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….