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A source from this question quotes the Rema that one should be "joyous" on the night of Purim as well as the day. That citation doesn't explicity address getting intoxicated.

This site quotes many sources which link the mitzvah of intoxication on Purim directly to the seudas mitzvah.

Is there any obligation to get drunk on Purim, when NOT in the middle of the seudas mitzvah?

Indeed, is one even allowed to get drunk on the other hours of Purim, if there is no mitzvah to drink outside of the obligatory Festive Meal?

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I feel like you're going to get a lot of answers with proofs from Maasei Rav. –  Double AA Feb 2 '12 at 17:01
You mean "my rebbe did this, my rebbe did that?" I would consider that second-tier proof to a quote from an authoritative halachic source - but hey, let's hear about everyone's drunk rebbes, why not? :o) –  user1095 Feb 2 '12 at 17:11
My thoughts exactly :) –  Double AA Feb 2 '12 at 17:12
@yoel Because very few if any of the rebbes of our users have real Daas Torah. Particularly those who get Shwasted. –  Double AA Jan 23 at 4:17
@Yitzchak I mean the kind whose existence is supported by classical traditional Jewish sources. –  Double AA Mar 3 at 17:53

5 Answers 5

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In short:

The Megillah says that they established "these days" (of Purim) as days of feasting and celebration. The Rambam says that we fulfill the obligation by becoming intoxicated. The Lubavitcher Rebbe says that since the days were established as days of feasting, it's possible to say the obligations of feasting (including intoxications) apply the whole holiday.

In long:

The Rambam (Megillah 2:15) writes:

What is the nature of our obligation for this feast? A person should eat meat and prepare as attractive a feast as his means permit. He should drink wine until he becomes intoxicated and falls asleep in a stupor.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, in Likutei Sichot Vol 7 (translated here) discusses the connection between "Ad D'lo Yadah" and Purim. From there (chapter 2):

The obligation to become intoxicated on Purim [has its source in the Megillah's description of the celebrations as] "days of feasting and celebration." "Becoming intoxicated" reflects the manner in which the feast must be held.


It is possible to explain that the mitzvah of "feasting and celebrating" is distinguished from all the other mitzvos ordained by our Sages to be observed on Purim in that the obligation to observe this mitzvah applies during every moment of the festival of Purim. The observance of the other mitzvos of the day, by contrast, [is associated with a specific time]


With regard to feasting and celebration, by contrast, since the Megillah describes the days of Purim as "days of feasting and celebration" - and "feasting and celebration" is stated directly after the term yimei ("days of"), (in contrast to "sending gifts of food and gifts to the poor" which is stated afterwards), it is possible to explain that the obligation to feast and celebrate applies every moment of the day. [The fact that we do not spend the entire day "feasting and celebrating" can be explained as follows:] Through observing the mitzvah once during the day, its observance is extended throughout the entire day.

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I don't understand: the gemara megilla 7b explicitly limits the mitzva of mishteh to the daytime and it derives it from the word 'yimei'. Even if you want to say that the Rebbe's idea fits with this gemara (which I don't), it certainly does not explain drinking at night. Additionally, he seems to be explaining why the obligation of the mishteh is all day; the question asked regarding drinking outside of the mishteh. -1 –  Double AA Feb 9 '12 at 19:46
@DoubleAA: I wasn't addressing drinking at night, but during the day, outside of the actual meal (the second half of the question, if you will). I was basically bringing that the obligation extends the whole day, so there is no time that is outside of the obligation. –  Menachem Feb 9 '12 at 20:05
You showed the obligation of the meal lasts all day (a fact about which I know no dispute). The question was about drinking outside of the meal. –  Double AA Feb 9 '12 at 20:06
@DoubleAA: Which is why I brought the Rambam, who says that the obligation of the meal is fulfilled by intoxication. –  Menachem Feb 9 '12 at 20:18
So you agree you didn't answer the question? –  Double AA Feb 9 '12 at 20:21

Machzor Vitri Siman 465 starts with the words, "ליל שיכורים הוא" (my rough translation) "A night of drunkenness is tonight." I don't know how literally this piyut is meant to be taken, but it does mention wine. I've never seen it brought down by any Acharonim, so I don't know if it has any standing leHalacha.

