Feb 18, 2011
Buffalo Mesivta Fights Drinking
Many young bochurim are exposed to peer pressure to drink, and unwittingly start on the road to a terrible addiction. In Buffalo, Mesivta Menachem has taken pre-emptive action.
Recent studies have determined that alcohol ranks “most harmful” among a list of 20 drugs, according to an article on the study released by The Lancet Journal last November. Yet in many yeshivos Adar ushers in a month of fabrengens, and of course L’chaims!
Many young bochurim will be exposed to tremendous peer pressure to take a sip, and unwittingly start on the road to a terrible addiction. In Buffalo, Mesivta Menachem has taken pre-emptive action.
As part of its innovative Yahadus Sheli program, Mesivta Menachem just concluded its newest course, Alcoholism: An in-depth analysis of the Rebbe’s takana on Mashka and its physical negative effects.
The course consisted of three parts. First, the bochurim learned the Rebbe’s sichos on mashke with the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yosef Munitz. In the second class, the bochurim watched a video presentation on the dangers of drinking Alcohol produced by the Yehuda Mond Foundation. The course culminated in a lecture from noted Rabbi Dr. Pinny Young. On Motzai Shabbos Parshas Tetzaveh he delivered a convincing Power Point presentation on the facts and myths of alcohol consumption.
Mixing hard facts with first hand emergency room accounts, Rabbi Dr. Young clearly defined the dangers of drinking and how quickly it can lead to Alcoholism. He demonstrated scientifically how even one drink physically affects your decision making process and pointed out the long term negative effects of even a few drinks.
The discussion on binge drinking was a real eye opener. "No one starts drinking with the intention of becoming an alcoholic" he said. However, "the fact that you so desire alcohol and think it is so cool, if that's what defines cool for you, then every opportunity you have to do it, you do it". The bochurim listened intently, repeatedly interrupting with pertinent questions to which Dr. Young patiently answered.
The class not only left an impression on the students, but on the Hanhola as well. "Dr.Young was amazing", said a thankful Rabbi Mendel Munitz, the creator of the Yahadus Sheli curriculum. "Not only did he give generously of his time just for the class, he stayed on much later, speaking to the bochurim and answering any further question that they had.”
In thanking Rabbi Dr. Young for the class one student remarked, "In 45 minutes you totally changed my perspective" on drinking. The success of the course was perhaps summed up best by another student who wondered, "why don't they teach this in all Yeshivos?"