Chapter: 15 – Purim and the Reading of the Megillah

1 – The Miracle of Purim

The joy of Purim demonstrates Israel’s eternal holiness.  Even though this holiness is sometimes hidden, due to our sins, it never disappears.  Even when the Jewish people sin, they are still called God’s children, and He directs the world and … Continue reading

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2 – Accepting the Torah Anew

If we delve deeper, we will see that Haman’s decree [actually] awakened Israel’s unique inner quality (segulah).  The decree made it clear that the Jews were willing to make great sacrifices in order to hold onto their faith.  After all, … Continue reading

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3 – Establishing Purim as an Everlasting Holiday

Even though the joy over the salvation was great, it was initially unclear how we were to mark the event.  Esther sent [a request] to the Sages, “Write me down for posterity,” meaning, write down the Purim story and include … Continue reading

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4 – Walled and Unwalled Cities

There is a very special halachah pertaining to Purim: it has two dates.  Most places celebrate on the fourteenth of Adar, while cities that were surrounded by a wall at the time of Yehoshua bin Nun, as well as Achashveirosh’s … Continue reading

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5 – Reading the Megillah and Publicizing the Miracle

Everyone is obligated in [the mitzvah of] reading the Megillah – men, women, and converts.  One who hears someone else’s reading discharges his obligation, as long as he hears it from one who is obligated in the mitzvah.  However, one … Continue reading

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6 – When to Read the Megillah

One must read the Megillah at night and once again during the day, to commemorate the fact that the Jews cried out to God in their time of need during the day and at night (Megillah 4a; Rashi ibid.). The … Continue reading

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7 – Women and Megillah Reading

According to Rashi and the Rambam, women are obligated to read or hear the Megillah the same way men are, and a woman may [therefore] read the Megillah for her family.  In contrast, the Behag and Rabbeinu Chananel hold that … Continue reading

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8 – Young Children

It is a mitzvah to teach children how to perform mitzvot, and from the moment a boy or girl reaches the stage at which he or she understands the Megillah and can listen to it as the halachah requires, one … Continue reading

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9 – The Megillah

The Scroll of Esther is considered one of the Holy Writings; therefore, it must be written in the way a Torah scroll is written, with black ink on parchment.  If it is written using something other than ink, or on … Continue reading

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10 – The Mitzvah of Reading and the Law of One Who Missed a Word

The mitzvah of reading the Megillah [is accomplished] by reading it from a kosher Megillah, written in ink on parchment.  If one recites it by heart or reads it from a printed book, he has not discharged his obligation (Sh.A. … Continue reading

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11 – The Laws of Reading the Megillah

[When not in use], it is proper to leave a Megillah rolled up from end to beginning.  However, since [Megillat Esther] is referred to as a “letter,” the custom is to spread it out and fold it over, leaf over … Continue reading

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12 – The Blessings and the Order of the Reading

We recite three blessings before the nighttime reading: “Blessed are you, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us regarding the reading of the Megillah,” “Blessed are you, O Lord, … Continue reading

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13 – Taking Revenge on Haman and his Ten Sons

The killing of Haman and his ten sons is an integral part of the Megillah, for [it confirms] that justice was done and the wicked ones who rose up against the Jewish people were punished and killed.  Anyone who rises … Continue reading

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14 – Al HaNissim, Torah Reading, Eulogies, and Tachanun

The Rabbis formulated the Al HaNissim prayer so that we may thank HaShem for the salvation He performed for the Jewish people at the time of Purim.  We recite it in the blessing of thanksgiving in Shemoneh Esrei and in … Continue reading

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15 – Working on Purim

Our Sages did not originally establish Purim as a holiday on which work is forbidden.  Over time, however, the Jewish people developed a custom, out of respect for the sanctity of the day, not to work; and the custom is … Continue reading

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