It is a mitzva to train children to perform mitzvot, and from the moment a boy or girl reaches the stage at which he or she understands the Megilla and can listen to it as halakha requires, one must train them to do so.
According to Rashi and Rambam, women and men are equally obligated in the mitzva to read the Megilla, and a woman may read the Megilla for her family. In contrast, Behag and Rabbeinu Ĥananel maintain that a woman’s obligation differs from that of a man: Men must read the Megilla, whereas women must hear it.
5. Reading the Megilla and Publicizing the Miracle
Chapter 15: Purim and Reading the Megilla
Everyone is obligated in the mitzva of reading the Megilla: men, women, and converts. One who hears someone else read the Megilla discharges his obligation. The main purpose of reading the Megilla is to publicize the miracle and demonstrate that God rules and oversees the world, directing everything for the best.
There is a unique halakha pertaining to Purim: it has two dates. In most places, Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth of Adar, while in cities that were surrounded by a wall at the time of Yehoshua bin Nun, and in Aĥashverosh’s capital city of Shushan, it is celebrated on the fifteenth.
Even though the joy over the salvation was great, it was initially unclear how the event should be marked. Esther wrote to the Sages, “Write an account of me for future generations,” that is, write down the Purim story and include it as one of the holy books of the Tanakh.
If we delve deeper, we will see that Haman’s decree actually stirred the singular quality, the segula, of the Jewish people. The decree made it clear that the Jewish people were willing to make great sacrifices in order to hold onto their faith. Nevertheless, they did not try to escape their Jewish destiny.
The custom of all Jewry, since the geonic period, is to fast on the thirteenth of Adar in commemoration of the fasts that Esther observed before approaching King Aĥashverosh to annul the decree against the Jewish peopleand the fast that the Jews observed on the thirteenth of Adar of that year.
8. Can an Amalekite Save Himself or Convert to Judaism?
Chapter 14: The Month of Adar
Even though the Torah commands us to wipe out the descendants of Amalek, if an Amalekite agrees to observe the seven Noahide laws, he no longer has the status of an Amalekite, and one may not kill him.
The mitzva to destroy Amalek is primarily incumbent upon the people of Israel as a whole. Indeed, the Sages taught that the people of Israel were commanded to fulfill three mitzvot upon entering Eretz Yisrael
4. The Three Mitzvot Concerning the Obliteration of Amalek
Chapter 14: The Month of Adar
Three mitzvot in the Torah relate to Amalek. The first is a positive commandment to remember what Amalek did to us. . The second is a negative commandment not to forget what Amalek did to us. The third is a positive commandment to eradicate Amalek’s offspring from the world.
It is well known that the Jewish months are fixed by the lunar cycle, whereas years follow the solar cycle, because Pesaĥ must always be in the springtime. In order to keep the lunar months in sync with the solar year, leap years, in which an extra month is intercalated, must be declared occasionally.
The Sages said, “When Av arrives we curtail [our] joy, and when Adar arrives we increase [our] joy”. In saying this, the Sages teach us that nothing happens by chance and that every season has its own character and nature.
The Joy of Purim possesses two central aspects: Firstly, because even what had initially been evil was transformed into good, the joy of Purim is limitless; secondly, on Purim the Jewish people received the Torah through free will.