Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
Post Purim Sobering Afterthought

Rabba and Rebbi Zeira had a Purim Seudah together.  They both got highly intoxicated as the halacha requires.  So drunk that Rabba slaughtered Rebbi Zeira.  After sobering up and seeing the damage Rabba davened and brought Rebbi Zeira back to life. After this (near) fatal accident do you think they decided the next year that they would stay sober?  Of course not!  The halacha still demanded it.  However Rebbi Zeira opted to have his Seudah elsewhere as a safety precaution.

Sure drinking on Purim has its dangers, but are we smarter than halacha?  Is there a halachic reason not to drink or is it moral, ethical, and self righteous?  Of course you can find many peirushim that explain that getting drunk doesn't really mean getting drunk, but Ein Mikra Yotzei Midei Pshuto.

Boruch Hashem most of us don't drink or smoke or have some other unpleasant vices.  I personally don't like wine, am not crazy about getting drunk, and certainly do not like the physical after shocks.  But on Purim it is part of the Mitzvos HaYom.  The fact that I am not the biggest tzaddik when it comes to all other mitzvos doesn't exempt me from this one.  Why do I need to apologize for getting drunk on Purim?  

Why is there a mitzva to get drunk?  I will try to offer my own post Purim perspective.  At Seudas Achashveirosh it says "V'HaShisia Kadas Ein Ones".  No one forced anyone to drink.  Why?  Maybe because Achashveirosh knew that attending his feast would be a great aveira on the part of the Yehudim.  He didn't want them drunk.   He wanted them nice and sober so they would have to account before Hashem for every single moment of their attendance in sound mind.  "Ein Ones", they could not claim that their actions were taken while drunk.

The Seforim HaKedoshim tell us that Purim is the loftiest day of the year.  It is a time when hashem's love for us reaches its peak.  Anything we ask for, Hashem will grant us.  On Purim Hashem showers upon us Brachos Ad Bli Dai.  But Purim on the outside is a day of merriment which always spells trouble for us.  Our lack of awe like during Yamim Nora'im, our lack of Yiras Cheit like on Pesach create a carefree attitude that turn us from true Avodas Hashem.  Kedusha V'Tahara is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Purim Seudah.

Hashem has a great way to deal with this.  Drink!  Listen to the words of the Chachomim, one of the great mitzvos that we can do.  Not only will we be Mikayem a mitzva by drinking, but when we are drunk we can do no wrong.  "Yesh Ones".  Unlike Seudas Achashveirosh, our actions at the Purim Seudah are not in sound mind, and it was not us that chose to become punch drunk.  This mitzva neutralizes us during these lofty hours and let's Hashem bestow his love upon us without us spoiling it.

So those who are mortified by our drunken stupors, you can sit around and spend these precious moments in a politically correct manner.  You can even laugh at us and call us silly.  "Mutav Li LiHikarei Shoteh Kol Yamai V'Lo Lei'asos Shaa Achas Rasha Lifnei HaMakom" (Eidiyos 5:6).  When you are running around with your segulos and brachos all year round, remember the big one that got away.  Most of all remember the one who laughs last, laughs best.

 Important Note:  This article does not come to deny that there are those who rightfully hold that halachicly one should not get drunk.  Nor does it absolve those who get drunk irresponsibly.  And of course we understand that there are many people who have a Seudas Purim without getting drunk who give great Nachas Ruach to Hashem.