Purim, Drinking, and Consent: The Jewish Community’s Role in Preventing Sexual Violence

In the end, I hung the plastic bag of condoms on the door handle of my hotel room. In the manner of a trip staffer, I’d sleep like the dead every night, so if someone was making a ruckus outside or making a show of taking  a condom out of the bag, I never knew it. I didn’t count the condoms when the trip was over, so I have no idea if anyone ever used one.

I had addressed the existence of the condoms on the first night of the trip, when people were simultaneously jet lagged and curious about the opportunities afforded to them by Israel’s 18 year old drinking age. It wasn’t the destruction of a hotel room  I feared, or hang overs, but non consensual sexual behavior exacerbated by the drinking that I knew would happen.

As Purim approaches, with its imperative to turn the world upside down, and the mitzvah of drinking until you no longer know the difference between Mordechai and Haman, I’m finding myself thinking about the absence of any conversation around consent in the Jewish community.

Read More: @ jwa.org

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