Purim’s on Saturday night this year, making the Jewish Halloween a particularly opportune time for excessive drinking.
That’s why the Orthodox Union, a synagogue service organization known for its kosher certifying agency, has released an ad campaign urging caution around alcohol on Purim, nodding to the 1980s slogan of anti-drunk driving campaigners: “Friends don’t let friends drink irresponsibly on Purim.”
“Bodily harm through intoxication is not a [religious commandment] on Purim,” says Rabbi Judah Isaacs, director of the OU Department of Community Engagement. Many Orthodox Jews consider alcohol consumption to be part of the holiday of Purim; some Jewish texts say a Jew should drink until they cannot tell the difference between the good and the evil characters in the story of the holiday.
He noted the particular dangers posed by drinking and driving on Purim. Driving is not prohibited on Purim as it is on many other Jewish holidays.
The campaign is part of the umbrella organization’s Safe Homes, Safe Schools, Safe Shuls project.