Guidelines written in response to inquiries from people who are in quarantine due to potential Coronavirus infection, and to inquiries from communities in the Diaspora where local authorities have forbidden public gatherings in places such as synagogues.
The Purim story, which has such an ominous section to it, certainly seems to end up superbly. The hodgepodge Jewish community, spread throughout the Persian Empire, came out unscathed after the great scare. Their favorite son and daughter became very high in the ranks of the powerful people of the world. But do our heroes really emerge unscathed?
I am working on a Megilla reading program to attract families with children (not consistent shul-goers) for Purim evening (the children attend public school in the morning). Due to daylight savings time and our geographic position, tzeit hakochavim will not be until around 8 PM, a time that would discourage families from coming. May we read the Megilla from plag hamincha (11/4 hours before sunset)?