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I think the Hebrew is ליל שיכורים הוא (for those who appreciate the pun) –  Double AA Feb 2 '12 at 20:41
IMO you can put hebrew in if you are willing to translate it, especially if the exact lashon is important. but check meta.J.SE as there is definitely a thread about it. –  Double AA Feb 2 '12 at 20:46
We need to get something about Hebrew and jargon into the FAQ ... –  Isaac Moses Feb 2 '12 at 21:25
Addition to previous comment. See here where it says in part, ".... a few such parodies ... with a specific eye towards Purim. One of the earliest such pieces was a piyut printed in the Machzor Vitri (p. 583) to say during Ma'ariv of Purim. .. Rav Zevin and others note that it is quiet strange to allow such a crazy piyut to be said during Ma'ariv. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Feb 2 '12 at 23:03

Per the Gevuras Yitzchok - Rabbi Avraham Yitzchok Sortzkin there is a Mitzva to drink all day.

וכמו״כ נראה דביום י״ד דחל על היום חלות דין יום שמחה חיובו להיות שמח וטוב לב, והוא חיוב תדיר על כל שעה ושעה מהיום

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That quote doesn't mention drinking. –  Double AA Feb 2 '12 at 19:42
If you read the entire Siman you will see it is talking about drinking. –  Gershon Gold Feb 2 '12 at 19:46
too long to write - link was put in for those that want to read in entirety –  Gershon Gold Feb 2 '12 at 20:41
I disagree with your read. He says that the mitzva of simcha on purim as a parallel to the mitzva of simcha on yom tov involves meat and wine. This mitzva he says applies all of 14 Adar day on Adar 1 and 2. The mitzva of simcha with wine is not only different from the purported mitzva of getting drunk on purim, but only involves drinking a reviit. In other words, all you point out is that one can fulfil his mitzva of yom-tov-esque simcha by drinking a reviit at any time during the day. This is not really what the question is asking. –  Double AA Feb 3 '12 at 5:44
-1 @DoubleAA nailed it. –  user1095 Feb 3 '12 at 6:44

Hate to be a killjoy but I heard 2nd hand that the Machzor Vitry piyut is a forgery. I cannot confirm this. I can confirm that contemporary printings DO NOT include it. THe Rambam presents drinking on Purim as a part of the obligation to have a meal. Many infer that there is only an obligation then. All questions of drinking on Purim must remember that drinking is generally assur ot a least against the will of God (see e.g. Rambam Hil. De'os 5:3; the nature of the general prohibition of drunkenness is discussed elsewhere eon this website). One needs to prove that it is permissible in a particular case e.g. night to remove ot rom the default status of being permitted. Although some Acharonim (supposedly R. Y. Salanter according to much later accounts) write that the mitzvah is to drink all day, this seems to contradict the Rambam, and I have not seen this opinion in any of the mainstream poskim; Mishnah Berurah, Chayei Adam, Kitzur, Aruch Hashulchan, R. Ovadiyah, etc. Aditionaly it seems contradicted by the Gemara itself (Megillah 7b) where the amoraim wonder why people arent in the beis midrash. When another amora suggests that they are having the seudah, he asks why they could have had the seudah earlier. He clearly assumed that the drinking on Purim was not an all-day event, but rather would leave time on Purim to be sober. I heard from my rebbi z"l (who was a world-class talmid chacham) that drinking at night was "assur b'tachlis haissur" forbidden with the ultimate level of issur, given that there is no mitzvah mentioned in any primary halchic source and the drinking in general is not permitted.

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Yeah it is a forgery. The new edition took it out cmpletey nitei gavriel says so. But there is still the tashbatz –  Mefaresh Feb 23 at 16:12
@Nafkamina which Tashbetz? –  mevaqesh Feb 23 at 16:13
I guess on purim but I don't have it with me now. But look at the Rema who bases his yarbeh bseudah ktsas on this tashbetz –  Mefaresh Feb 23 at 16:15
You probably know this but the Tashbetz is a book of responsa. He does have a tshuva regarding the sueda of purim חלק ג סימן חצר. i dont think it is relevant to drinking at night. What did you hear in the name of Tashbetz? –  mevaqesh Feb 23 at 16:17
in a sefer called chayav inish libesumei who qoutes the tashbetz to say that there may be in inyan to drink at night just like we read the megilla at night –  Mefaresh Feb 23 at 16:20

The Sfas Emes on Megillah daf 7b has a very novel idea and says that the mitzva of ad d'lo yada is to drink all day . He explains that drinking to the point of ad d'lo yada is not a chiyuv rather drinking throughout the day is the mitvah. He adds that ad d'lo yada is the stopping point but if one doesn't reach that point they are yotzei the mitzva by being busy with drinking.

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Similar, but different –  sam Mar 3 at 5:15
I believe this is not as well known,and this answers that question as well and better –  sam Mar 3 at 5:15

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