Jewish Holidays

Who Am I?: Behind Our Masks

March 10, 2014, by

Who am I? In the musical, Les Miserables, Jean Valjean was a good and decent man who stole a loaf of bread to feed his family.  Imprisoned for his crime, he is given a chance to become good and decent again only to have events he has long sought to escape come back to threaten […]

The Obligation to Sleep on Purim

March 2, 2014, by

One of the lesser-known duties of the Purim holiday is the obligation to sleep. This obligation is mentioned explicitly in the Rema: “A person should drink more than he his accustomed to, so that he may sleep” (OC 695:2). The source for this obligation is the statement of Rava, that a person is obligated “livsumei […]

The Puzzling Story of the Megillah

February 28, 2014, by

The story of Esther tells us in the most lively, realistic fashion, with a tinge of refined yet biting sarcasm, about paradoxical, absurd events, which are both tragic and comical at the same time. We are told a story of a king who, as our Rabbis have already remarked, killed his beautiful, beloved, young queen […]

The Festive Purim Meal: Seudat Purim

February 13, 2014, by

It is a Mitzvah to have a sumptuous meal on Purim, including meat and wine. This meal is held during the day. If one holds it at night, he fails to fulfill his obligation. Nevertheless, after the reading of the Megillah on the night of the 14th (in ‘unwalled cities’), or on the night of […]

Purim is Forever: A Purim Insight by Rabbi Yitzhak Hutner

February 13, 2014, by

Retold by Rabbi Pinchas Stolper 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 […]

Just Say No, Even on Purim

February 13, 2014, by

by Kelly Hartog, Staff Writer Courtesy of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles Religious groups are protesting drinking on Purim following a rise in teen alcoholism. One is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim until one cannot distinguish between “cursed is Haman” and “blessed is Mordechai” (Talmud, Megillah 7b). Purim is like the Jewish […]

Gifts to the Poor: Matanot l’Evyonim

February 13, 2014, by

“Acharon, Acharon Chaviv!” The Last mentioned is the most beloved! In the Megillah (9:22), where the Mitzvot of Purim are listed, this one is listed last. However, as mentioned above in connection with the “Seudah,” the Festive Meal, of Purim, providing monetary support for the poor is probably the most important of all the Mitzvot […]

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