As we finally begin to escape the snowstorms and cold temperatures of the deep winter, we start to turn to brighter and warmer pastures. And for the Jewish community of Northern New Jersey, Purim will soon arrive, bringing joy and festive atmosphere.
At its most basic level, Purim is a celebration the commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot to destroy and kill the Jewish people. Following the festival of Purim, the Jewish people, read the Megillah (recounting the story of Purim), give money gifts to at least two poor people, send two food gifts to at least one person and participate in a feast that includes wine or other intoxicating beverages.
However, as fun as the events are for Purim, it’s important to be safe during these celebrations. Binge drinking of alcohol can be dangerous, and when giving out food, it’s important to consider people’s allergies and dietary restrictions.
Hudson Regional Hospital provides different examination and treatment options that can be used for all aspects of our lives. Based on the most recent data and input from Hudson Regional Hospital physicians, here are some ways you can stay safe and be ready for Purim this year.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Even though Talmud instructs us that one should get so drunk, they can’t tell the difference between Arur Haman (cursed as Haman) and Baruch Mordecai (blessed is Mordechai), that doesn’t mean you can’t practice responsible drinking habits.
A few things to keep in mind while drinking copious amounts of alcohol of wine:
- Only sip one cocktail every hour.
- Drink water before, between and after drinks.
- Make sure you have something to eat while drinking.
Additionally, when you are participating in a Purim celebration, fire extinguishers and first-aid kits should be present at all types of parties. And, if you plan on driving, you should not drink anything more than a sip.
Dress Up Properly
The practice is for young children, and some adults to dress up on Purim. However, with young people dressing up there are some safety precautions to keep in mind which include:
- Not limiting the wearers’ field of vision.
- Choose costumes that allow for natural movement.
- Costumes with oversized and unlaced shoes should be avoided.
- Children under the age of eight should not wear masks at all.
- “Swords,” “knives” and other weapons should be made only of soft plastic that does not injure anyone.
- Keep children away from bows and arrows.
Although you may feel empowered to deliver money and food to the less fortunate, it is essential to be mindful of what kinds of food you are sending to different people. It’s important to keep in mind any allergies or dietary restrictions your gift recipients may have.
Additionally, when preparing food items for children, the parcels should not include nuts, especially peanuts, small candies or anything else that could cause choking.
And, of course, you need to be aware of the kadhrus symbols on packaged foods and be mindful of what your friends accept.
About Hudson Regional Hospital
Hudson Regional Hospital offers preventive and other services both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Patients can inquire about these services or schedule appointments by contacting the hospital directly, either via telephone or email at info@HudsonRegionalHospital.com. Patients facing medical emergencies should proceed directly to the emergency room. The emergency room contact number is (201) 392-3210.
For a tour of the new Hudson Regional Hospital or to meet the owner and executive staff, physicians should call George Matyjewicz at (201) 392-3436 or email GMatyjewicz@HudsonRegionalMarketing.com.