The OU posted an article called It is Not a Mitzva to Get Drunk on Purim. While I do understand the consequence of the crazy drunken teenagers (and adult men) I absolutely despise the idea that the OU is in a sense reversing halacha because they seem to fail in their child disciplinary skills.
The article itself does not make sense at all. Rabbi Weinreb was not denying the halacha of getting drunk on Purim "One is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim until one cannot distinguish between Haman and Mordechai (Talmud, Megillah 7b)." But was rather saying that we should ignore this halacha because it may endanger lives.
Here is a piece of his article:
The fundamental rationale of our opposition to alcohol consumption by teenagers on Purim is the fact that drinking often leads, especially among youngsters, to serious medical consequences. It is instructive that among the strong supporters of our campaign have been members of Hatzoloh, the rescue and ambulance corps, who report that Purim does not go by without incidences of toxic reactions to alcohol requiring emergency treatment, to driving accidents, and sometimes even to deaths.
These considerations of health and pikuach nefesh (the saving of lives) easily transcend whatever mitzvah might be involved in drinking on Purim. Secondly, and very important, is the fact that it is against the law for an adult to knowingly provide alcohol to individuals who are under age. While there may be exceptions when wine is served for ceremonial purposes, clearly that exception assumes that no more than a symbolic quantity is ingested. Teachers or rebbeim who supply minors with wine or liquor on Purim are in violation of the law of the land.
I personally think that this is yet another case of inconsistency amongst frum people. Firstly, they often say everything goyish is bad (generally) and so therefore we should not follow in their ways. However, after bar mitzvah a boy is considered a man by Torah. By Torah the concept of "teenager" doesn't really exist (yes theres the whole "trial" thing until 20, but its not the same). If one goes by Torah, the concept of teenager shouldn't exist either. Therefore, banning alcohol for teenagers (or boys over the age of 13) only makes it harder for them to fulfill their mitzvah to get drunk on Purim.
I am by no means advocating that these boys be allowed to drink as much as they want (partially because of the law he mentioned) but I think a ban is the wrong way to go. In my humble opinion, frummies should learn to properly discipline their children as well as properly educate them (those yeshivos teach them NOTHING about real life nevermind anything about alcohol poisening). Basically, I am suggesting (though this is definitly too late) that prior to Purim boys yeshivos should take a few hours off from "learning" and learn about the risks of alcohol. Also, like any other yom tov, boys should be OFF from school (I know they are, but I mean the often mandatory visits to rebbeim) and not forced to come in for chagigah's or seudos with rebbeim. If they are at home, they are more likely to behave.
I just really don't understand the concept of banning anything. Why not be simple and tell the boys "boys, while it is a mitzvah to get drunk, it is simultaneously a sin to put your life at risk." The "good boys" will listen, the bad ones will not.
However, these same "bad boys" will ignore this ban anyway, and be the ones vomitting in the streets, while the "good boys" will be completely sober without the fulfillment of a mitzvah.
Way to go. I see the headlines of the future-
"Bread is now allowed on pesach- even though it is prohibited by the Torah- because the excessive amounts of cholesterol being consumed by the average Jew exceeds the amount the body can break-down on any given week, therefore, any man over the age of 45 is prohibited from keeping pesach. By allowing bread consumption these men will not feel as hungry as they would on a regular pesach, which would prevent them from their natural tendency to take an extra bowl of soup or another peice of steak on pesach. And it is because we know that the men will not listen when given appropriate dietary pesach-friendly ideas that we have to go through with this ban"