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The prevalent מנהג is that women do not get drunk on Purim. I assume this due to tznius (modesty) concerns. Is there any ancient or recent source that explicitly discusses women not/yes drinking on Purim?

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5 Answers 5

I heard from the Rivevos Ephrayim's uncle R. Nota Greenblatt Shlita that perhaps women are pattur from mitzvos on Purim as mitzvos assei shehazman grama, except for Megilla which is zecher lanes and they were also involved in the nes. It is possible that the s'udah which is likely for simcha is not included. Drinking would seem to be a part of the Seudah as implied by Rambam Hil. Megillah 2:15.

[Furthermore on a technical level, even if the drinking also serves to commemorate the miracle that isnt sufficient to obligate them, for there are other commandments such as succah which the Torah describes as being "so that your descendants shall know that I settled you in Succos" yet women are exempt from. This is because (as explained by R. Soloveitcihk and presumably earlier writers) the commandment of succah is not defined as a commemoration of the miracle; rather the commemoration is merely a theme of the commandment. Readiing the Megillah which is the Gemara's example of the obligation of women on Purim is different because the commandment is technically classified as being a commemoration. Thus even according to the opinions that drinking on Purim is to commemorate the miracles that came about through wine, it is still entirely possible that women would be exempt.]

Nit'ei Gavriel says women do not need to drink at all.

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Isn't RNG the Rivevos Ephrayim's brother? –  Double AA Jan 23 at 5:00
    
Nope. He is the younger brother of R. Ephyayim's father. –  mevaqesh Jan 27 at 15:17
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Even if it is entirely possible a priori, it is extremely unlikely as the vast majority of poskim require a woman to given Shaloch Manos and Mattanos Laniyim. –  Double AA Feb 2 at 2:33
    
These poskim that I have found are all clustered in the late 19th century and later. Perhaps the silence of the earlier authorities is telling in the matter. Furthermore, Brisk style poskim dont really worry too much about these poskim, focusing instead primarily on the Rishonim. –  mevaqesh Feb 2 at 2:43
    
19th Century? The Rama rules women are obligated in Shaloch Manos and Mattanos Laniyim well before then. –  Double AA Feb 2 at 2:53

Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky writes on page 129 of Kovetz Halchos that a woman is obligated to drink a rivies of wine on Purim, and that she can fulfil this obligation with grape juice (see footnote 231).

In footnote 230, he holds that since women are obligated in all the mitzvos of the day, they are also obligated to drink a little wine, but to drink a lot of wine is an issur and degrading for women, as it says in Kesuvos 65a. The Kehillos Yaakov in Orchos Rabbeinu 3:97 paskens the same.

See also Rivevos Ephraim 7:210, and other tshuvos of his in chelek 1 and 4. (I don’t remember siman.)

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Ever seen a drunk man vomit? Its degrading for him too... –  Double AA Feb 5 '14 at 2:14
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I saw in one of the Rivevos that a woman doesn't bench on a cos because it is a genai,so he made a kal vchomer if by a mitzva of a cos is pushed aside then drinking certainly can be pushed aside,something along those lines –  sam Feb 5 '14 at 2:21
    
Who said women dont bentch on a kos? Ive seen many women do that at the seder. –  Double AA Feb 5 '14 at 2:29
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@doubleaa ,see Sharei Tzion 6 ,see also Rivevos Ephraim 1:458 at end hebrewbooks.org/… –  sam Feb 5 '14 at 2:38
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The Talmud in Pesahim says that Gd hates one who gets drunk. Go figure. –  Baby Seal Mar 12 '14 at 0:06

The following sources indicate that though women are included in all the mitzvos of the day of Purim (Megillah 4a, Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 695:14) this does not include drinking:

Rivevos Ephraim 1:458, 4:173:10, 53, Mekadesh Yisroel Purim 334, Moadim V’zemanim (Rav Moshe Shternbuch shlitah) 2:190, Natei Gavriel Purim 73:4, Shevet HaLevi 10:18:2, Shulchan Aruch Hamekutzar 123:footnote 19. See Shaar Hatzion 199:6.


Source: Halachically Speaking 10:3 page 12 (pdf)

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But Megillah 4a (your source) doesn't distinguish between the different mitzvot. –  Double AA Mar 13 '14 at 17:05
    
@DoubleAA true, that distinction is made by the 7 sources quoted following the first sentence. –  user5092 Mar 13 '14 at 17:07
    
...all from the last 150 years. You think someone would've thought to note that distinction before then? –  Double AA Mar 13 '14 at 17:07
    
@DoubleAA or it was simply unthinkable more than 150 years ago that moral, upstanding women would get drunk, so there was no need for the codifiers to discuss it. –  user8735 Jan 23 at 14:02
    
@user5092 i dont find that even remotely plausible. Codifiers discuss more unusual things and before 300 years ago it was also unthinkable that moral upstanding men would get drunk either. Rishonim weren't having Fabringins everyday they didn't say Tachanun. –  Double AA Jan 23 at 15:33

According to Rabbi Efrayim Greenblat (a student of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein), in his work Rivevot Efrayim, it is inappropriate for a woman to drink intoxicating beverages, even on Purim.

Source: Rivevot Efrayim (1:458), taken from http://www.dailyhalacha.com/Display.asp?PageIndex=&ClipID=1596

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Back in the day people drank wine like we drink water. When did this prohibition begin? –  Double AA Mar 13 '14 at 16:56
    
What about Dalet Kosot? –  Double AA Mar 13 '14 at 17:40
    
This seems a duplicate of part of this preexisting answer. I recommend you delete it therefore, MarkN. –  msh210 Mar 13 '14 at 17:40

Women drinking is generally discouraged. In Kesubos 65a the Gemara discusses giving a widow wine. Rashi says the reason we do not is that it increases sexual desire. However, if she is used to it, the Gemara says that it doesn't affect her (so we do give her).

This means that an amount not reasonably assumed to affect her is okay, but not more. I think that it is a reasonable assessment that purim drinking exceeds that threshold.

Maybe the Gemara itself never included women. It says chayav inash--a man is obligated... Maybe that's just Purim Torah...maybe not.

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Why do you think "man" is used davka instead of just as "human"? –  Double AA Feb 5 '14 at 2:11
    
It's not meant to be definitive, but otherwise it would say Adam, the typical term for human. It's a diyuk which is only sensible after one already has an answer. –  Ish Ploni ViKohen Feb 5 '14 at 2:43
    
I usually call those: bad diyukim. –  Double AA Feb 5 '14 at 20:44

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