This week's featured writers:

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Eli Levin
-*Drinking on Purim: How Much is Enough?*
David Gertler
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Drinking On Purim: How Much is Enough?
by Eli Levin

There is the famous custom of drinking on Purim "until one does not know the difference between blessing Mordechai and cursing Haman." But just how smashed must one be to fulfill the Mitzva?

How much booze?
Rav Moe quoted NJ State Law, which says that a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.1% is legally drunk. But often, even people with a BAC of 0.3% manage to stay within two or three lanes on a highway. Rav Smith of Montana writes in his Sefer, Shin Vav Taf Shtus, (English title: Gray Shtus) that one has not fulfilled his requirement until "…a car in the left lane appears to be on your right." Most understand this to mean that the lane markings appear to be floating in and out of each other, however a few rabbis, notably Rabbi Millerlite, are stricter. He believes Rav Smith means that one is so drunk that he is actually driving on the wrong side of the road. Rav Schachter asked how this could apply in England, or any other country where they drive on the left side of the road, to which Rabbi Millerlite replied that since alcoholic beverages in other countries were usually much stronger than in America, one could consume the same volume of booze and still fulfill his requirement.

Some question Rav Moe's ruling, since his source is the NJ State Law, in which the 0.1% BAC law applies only when one is 21 or above. There are many opinions on how one under 21 years of age should drink. Most Halachic opinions follow Rav Drunkstein, who says that minors should not drink on Purim at all, unless they regularly drink during the year. Some question just how much drinking 'regularly' means. Rabbi ExKahn says regular drinking is at least one beer per day, or a whole bottle of schnapps on the weekend. Others require anywhere from a glass of champagne to a full keg of beer. Rabbi Drunkstein makes a distinction between minors in college, high school, and elementary school. He says that since Rov of college students drink regularly enough, as long as one is enrolled in a university, he can rely on the majority and drink. But elementary and high school students should drink at least a shot of whiskey on the weekends in order to hold their liquor on Purim day. Rabbi Sot quotes Gemara Makkos, which says that a father is obligated to teach his son a profession, find him a wife, and teach him how to swim. Rabbi Sot questions the rationale of this, as during the time of the Gemara, a common laborer rarely had time to go swimming. They would labor until dark, at which time it was dangerous to go swimming. Rabbi Sot therefore offered an alternative explanation. Since laborers would often go drinking after work, and since one who is drunk feels like he is swimming when he tries to walk, a father is required to teach his son how to drink. The American Children Services disagrees.

Rav Boozhound relates a story of his mentor, the great Whiskeya Rebbe. Many years ago, the Rebbe was pulled over for drunk driving. When asked by the police officer if he knew what the date was, the Rebbe responded "The Adar of the 15th." Rav Boozhound cites this as an example of one who has fulfilled his obligation of drinking. Unfortunately, the Rebbe could not remember what he had had to drink, but thought it could be 80 shots of 12 proof whiskey. When his Talmidim tried this, every single one vomited and passed out. The Rebbe then suspected that it had been 12 shots of 80 proof whiskey, but the debate has never been resolved, as soon after the Rebbe developed a severe liver cancer.

This incident brings up the question of what to do if one vomits after drinking. Rabbi Millerlite quotes the Alpha Phi fraternity motto, "Drink 'til you puke!" however, most Halachic authorities do not hold by this. Vomiting is a serious problem. Often, after vomiting, one feels much better and clearheaded. But since vomiting expels some or most of the booze from one's stomach, is has he still fulfilled his obligation? Rav Boozhound says that one must get drunk again, and continue to drink until it stays down. But Rabbi Millerlite holds that as long as one was drunk long enough "…so that he tripped over himself at least once," he has fulfilled his requirement. Rav Smith says one must trip at least three times, but not necessarily over oneself. Even tripping over a step or someone else is acceptable, as long as one has made a complete fool of himself. Rabbi Sot says that the amount or type of alcohol consumed is not important, but the obligation is in getting wasted itself. Thus, vomiting up the alcohol itself is not a problem, however if one feels more clearheaded or sober afterwards, he must drink more to fulfill his requirement to be Mesameach.

