Be Mindful of Addicts and Loved Ones on Purim

We are all decent people, and none of us woke up this morning thinking…

  • Tonight, I would like to drink excessively in the presence of my friend who has been struggling with an alcohol addiction, and who has been in and out of recovery for many years – even possibly causing him to “fall off the wagon.”


  • Tonight, I would like to introduce 15-year-olds to alcohol and possibly start some of them on a lifelong hell of addiction and pain

Nevertheless, face it. That is exactly what you will be doing if you will be drinking irresponsibly.

Approximately one out of twelve Americans suffer from alcohol or drug addiction, and many of them are great at masking the signs of their addiction. Bottom line; you have no way of knowing which of your friends is in the throes of that life-and-death struggle.

Addiction is a multi-generational curse, affecting the parents, siblings and children of the addict. Last year, at a weekend recovery retreat, my wife and I participated in a support group for parents of addicts. Their raw pain and suffering was overwhelming as they spoke of their helplessness and fear, the waiting at home through the wee hours of the night dreading the 3 a.m. call or the knock on their door…

As for underage drinking; voluminous research by Center for Alcohol and Substance Abuse concluded that “A child who gets through age 21 without smoking, using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do so,” and “teens who smoke cigarettes are 12 times likelier to use marijuana and more than 19 times likelier to use cocaine.”

Thankfully, each year, more institutions are having enjoyable, fun filled, alcohol free Purim parties, and on behalf of our community members who are struggling with addiction and their loved ones, I respectfully ask you to be mindful and supportive of them on what is a most difficult day for them.

Thank you and best wishes for a meaningful and safe Purim.



Public Service Announcement

As in past years, I will be doing a reading of Esther reading via Facebook Live and teleconference on Wednesday, Purim Night at 10:00 pm Eastern Time for homebound seniors and mothers with small children.

Please note that should not replace hearing the megila in person — if you can, you should certainly go to shul to hear it in person. However, if that is not an option for you; we would love to have you join the many hundreds who participate each year.

FaceBook Live – at

Via phone:

Dial-in Number: (641)715-3650
Participant Code: 827269
Playback Number: (641)715-3649




About the Author
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, founding dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey, and director of Bright Beginnings, is an innovative educator, author, and child safety advocate. He is the publisher of two child safety books that are in over 120,000 homes in three languages, as well as the groundbreaking Bright Beginnings Gemara and Chumash workbooks that are in over 100 schools. He received the prestigious 2008 Covenant Award in recognition of his contribution to Jewish education. His most recent project is the Bright Beginnings Under-a-Minute Parenting Clips posting daily videos by Rabbi Horowitz on a wide range of topics on Instagram @brightbeginningsforum, and via WhatsApp by messaging “Sign-Up” to 845-540-2414. Rabbi Horowitz conducts child abuse prevention and parenting workshops in Jewish communities around the world.
Related Topics
Related Posts