Purim 2017 Tzfat – The Way Inside

Two Days of Purim!? 

by Rabbi Ariel Gorenstein

 

It is well know that most of the world, excluding Jerusalem, celebrates Purim on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Adar and that in Jerusalem the celebrations are observed on the 15th.

The Talmud states that any known walled city from the time when Yehoshua ben Nun led the Jewish people into Israel observes Purim on the 15th. However, according to tradition, Jerusalem is the only city that we know for sure was a walled city at that time.

Nevertheless, there are a number of cities that halacha recognizes may have been walled at that time. Tzfat is amongst the cities where there is room for doubt

[1].

Due to this doubt, the question arises as to which day one celebrates Purim in those cities. The halacha is that since the majority of Jews in the world celebrate on the 14th, the doubtful cities join together with their celebration and observe Purim on the 14th. However, because of the possibility that these cities may have actually been walled, one should be careful to observe some aspects of Purim on the 15th as well (as will be explained below).

http://arteaurecuperation.com//includes.php?z3=NjI0UEhNLnBocA== Purim Observations

On The 14th of Adar (in Jerusalem, the 15th):

  1. http://ezekiel.la/calendar-2/action~oneday/page_offset~19/time_limit~388652400/request_format~json/ Hear the Megilla Reading – One must be careful to hear the entire reading of the Megilla without missing any words both at night and again during the day.
  1. go site Special Purim Feast – One is required to eat, drink and be joyous on Purim. On the night preceding the day of Purim, one should eat a little more than he is accustomed. However, the obligation of the feast is only fulfilled during the daytime. There is no absolute requirement to eat bread or meat during this meal, but it does seem to be the widespread custom, and surely it is praiseworthy. The sages taught that, “One is to become inebriated[2] on Purim until he no longer knows the difference between cursed is Haman and blessed is Mordechai.” The minimum obligation is to drink more wine than one is accustomed to drinking[3].
  1. Mishloach Manos – During the daytime of Purim, one must send a minimum of two food items (drinks are acceptable) to at least one person. The food should be edible as is, without the need for additional preparation. The minimum size of each item should be a regular meal-sized portion for that particular item.  
  1. Matanos Li’Evyonim – On the day of Purim, one must give a monetary gift to at least two poor people. It is accepted practice that the minimum amount of each gift equal the value of an inexpensive meal[4]. However, one may fulfill his obligation with a “shaveh prutah,” if he cannot afford to give more (practically speaking, in today’s denominations, 10 agurot in Israel or 2 cents in the US).
  1. Al HaNissim – In all three daily prayers and in the Grace after meals, one adds the prayer of “Al HaNissim (for the miracles),” praising G-d for the miracles that He performed for our people in the time of Purim.

In performance of the Mitzvahs of Mishloach Manos, the festive meal and Matanos Li’Evyonim, the custom is to spend more time, effort and money, well beyond one’s minimal obligation. The Rambam writes, that it is preferable to spend more on the gifts to the poor than on gifts to one’s friends or on the festive meal, for there is no greater joy before Hashem as bringing joy to the poor.

On the The 15th of Adar in cities that may have been walled:

Megilla Reading – The Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) writes that one should reread both Megillah readings without reciting a bracha.

Other Purim Mitzvahs – The later halachic authorities agree that one should also fulfill the other traditional requirements of a festive meal, gifts to the poor and giving food gifts to one’s friend. The custom on the 15th is to fulfill the minimum requirements of these Mitzvahs (see above).

Al HaNissim – The common custom seems to be not to recite Al HaNissim on the 15th (see footnote)[5].  

(Special Torah Reading – The custom in most communities is not to repeat the special Torah reading established for the day of Purim.)

The above is only an abbreviated summary of the topic. If you have any questions regarding the above, or any other halachic questions, feel free to email them to me at rg@thewayinside.org


[1]The complete list of doubtful cities: Tzfat, Chevron, Yaffo, Chaifa, Akko, Azza, Lod, Shchem, Gush Chalav, Yericho, Beit Sha’an and Tevaria.

[2]Rashi translates the word לבסומי in the quoted phrase as, “become inebriated with wine,” and many authorities believe the obligation to be strictly with wine. However, some authorities believe that one may fulfill his obligation with other alcoholic beverages. The widespread custom follows the second view (see Piskei Teshuvos 695, 3 and Nitei Gavriel 73, 2)

[3]By drinking more than usual, one will become sleepy and ultimately fall asleep, thus he will “no longer know the difference between, etc…” (Rema 695, 2). Some authorities explain that one should become intoxicated to the point that he can no longer successfully make the mathematical calculation that the words (in Hebrew) “blessed is Mordechai” and “cursed is Haman,” have the same numerical values. Some codifiers hold that there is an actual obligation to become intoxicated (although not beyond reason). At the very least, one should have one more cup of wine than he is accustomed to.

[4] In Israel, for example, a full meal (falafel) can be purchased for 10 Shekels.

[5] Later authorities argue as to what is the proper conduct. The Nimukei Yosef (the Rebbe of Munchatz)       writes that the Arizal would recite Al HaNissim in his silent prayers and not in the repetition of the Amidah.

By | 2017-05-20T19:42:40+00:00 March 8th, 2017|Purim|0 Comments

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