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Wednesday, 27 December 2017


MAILBAG: The Alcohol-Drinking At Prominent Yeshivos Is Out of Control And Being Ignored

This headline may sound familiar to many. I’ll remind you. In August, I wrote a letter to YWN titled “The Alcohol-Drinking At Yeshiva Camps Is Out of Control And Being Ignored”. Now I’ve decided to change the word “Yeshiva Camps” to “Prominent Yeshivos”.
It may be a bit harsh, but things are getting a bit out of control.
First off, I hope all of you just had a wonderful Purim.
Wait, Purim? Have you been drinking early? It was Chanukah last week, not Purim!
It was Chanukah at your family Chanukah party perhaps, but in the most prominent of Yeshivos it was PURIM.
Hatzolah in many communities had many calls for intoxicated Bochrim on Chanukah. At one very prominent yeshiva located in Upstate NY, Hatzolah needed Paramedics for one boy. In Lakewood, I heard from multiple Haztolah members that there were “intox calls” at Yeshivos as well. To say this clearly, the booze was flowing like water at these Yeshiva Chanukah parties.
While discussing this topic with my nephew in Eretz Yisrael, he informs me of a new fad called “Drunken Dreidel,” played by bochurim in dirahs of prominent yeshivos. Based on a graphic description from my nephew, it seems this ‘game’ entails taking turns spinning the dreidel and knocking down shots of vodka based on what letter the dreidel lands on. If it lands of a “Hay,” then everyone drinks a half a shot. A “Gimmel” would be a full shot for everyone etc. By the time the game is over, the boys are nearly passed out.
I’ve heard stories about Bochurim even getting arrested for disorderly conduct on a night of Chanukah! The famed Mashgiach at one of the most prominent Yeshivos was busy getting Bochurim out of jail instead of focusing on the more important things… like banning local stores from being opened past 11PM…..
There are stories every Shabbos in Yeshivas of Bochrim dead drunk in the dormitories.
I can go on and on and I should probably start naming Yeshivas. This is Pikuach Nefashos Mammish!
Nothing is being done about this. Nothing at all.
Our community is in total denial.
But lets all keep our heads in the sand and pretend that we don’t have a crisis on our hands.
Do these Roshei Yeshiva have any idea what an “AA” meeting looks like in the Frum community in 2017? They are PACKED with Frum people. Just wait until year 2025 when the number triple and quadruple. We are raising a generation of drunks.
What are these Yeshivos waiting for? Do we need a few boys to die of alcohol poisoning before people boycott these Yeshivos? Why is the “zero tolerance for a smartphone” enforced but the drinking epidemic being ignored?
I am demanding that the Yeshivas take action before I and others like myself take appropriate action to ensure the problem is dealt with another way. We will make sure your Yeshivos are (legally) exposed and blacklisted by every single family in America.
Thank you for publishing my letter, and I am sorry for being so harsh, but the reality demands this.
Yeshaya Dovid Braunstein – Lakewood
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. “Prominent Yeshiva” what’s that?
    I’ve personally had the Zechus of learning in those Yeshivas. Sheker reigns and אמת is Nowhere to be found! And you expect those ראשי ישיבות to actually CARE about something that doesn’t enhance “their” brand!
    These Bachrim are empty shells and they feel it!
  2. Thank you for talking about this big issue I was in Yeshiva till 2 1/2 years ago and wittinessed this problem bucherim drink like no tomorrow I have friends still in Yeshivas in America and in Israel they tell me it’s just getting worse it’s a total normal thing for bucherim to drink these days it’s very scary thank you for bringing it up!
  3. There is another epidemic. Its called COFFEE. We were at my Parents over the summer. My Nephew was visiting too, a bochur somewhere in a Yeshiva in the NY/NJ area. We were sitting in the living room shmoozing and then either he offered or whatever and he proceeded to make coffee – at least three orders. He poured approximately 6 tsp’s sugar and 6 tsp’s coffee into each cups. My Wife had a sip to be nice but then he got a speech how this is extremely unhealthy. Started with the Grandparents, then his Parents and my wife humbly gave her opinions. HE REFUSED TO LISTEN TO ANYONE AND SAID ‘This is how I make coffee! This is how I like my coffee’. And guess how many cups he has a day? About 3-4 a day. And guess what on top of that HE SMOKES. Otherwise he is a great bochur learning up a STORM. He doesn’t realize the STORM that is being created inside his Guf from the Coffee and Smoking breaks. I hope he doesn’t drink but if he does I hope he someone is monitoring him.
  4. Of course there is a drinking problem in yeshivos. What do you think? You can throw a bunch of teenagers into a yeshiva, have them learn intensely for 14 hours or more a day, ban almost every outlet and pastime, and have absolutely zero issues? What are they supposed to do? Play cards? assur. Read books? assur. Go to a restaurant or somewhere else to hang out with friends? Against the rules in most yeshivos. any sort of technology-related activities? LOL. Sports? Assuming every single bachur likes sports, there is only so much basketball one guy can play, and many yeshivos don’t even have the facilities for that. Good luck with blacklisting yeshivos where guys drink. You will have to shut down every last one.
  5. Dear Yeshaya Dovid Braunstein,
    Bochurim that are 18 years of age are adults, and as such and are responsible for their own actions.
    Your allegations written as facts implicating our “prominent” Yeshivas as being places full of drunks is really based on allot of hearsay that you choose to relay as verified information.
    I noticed that the tone of your letter is loaded with anger and unbristtled animosity toward our esteemed Roshei Yeshiva around the world. I didn’t fail to notice the snide remark about banning stores from being open after eleven pm.
    Do you think it’s ok to insinuate that if the Roshei Yeshiva don’t respond to your unsolicited letter that you posted here in a public forum, then you will go ahead and be a “Mosser”
  6. Recently I walked my husband to a sholom zacher in the Flatbush area. While waiting outside of the house, I was horrified at the amount of teenagers drinking. They crashed the party and were downing bottles. One boy even refused the first bottle offered and requested another brand. When did our teenagers become so familiar with alcohol that they have preferences?! Where are the parents? Are they so busy with their own kiddish clubs that they don’t know how it has affected their kids? If our children are drinking at this young age, how fast will “brownies” and other drugs be introduced to up the excitement?
  7. NYOB,
    So our colleges don’t ban all these outlets. They allow every pastime, like playing cards, reading books, going to restaurants, hanging out with friends smart phones, & sports etc.
    What have they got? Illicit drug use alcohol abuse, real violence & homicides. I think we should opt for the Yeshivah system.
  8. I agree that this is a major problem and should not be ignored. But can you say for a fact with 100% accuracy that Roshei Yeshivos are not taking care of the matter, that you would go and blackmail them. There are other ways to address this problem besides kicking a bochur out of Yeshivah.
  9. Dear NOYBE,
    You’re right in a sense, but on the other hand should Yeshivos let it pass without doing anything? Would you let your son hang out in restaurants? Would you let him have access to technology without being monitored or filtered? & there are plenty books they can read, what would you do if your employee comes in to work in the morning after a hang over? Yes it is a worrying situation, just like the other stuff you mention, & it all needs to be dealt with.

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