Beit Midrash

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    The Laws of Purim

    Q&A: Drinking Wine

    I wanted to ask, what should I do on Purim since I don’t really like wine?

    Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu | Adar II 13 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    Purim Is Coming Soon – What Do I Do?

    Rabbi Stewart Weiss | Adar II 6 5782
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    Bemare Habazak - Rabbis Questions

    Listening to the Megilla with Limited Concentration

    It troubles me that I often daydream and/or doze off for a few words during Megilla reading. Do I fulfill the mitzva under those circumstances?

    Rabbi Daniel Mann | Adar II 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    5. Purim Ha-meshulash

    Chapter 17: Walled and Unwalled Cities

    When the fifteenth falls out on Shabbat, Purim in that year is called Purim Ha-meshulash (“Triple Purim”), because its mitzvot are divided over three days.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Adar I 8 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    4. Traveling between Walled and Unwalled Cities

    Chapter 17: Walled and Unwalled Cities

    Since Purim is celebrated in unwalled cities on the fourteenth and in walled cities on the fifteenth, many questions arise regarding one who travels from an unwalled city to Jerusalem, or vice versa.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Adar I 9 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    3. Uncertain Places

    Chapter 17: Walled and Unwalled Cities

    Most uncertain places today rely on the lenient opinion and celebrate Purim exclusively on the fourteenth. Only in places where the likelihood that it was truly a walled city is greater, like in Tiberias and Hebron, do many people customarily read the Megilla on the fifteenth as well.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Adar I 8 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    1. What Is a Walled City?

    Chapter 17: Walled and Unwalled Cities

    Most places celebrate on the fourteenth of Adar, whereas Shushan, along with cities that were surrounded by walls at the time of Yehoshua bin Nun, celebrate on the fifteenth of Adar.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Adar I 8 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    2. Jerusalem and Its Environs

    Chapter 17: Walled and Unwalled Cities

    The Sages said: “A walled city and all that adjoins it and all that is visible with it are reckoned as a walled city” Therefore, not only do the residents of the Old City of Jerusalem celebrate Purim on the fifteenth of Adar, but so do the residents of all the neighborhoods adjacent to the Old City.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Adar I 8 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    16. Costumes and the Prohibition of Lo Yilbash

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    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 the custom.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 10 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

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

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    When Purim falls out on Friday, it is customary, le-khatĥila, to begin the meal before the afternoon, in honor of Shabbat. Alternatively, there is a custom to combine the Purim meal with the first Shabbat meal on Friday night.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

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

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    On Purim, a drunk person may recite all Birkhot Ha-nehenin, Birkat Ha-mazon, and Asher Yatzar. One who is tipsy or drunk after finishing the meal must wait to pray Ma’ariv until he is sober and able to pray with a clear mind.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    13. When to Eat the Festive Meal

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    Most Jews begin the Purim meal in the afternoon, after praying Minĥa. Some people start the meal very late, just before shki’a, eating most of the meal after dark. Many authorities question this practice, as the mitzva is to eat the meal on Purim.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    12. The Meaning of the Mitzva of Drinking

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    Both in Tanakh and in rabbinic literature, it is made clear that drunkenness is disgraceful and liable to bring one to sin. Why, then, are we commanded to get drunk on Purim?

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    11. Laws of Drinking

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    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. It is a mitzva even for women to drink a lot of wine that brings joy on Purim. However, they must be careful not to get drunk. If one knows that when he gets drunk he goes wild and hurts others, or he ends up wallowing in his own vomit and degrading himself in public, he should not get drunk.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

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

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    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.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    10. The Mitzva to Drink

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    On Purim, there is an explicit mitzva to drink a lot. Therefore, the Sages said, “A person is obligated to get drunk on Purim until he does not know the difference between ‘Cursed is Haman’ and ‘Blessed is Mordechai’”.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    7. The Proper Time for Matanot La-evyonim and Mishlo’ach Manot

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    One must send mishlo’aĥ manot and give matanot la-evyonim on Purim day. If one cannot find poor people to receive matanot la-evyonim on Purim, he should set aside his gifts and save them until he finds poor people

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    8. Between Mishlo’ah Manot and Matanot La-evyonim

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    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 is designed to help the poor in the best possible manner. Therefore, when possible, it is preferable to give matanot la-evyonim anonymously.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    6. Who Is Obligated in Mishlo’ach Manot and Matanot La-evyonim?

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    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. Even a married woman must fulfill these mitzvot.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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    The Laws of Purim

    4. Mishlo’ach Manot

    Chapter 16: The Mitzvot of Joy and Kindness

    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 holiness was revealed.

    Rabbi Eliezer Melamed | Tevet 5 5782
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