What to Drink
There is also much debate over what one should drink. There are far too many opinions to mention all in this article, but the generally accepted consensus is that whiskey or some other 'hard liquor' is preferable. Wine is generally frowned upon as not having enough alcohol content, and beer is "… a layman's drink. On Purim, one should drink like royalty". The Whiskeya Rebbe was known to mix drinks together, concocting his famous "Purim Pukin' Shnapps." But the FDA has placed a temporary ban on any "Purim Pukin' Shnapps" imports, until it is determined that it poses no biohazard threat.

How long must one be drunk for to fulfill his obligation? Rav Moe quotes the aforementioned rulings by Rabbi Smith and Rabbi Millerlite on tripping and falling over. Rabbi Prude makes a unique ruling on the matter, saying that one should be drunk for the entire 25 hour period. But recognizing the inherent dangers of this, he says that one should not get completely drunk, however he should sip wine or beer over the holiday so that there is always some alcohol in his bloodstream.

No respected Halachic authority has issued a ruling on whether women have an obligation to drink, however Rabbi Adler of Teaneck is adamant that "no women drink on Purim. They can't handle it, they'll probably break a nail or somethin', and break down cryin'!" A history teacher before taking up his current position as a prison warden, he also holds women responsible for Prohibition. However, he does permit a woman to "…dip her pinkie into the mug as she brings it to her husband who is lounging in front of the television." Rambam mentions in his responsa that generally, women cannot hold their liquor as well as men can. He also cites several cases of drunk women losing all inhibitions and going on wild spending sprees, bankrupting their husbands.

With all the debate over how much and what kind of drinking should be done, one important aspect is often overlooked, that of safety. It is imperative that caution is used when drinking on Purim. Bibs or plastic disposable tablecloths should always be spread on the floor. There should be a bottle-opener available, lest one become wasted and attempt to bite off the bottle cap, hurting his teeth or gums. When driving, it is important to have a radar detector, or preferably a radar jammer. And most importantly, it is vital that nothing in this article is taken seriously or tried at home.

Writing on Shabbos
by David Gertler

The following is an actual converstion that took place in the Kol Torah office:
Editors Note: This never happened.
*Note: the following are all the same person:
Daveed, Weed, Gertler, DYT ben YS, Daweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed, Weee, Yoel Tzvi, The Kohen, Gerber, Gertls, DaveeeeedYoel, Author of Jacob the Liar, Gert, Gertrude, Dayatzbayesh, Gerrer Rebbe, DYTG, Chaim Brown, Debra Chaimowitz, Tzvi Chaimowitz, & Yoel.

Avi?Gil: Gertler!!! I need you to write for me an article.
Daveed: Big Deal. What do you want?
Avi?Gil: I need you to write me an article on Shabbos and I need it in my hand by Monday.
Weed: Write an article on Shabbos??? How could I?
Avi?Gil: It should be pretty easy, take your pen write on the paper; On Shabbos it shouldn't be too hard.
DYT ben YS: I could be Chayiv Misa!!
Avi?Gil: And if this article is as bad as the last one I WILL kill you.

Daweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed: Oy, what am I going to do?
Josh Dubin: What's the matter? You look distressed.
Gertler: Avi?Gil told me to write him an article for Kol Torah.
Josh Dubin: He still lets you? Don't be distressed, I'll go tell him not to trust you, and he'll say you don't have to write the article.
Weee: That's not my problem, he wants me to write it on shabbos.
Josh Dubin: And that's your problem? Shabbos!! it shouldn't be so hard! It's a pretty broad topic. Build on it.
Yoel Tzvi: But Boneh!! Thats also Assur.
Josh Dubin: What are you talking about?? We are still talking about writting an article on shabbos, right? It sounds to me like such a simple topic. Do you need me to break it down for you into little pieces?
The Kohen: Oy that's Techinah, what do you guys want from me??
Josh Dubin: Why are you acting like you are trapped in a corner? Its so simple.
Gerber: That's Tzeidah!! I can't take this anymore!!

