Jewish Holidays

Shoshanat Yaakov

June 29, 2006, by

At the conclusion of the Megillah reading both at night and in the morning on Purim we say a prayer called “Shoshanat Yaakov” – “The Rose of Jacob”. This small paragraph reiterates the conclusion of Megillat Esther as well as restates the who’s who of the “heroes and villains” of the Purim story. As you […]

The Evils of Wine and Drugs

June 29, 2006, by

When the Jew celebrates, a glass of wine is almost always close at hand: Kiddush, Havdala, the Passover Seder, Purim, and every wedding ceremony and Brit Milah. Wine serves as the symbol of our sanctity, of freedom, of Divinely inspired victories, of the greatest, most joyous moments of our past, and of our dreams for […]

Purim is Forever

June 29, 2006, by

Our Sages teach that when the Messiah arrives the festivals will cease to be observed, but Purim will continue to be observed. The Midrash (Mishlei 9) derives this unusual conclusion from a statement in Megillat Esther, (9:28) “the memory of Purim will never cease from among their descendants.” Why should a relatively minor festival be […]

“Al HaNisim” Section for Purim

June 29, 2006, by

With great brevity, and without going into the details of the “nes nistar,” the “hidden miracle” which Hashem performed for the Jewish People, against the backdrop of the conspiracy and intrigue of the Persian royal palace, using “coincidence” and exquisitely fortuitous timing, the text of the Purim “Al HaNisim” recounts the evil plan of Haman. […]

“Ad D’lo Yada” – “Until one Cannot Distinguish”

June 29, 2006, by

The Talmud makes the following unusual statement regarding the required festive meal of Purim: “A person must drink until he cannot tell the difference between ‘Cursed be Haman’ and ‘Blessed be Mordechai.’ ” This is usually understood to mean that a person should drink until he reaches a level of intoxication such that he can […]

Background of the Hamentash

June 29, 2006, by

Jewish Tradition has it that the Hamentash, being similar to a three-cornered hat, is the kind of hat that “Haman HaRasha,” the wicked Haman, wore. But why do we wear the hat of our great enemy? Of one who wanted to destroy our People? Because Purim is the Holiday of “V’Nahapoch hu,” of Topsy Turvy […]

Why we wear disguises on Purim

June 29, 2006, by

The custom to wear disguises on Purim in general is based on G-d’s hiding His identity in the Megillah of Esther. The salvation of the Jewish People seems to be accomplished through the actions of people alone, and G-d’s Name doesn’t appear once. The custom to wear disguises on Purim and to appear as non-Jews […]

Megillat Esther – Introduction

June 29, 2006, by

Introduction Purim is known as the Holiday of the “nes nistar,” the “hidden miracle.” This is because HaShem saved the Jewish People without splitting any seas, or making mountains dance and catch fire, as he had done with Mt. Sinai, when he gave His Torah to the Jewish People there some thirty three hundred years […]

When is Purim Observed?

June 29, 2006, by

Purim is different from all other Jewish holidays in at least one very interesting aspect. Purim is observed in some places exclusively on the 14th of Adar and in others, exclusively on the 15th (Shushan Purim). The observance of Purim was thus originally ordained by the Sages: “To observe these days of Purim in their […]

Purim and its Mitzvot

June 26, 2006, by

Purim has four main Mitzvot: The Reading of the Megillah (Mikra Megillah) The Festive Purim Meal (Seudat Purim) Sending Gifts (Mishloach Manot) Gifts to the poor (Matanot l’Evyonim) As for prayer adaptations, the Torah portion of ‘and Amalek came’ is read Purim morning, and Al-Hanisim is added to the Shmoneh Esray (Silent Prayer) and Birkat […]

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