Chapter: 16 – The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

01. Joy and Kindness

On Purim, we are commanded: “To observe them as days of feasting and joy, of sending gifts (mishlo’aĥ manot) to one another, and presents to the poor (matanot la-evyonim)” (Esther 9:22). The mitzva to rejoice on Purim is quite unique, … Continue reading

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02. Jewish Unity on Purim

Purim is a special day for displaying Jewish unity. Haman’s decree was aimed at the entire Jewish people, with no distinction between righteous and wicked, poor and rich. One can learn from the ambitions of Israel’s enemies – to kill … Continue reading

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03. Matanot La-evyonim

It is a mitzva for each and every Jew to give matanot la-evyonim on Purim. In order to fulfill this mitzva, one must give a minimum of two gifts – one each to two poor people – but it is … Continue reading

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04. Mishlo’aĥ Manot

Every person must send two gifts of food to a friend on Purim, in order to increase love between them. Increasing love between Jews is part of the essence of Purim, as it was on Purim that the Jewish people’s … Continue reading

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05. Types of Foods for Mishlo’aĥ Manot

The two food portions must be different from each other. For example, one may send bread and meat, meat and rice, fish and eggs, or cake and apples. One may also send two portions of meat with different flavors, like … Continue reading

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06. Who Is Obligated in Mishlo’aĥ Manot and Matanot La-evyonim?

Every Jew is obligated in mishlo’aĥ manot and matanot la-evyonim. Even though women are ordinarily exempt from positive time-bound mitzvot, they must fulfill the mitzvot of Purim, since they too participated in the miracle. For reasons of modesty, one should … Continue reading

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07. The Proper Time for Matanot La-evyonim and Mishlo’aĥ Manot

One must send mishlo’aĥ manot and give matanot la-evyonim on Purim day, as it says, “To observe them as days of feasting and joy, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor” (Esther … Continue reading

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08. Between Mishlo’aĥ Manot and Matanot La-evyonim

The mitzva of mishlo’aĥ manot is designed to increase love and harmony between fellow Jews. Therefore, one who sends mishlo’aĥ manot to his friend anonymously does not fulfill his obligation. Matanot la-evyonim, on the other hand, is like charity and … Continue reading

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09. The Mitzva to Rejoice and Eat a Se’uda

We are commanded to observe Purim as a day of feasting and joy. Even though the mitzva of rejoicing continues throughout the night and day of Purim, it reaches its climax at the se’uda, the festive meal. The proper way … Continue reading

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10. The Mitzva to Drink

The mitzva to rejoice on Purim is very unique. It is even greater than the mitzva to rejoice on the festivals (Sukkot, Pesaĥ, and Shavu’ot), about which it says, “You shall rejoice in your festival” (Devarim 16:14). Since most people … Continue reading

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11. Laws of Drinking

One fulfills his obligation to drink on Purim with any intoxicating beverage. However, it is preferable to drink wine, because the miracle came about through wine. If one derives greater joy from drinking other beverages, he should drink mostly what … Continue reading

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12. The Meaning of the Mitzva of Drinking

It is reasonable to ask: Both in Tanakh and in rabbinic literature (Bamidbar Rabba ch. 10, Vayikra Rabba 12:1), it is made clear that drunkenness is disgraceful and liable to bring one to sin. Why, then, are we commanded to … Continue reading

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13. When to Eat the Festive Meal

Most Jews begin the Purim meal in the afternoon, after praying Minĥa. During the morning hours, they are busy sending mishlo’aĥ manot to one another and giving matanot la-evyonim, going out of their way to express love and friendship toward … Continue reading

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14. Can a Drunk or Tipsy Person Recite Berakhot and Pray Ma’ariv?

A tipsy person is one who is under the influence of alcohol and finds it difficult to concentrate or focus his thoughts, but would still be capable of speaking before a king. A drunk person is one who has drunk … Continue reading

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15. Scheduling the Se’uda when Purim is on Friday

When Purim falls out on Friday, it is customary, le-khatĥila, to begin the meal before the afternoon, in honor of Shabbat. One who was not able to begin the meal before the afternoon should try to begin the meal at … Continue reading

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16. Costumes and the Prohibition of Lo Yilbash

Many people customarily wear masks and costumes on Purim. Even though there is no source for this in the writings of the Sages, and the Aĥaronim did not write that one must wear costumes, various reasons have been given for … Continue reading

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