Gertls: Rabbi Jachter, maybe you'll help me.
Rabbi Jachter: Yeah? What is it. Woooooooo!
DaveeeedYoel: Avi?Gil wants me to write an article on Shabbos.
Rabbi Jachter: Writers block? Let me plant a few ideas for you, you can get rid of the ones you don't like. As long as you don't title it "Jacob the Liar" I don't care too much. 
Author of Jacob the Liar: Zorea and Borer!! Your not helping!!
Rabbi H. Jachter: No reason to loose your skin about this; I'm just going to toss a couple of ideas into the air and see what comes down, you can tie together the ideas you like - as long as you tie in something about NORPAC with it.
Gert: Meabed, Zerieh, and Kosher, does the whole school have a deep desire to see me thrown off a cliff? Just fire me, I'll quit soon anyway.
Rabbi Chaim Jachter: Are you feeling ok? You are looking a little pale, maybe you have a fever, you should check if you are warming up; maybe you should stay in bed and skip this one. You should read my book and see what it says to do in case like this.
Gertrude: AHHHH!!!! Libun and Afiah!

Avi?Gil: Gertler, I think you should erase any memories of this entire event, you are being rather colorful in your oposition to doing this, I hope we can mend you eventually as you seem uterlly torn over this whole experience.
Dayetzbayesh: Mochek!!! Tzviah!!! Tofer!!! Koreah!!! Make it Stop!!!
Avi?Gil: I hope that we have not put out your flame of articleitalitablityness, and we can only hope that this act of destructiveness will act as a stepping stone for you to build yourself up even greater.
Gerrer Rebbe: Mechabeh!!!! Soter al Menat Levneh!!! 
Avi?Gil: We understand that you are all tied up on the inside, and we will try to help you untie your mental restraints. I realize that they must be killing you.
DYTG: Matir!!! Shechitah!!! Leave me alone!!!!!

Uri Weiss: What's wrong with Gertler, he's acting like the whole world is plowing over him?
Avi?Gil: It's so beautiful watching how long it takes for them to crack.
Uri Weiss: Huh?! What mischevous plan are you weaving?
Avi?Gil: Here, you can have thse Melachot: (gives paper) see how well you can uproot him from his senses, be original.

Chaim Brown: Uri! You'll be nice to me, and keep me sane.
Uri Weiss (Displays the Melachah he is trying to alude to): (under breath) Not really. (at breath) What do you KNEAD?
Debra Chaimowitz: Huh?!?
Uri Weiss: SEW, what's up?
Gertler: Well, it started that Avi?Gil asked me to write an article on shabbos and I refused; I don't want to be Chayiv Mitah! Then everyone I ask for help tells me not to write, they say that instead I should build, plant or tear, some other melacha, its like they are all ganging up on me.
Uri Weiss: It's just my SHEAR luck that this doesn't work for me.
David: That what doesn't work?
Uri Weiss: Think about what I am saying. COMB on!!
Tzvi Chaimowitz: Think about what you're saying? (gasp) You too?
Uri Weiss: Now you understand, now that you are thinking about what I am saying.
Yoel: Thinking? Chas Vashalom! Melechet Machshevet Asrah Torah!!! How can you ask me to think? Leave me alone!
Uri Weiss: Huh? What? Hey, wait I don't get it!

Avi?Gil: Gertler, I think we've found an easier way for you to write an article on Shabbos:
Rabbi Jachter: First, bundle all your ideas together and give them to us....
Josh Dubin: We'll sift through them and spin the ones we like back to you.
Uri Weiss: You then can add salt to flavor up those ideas...
Avi?Gil: We will smoothe them out...
J. Dubin: The censors will scrape them and cut them up into good size pieces...
Avi?Gil: You'll rewrite it and ?pow? it will be completed.
David: Guys, I think you are taking this way too Far.
Avi?Gil, Rabbi Jachter, Josh Dubin, and Uri Weiss (run screaming): Hotza'ah!!


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Enter SimShtetl and take control. Be the undisputed ruler of a sophisticated real-time Shtetl Simulation. Become the master of existing villages or create your dream city from the ground up.
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Your city is populated by SimChas - Simulated Chassidim. Like their "human" counterparts, they build houses, bigger houses, summer houses in the country, grocery stores and 47th Street Photo. And, also like humans, they complain about things like the Rabbi, the local Federation newspaper, the demise of the next generation, and the Rabbi. If they get too unhappy, they immigrate to the Land of Gold; you can never find a Mincha minyan, and the Shtetl deteriorates.

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