the spirit of friendliness and joy that is part of the holiday. There is no maximum to the amount of Shaloch Manos that can be given. The minimum is 2 types of food to one friend. It is best to send it through a Shaliach (messenger); a child can also act as the Halachos of Purim 5772
messenger. Those that are in the midst of year-long mourning (Rachmono Litzlon) for the loss of a parent, or in the month of mourning for the loss of a spouse, sibling, or child, (R”L) are obligated in all the Mitzvos of Purim including the Mitzvos of Shalach Manos. There are differing Halachic opinions as to whether one should send Shaloch Manos to an Avel since gifts represent a form of greeting. If sent to the entire family there is
Purim Seudah
4221 Sunset Blvd. Minneapolis MN 55416 • 952-926-7867 The Seudah on Purim is referred to in the Megilla as Mishteh V’ Simcha. It is custom-ary to light candles without a blessing, to drink wine and eat meat at this meal, but • [email protected] meat is not obligatory. One is obligated, though, to eat bread. This is to be a festive occasion where family and friends gather to eat a Yom Tov meal with song and merry-making. The Rama says there is an Inyan to learn something before the seuda. One who goes seuda hopping and wants to eat at all of them should have in mind when he Parshas Zachor
washes that he will be continuing elsewhere, and make sure to eat a k’zayis of bread at The Shabbos before Purim is known as Shabbos Zachor, or the Shabbos of Remem- brance. This year the Torah reading of Parshas Zachor takes place on the 9th of Adar, The Mitzva to drink wine is during the seuda. The Rama says one can fulfill this by Parshas Tetzaveh, March 3rd . A special Maftir portion of the Torah at the end of Ki drinking a little more than usual until he falls asleep. Someone who is drunk cannot be Seitzei (Devorim 25:17-19) is read instructing us to remember what the people of counted in a minyan. People who drink even a small amount should not drive. Amalek did to our ancestors when they left Egypt. Since Haman was a descendant of Purim Costumes
Amalek, it is most fitting to read this Torah portion right before Purim. In addition, a Many wear costumes as part of the Purim celebration. It is based on the statement in special Haftorah is read that tells of the defeat of the kingdom of Amalek by Shaul the Talmud, which explains Hashem’s leniency towards the Persian Jews who bowed HaMelech. It is a Torah commandment to remember the incident with Amalek, and down to idols. “They only did so superficially,” implying that in their hearts they still we fulfill this through the reading of the Zachor portion. It is best for one to review remained devout. Cross-dressing is not permitted, except for very young children who these three verses and understand their meaning prior to the actual Torah reading in don’t understand the concept at all. Even though the Rama says that since it’s only Shul. Even if he didn’t, though, as long as he understands the concept of what is be- meant for simcha it is allowed, the Mishna Brura says to abolish the custom. The ing read it is OK. One should make sure to hear each word of the reading clearly, but Aruch Hashulchan agrees, and explains that the Rama was just trying to give some ex- if he missed one word (as long as it wouldn’t change the meaning) it is OK. One must have in mind to be Yotze (fulfill his obligation) with the Ba’al Koreh, and the Ba’al Koreh should have in mind to be Motzi himself and everyone else. There is no need Shushan Purim
to have in mind to be Yotze with the Brachos, since the obligation is not to actually In Shushan, the scene of the Purim story, the war between the Jews and their enemies read the Pesukim, but rather to remember Amalek through the reading. The Brachos continued an extra day. Therefore the Jews of Shushan celebrated Purim the day after only pertain to the one who receives the Aliyah. their brethren elsewhere. In cities such as Jerusalem, which were surrounded by a wall Women don’t have an obligation to come hear the reading of Zachor. (This is why we in the days of Yehoshua, Purim is celebrated on the 15th day of Adar, just as it was cel- don’t have a separate reading for the women.) Some reasons offered are: 1) Women ebrated on that day in the town of Shushan. do not wage war. 2) Hearing the reading is Zman Grama (timely) for which women Looking ahead to Pesach
are exempt. The custom is, though, that they try to come. The Kaf Hachaim says the Traditionally our Kehilla endeavors to assist those of our community who need finan- actual Mitzva to remember is not Zman Grama; just the reading of Zachor is; there- cial assistance for the heavy expenses of Pesach preparation. The pre-Pesach appeal for fore, they should read it from a Chumash at home. funds is known as the Ma'os Chittim. Please contribute generously. Checks may be Ta’anis Esther
made out to Bais Yisroel Tzedakah fund. Please specify with your contribution that it is The 13th of Adar, which is the day before Purim, is known as the Ta’anis Esther (Fast of Esther), commemorating the fast proclaimed by Esther for all Jews prior to her plea to King Achashverosh on behalf of her people. This year, the 13th of Adar falls out on Wednesday March 7th. The fast begins at dawn 5:27 AM (72 minutes before sunrise), and ends that night at 6:55 PM. If one intends to eat in the morning before the fast begins, he should make a T’nai (say out loud that he is not accepting the fast rim and (silently) during the Megilla reading not to make excessively long noise that until dawn) before he goes to sleep. One who forgot to make the T’nai but did in fact disturbs others or interferes with their hearing every word. intend to wake up early in order to eat may still do so. One who intends to eat a full Purim Eve
meal should start at least one half hour before the fast begins, i.e., before 4:57 AM. A The house should be Shabbosdik, with a Shabbos tablecloth and candles lit. There is small snack may be started even later than that. Pregnant and nursing women need an Inyan to have a bit of a seuda. The Steipeler would have some wine, too. not fast at all on Ta’anis Esther. Even those who follow the chumra (stringent prac-tice) not to bathe on the other fast days may bathe on Ta’anis Esther. Purim Day
