Chapter: 14 – The Month of Adar

1 – When Adar Arrives We Increase Joy

Our Sages state, “When Av arrives we decrease joy, and when Adar arrives we increase joy” (Ta’anit 29a). By this, the Rabbis wanted to teach us that nothing happens by chance and that every time period has its own character … Continue reading

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2 – The Four Parshiot

Our Sages instituted the reading of four portions of the Torah [during this time of year]: Shekalim, Zachor, Parah, and HaChodesh. We generally read them on the Sabbaths of the month of Adar, except for the first one, which is … Continue reading

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3 – Leap Years and the First Adar

It is well known that the [Jewish] months are established according to the lunar cycle, while the years follow the solar cycle. The reason for this is that Pesach must always coincide with the spring season, as it says, Observe … Continue reading

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4 – The Three Mitzvot Concerning the Obliteration of Amalek

Three mitzvot in the Torah relate to Amalek. The first is a positive commandment to remember what Amalek did to us, as it says, Remember what Amalek did to you on the way when you were leaving Egypt(Devarim 25:17). The … Continue reading

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5 – The Mitzvah to Wipe Out Amalek

The mitzvah to destroy Amalek is mainly incumbent upon Klal Yisrael (the Jewish nation as a whole). Thus, our Sages taught that the Jews were commanded to fulfill three mitzvot upon entering Eretz Yisrael: first, to appoint a king over … Continue reading

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6 – Parashat Zachor

Our Sages instituted the reading of Parashat Zachor once a year in order to fulfill the biblical commandments to remember and not forget the evil deeds of Amalek. One is considered to have forgotten about Amalek only if a year … Continue reading

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7 – Are Women Obligated to Hear Parashat Zachor?

According to most poskim, women are exempt from the mitzvah of remembering Amalek, because this mitzvah is connected to the mitzvah of annihilating Amalek, and since women are not commanded to wage war, they need not remember what Amalek did … Continue reading

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8 – Can an Amalekite Save Himself or Convert to Judaism?

Even though the Torah commands us to wipe out the descendants of Amalek, if one of them agrees to keep the seven Noachide laws, he no longer has the status of an Amalekite, and it is forbidden to kill him. … Continue reading

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9 – The Fast of Esther

All Jews have a custom, originating in the Gaonic period, to fast on the thirteenth of Adar in commemoration of the fasts that Esther observed before approaching King Achashveirosh to annul the decree (Esther 4:16) and the fast that the … Continue reading

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10 – In Commemoration of the Half-Shekel

People customarily give charity in the month of Adar in commemoration of the half-shekel that the Jews used to donate [to the Temple], in Adar, for the purpose of buying communal offerings. The best time to give this charity is … Continue reading

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