I skipped the last safety article so I can publish this Purim guide this week. Next week will be the last safety article. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Purim is around the corner, and once again I’m being inundated with the same questions I receive every year. Here are some of the more frequent questions and my updated answers.
Should we have a class “meetup” instead of going to individual friends?
I don’t think it’s a great idea for several reasons.
I answered this last year and received some horrible responses via email. Here was one of them (I’m not fixing the typos): “You are serisly deranged if you think you can destroy a minhag yisroel! Most rebbes don’t let the kids drink to much and it’s a part of the mitzvah. Stick to better topics like bedtime!”
Bedtime is certainly a safer topic, but I won’t ignore the question because drinking can be life-threatening. You need to have a serious conversation with any of your children who will be in this situation. Let them know that you don’t approve of their drinking out of the house without your supervision, and if they feel that they’re being pressured, they should call you.
It’s also a great idea to call the yeshiva and ask them what their policies are regarding students drinking. If their response is, “We let each rebbe make his own decision,” you might have a problem.
No one comes to my house on Purim and my son feels left out. What can I do?
This is something that his rebbe should be able to help with. Let the rebbe convince some of the boys to come to your house without making your son out to be a nebach. There are so many amazing rebbeim out there, and, baruch Hashem, they really know how to motivate the other boys to do the right thing.
Another idea is to let him pick boys in the class who would appreciate if he would come over. Frequently, boys who are left out want to give shalach manos to the popular boys. Try to convince him that it might be more enjoyable to go to real friends.
How important is it to visit my child’s rebbe or morah? He has no desire to go.
It’s very important. Furthermore, I’m sure you can make it more exciting for your child. Make a big deal out of it, and let your son know that it’s a huge mitzvah. Even if your child isn’t having an amazing year, you should still bring him. It also serves as a life lesson for your son — that it’s always important to do the right thing.
Have a freilichin Purim!
Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a Rebbe and has been working with parents and kids for many years. You can read more about him in the "about" section.