Special Selichos prayers are recited in the morning, and the Torah passage Purim is a one-day celebration observed on the 14th day of Adar. This year, it begins “Vay’chal” (in Parshas Ki Sisa) is read during Shacharis and Mincha. All those who are Wednesday eve, March 7th and continues until Thursday evening. It commemorates the fasting should recite Aneinu during Shema Koleinu at Mincha. Avinu Malkeinu is said saving of the Jews living under Persian rule from Haman’s plans to exterminate them. The name Purim comes from the word Pur, which means lottery. This is the method by which Haman selected the date for the massacre of the Jews. Haman’s designs have Machatzis Hashekel
had their unfortunate parallels throughout the centuries, as many of the rulers in At Mincha on Wednesday, Ta’anis Esther, the Minhag is for every man to contribute a whose lands the Jews have lived have followed his example. The precariousness of half shekel to charity in remembrance of the biblical tax of one half shekel assigned to Jewish survival in many countries of the Diaspora has had the fate of the Jews often the Korbanos Tzibur, the communal offerings. Today it is customary to give 3 half- subject to the whims of the local ruler and is epitomized by the story of Purim. The dollar coins to Tzedaka because in the Shekalim portion of the Torah the word Te- sudden twists and turns of events in the Purim story created a turn-about, which ena- rumah, offering, is written 3 times. Many have the custom to give Machatzis Hashekel bled the Jewish community to defend itself from evil. This story has provided hope for women and children as well. Once one has chosen to follow this custom (of in- and encouragement to oppressed and victimized Jewish communities throughout the cluding women and children), he should continue every year (unless the only reason he did it was because he thought he had to). If one does not have any half dollar coins, Magen Avraham says one should have in mind that the Bracha of Shecheyanu at the he may give their value with other coins (preferably with coins, not bills). One should morning Megilla reading should also cover the other Mitzvos of the day (Shalach not use Ma’aser (tithing) funds for this Minhag, but for those who are accustomed to Manos, Seuda and according to some Matanos La’evyonim). give for their wife and children, that may be given from Ma’aser funds, since that is an extra stringency. Machatzis Hashekel can be given after Purim also, up until Rosh Purim Tefillos
The Al HaNisim prayer is recited during davening (Shmoneh Esrei) and bentching. Megillas Esther
One need not repeat davening/bentching if he left it out. One can insert it with the harachamans at the end of bentching, or at the end of Shmoneh Esrei. Tachanun and The most prominent feature of the observance of Purim is listening to the reading of Lamenatzach are omitted on Purim, and a special Torah reading telling of the war with the Megillah twice, once in the evening at the start of the holiday and again in the Amalek is read in the morning davening before the Megilla reading. No Hallel is recit- morning. Chazal enacted this Mitzva for Pirsumei Nissa, to publicize the miracle that ed because the miracle of Purim occurred outside Eretz Israel and because the reading Hashem did for us. It therefore should be read B’rov Am, with a big crowd, and one of the Megillah serves the same purpose as the recitation of Hallel. should not make a private minyan for the Megilla if he can come to Shul. Since Purim marks the salvation of all Jews -- men women, and children -- everyone has an obliga- Matanos La’ Evyonim
tion to hear this reading both times. Those who can’t be present for the public reading During the day of Purim, every person must give Tzedaka to at least 2 needy persons. should read or hear it at home. You must hear every word of the Megillah therefore This may be accomplished through the auspices of the Shul’s Tzedaka Fund. The during the reading there is no talking. If you miss one word, read to yourself until you Rambam in Hilchos Megillah (2:7) writes, “It is better for a person to increase gifts to catch up to the Ba’al Koreh. Even if you are in doubt about a missed word, you must the poor than to expand his Purim feast and the gifts he sends to his friends. For, hear the Megilla again. To ensure that every word is heard, it is best to read along there is no greater and glorious Simcha than to gladden the hearts of the indigent, or- (quietly) from a kosher Megilla, or at least follow along in a Chumash. One must have phans, widows and those who sojourn amongst us. For the one that gladdens the in mind to be Yotze, including the Brachos. When everyone reads the ten sons of Ham- heart of the downtrodden is compared to the Shechinah, the Divine Presence of Ha- an aloud, they should try to do it in one breath. If a man is reading for a woman, the shem.” Please give your generous contributions of Matanos La’Evyonim to the Rav, Bracha is L’shmoa Megilla, and the woman should say the bracha. If there are other Reb Efraim Silverberg, or Reb Yehuda Gottlieb, who will distribute your gifts to the women listening, one can say it for all of them. There is no Bracha at the end for the needy in town on Purim day. You may contribute until Purim morning and still be Groggers
Misholach Manos
During the reading of the Megilla, we use groggers (noisemakers) each time Haman’s There is a Mitzvah on Purim to send gifts of food to at least one friend, through a name in mentioned to express our happiness at the frustration of Haman’s plans and messenger. The gift is comprised of at least two different foods that are in an edible to “eradicate the name of Amalek.” Parents should caution their children before Pu- state and require no further preparation by the recipient. The Shaloch Manos enhances


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