In most of the world, Purim is observed on the 14th of Adar. This is because in the Purim story the vast majority of Jews were forced to go to war against their enemies on the 13th of Adar. They then enjoyed the next day, the 14th of Adar, to rest and celebrate their speedy victory. The Jews who lived in Shushan, however, continued to fight on the 14th of Adar as well, and were only victorious a day later, on the 15th of Adar. As such, Purim is observed on the 14th of Adar in most of the world, while in places which had a wall around it, similar to Shushan, Purim is observed on the 15th of Adar.
Although Mordecai and Esther only decreed that walled cities similar to Shushan were to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar, our sages saw Purim as an opportunity to bestow honor upon the Land of Israel. During the Purim era Jerusalem lay in ruins and it was felt that it would be unbecoming to highlight a Persian city as the example for which cities are to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar. As such, the sages modified Mordechai and Esther’s original decree and extended the observance of Purim on the 15th of Adar to include any city which had a wall around it in the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun, which would include Jerusalem in this distinction.
The ancient city of Beit Shemesh (hereafter referred to as “Tel Beit Shemesh” or “the Tel”) is also among those cities which had a wall around it in the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun. According to halacha, any city which had a wall around it or even if it might have had a wall around it in the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun, is to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar. It would follow, therefore, that observing Purim exclusively on the 14th of Adar in the modern day city of Beit Shemesh, which sits just adjacent to Tel Beit Shemesh, is problematic.
There are only two contemporary halachic authorities who are known to have written on this issue. The first we will cite is Rabbi David Avraham Spektor, rabbi of the Givat Sharett neighborhood in Beit Shemesh and author of “Beit Shemesh – Ir Hatanach”. In his sefer, Rabbi Spektor presents the relevant halachic, Scriptural, and archeological sources on when Purim should be observed in Beit Shemesh. He concludes, nonetheless, that Beit Shemesh is to observe Purim exclusively on the 14th of Adar just like most other cities in Israel and around the world. It appears, however, that his treatment of the issue is somewhat too simplistic and lacking a number of other sources and arguments which would have assisted in better presenting the subject.
The second authority to write on this issue is Rabbi Elazar Cheshin. In his paper, “Regarding Purim in the Newer Ultra Orthodox Cities” (Heb.), published in the Otzrot Hatorah 5765 journal, he argues that Purim should be observed in Beit Shemesh exclusively on the 15th of Adar. Again, his treatment of the issue is also far too simplistic and lacking many sources and arguments which would have assisted in better presenting the subject. His position is also difficult to accept, not to mention that he is mysteriously quick to arrive at his conclusions.
Following a study which consisted of extensive research, a review of historical precedents, and the halachic effects of growth and development in Beit Shemesh, this writer has come to the conclusion that there is a case for Purim to be observed, as a chumra, an added stringency, on both the 14th and 15th of Adar in the modern city of Beit Shemesh. As we will see, there are even additional reasons why this should be true for Ramat Beit Shemesh.
Nevertheless, Purim should continue to be observed elaborately on the 14th of Adar, while on the 15th one can take a more minimalist approach regarding the performance of the Purim mitzvot. For example, one need not hold an equally elaborate meal as was done on the “first day” of Purim. Additionally, those who observe the 15th of Adar as an additional day of Purim are to read the Megilla, though the accompanying blessings are only recited upon the Megilla reading of the 14th of Adar. While those who observe an additional day of Purim are to fulfill all the mitzvot of Purim on the 15th of Adar, there is some debate, however, whether or not this includes re-reading the Purim Torah portion as well. One is to include the “al hanissim” in the shemoneh esrei and birkat hamazon when observing a second day of Purim.
Beit Shemesh – A Walled City?
Archeological and Biblical scholars agree that the ancient city of Beit Shemesh was surrounded by a wall during the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun. In fact, there is also a Talmudic tradition that any city which is mentioned in Sefer Yehoshua had a wall around it during Yehoshua’s lifetime. The Shulchan Aruch rules very clearly that even cities where the existence of an ancient wall is in doubt must observe Purim on the 15th of Adar as well. The Chazon Ish similarly ruled that even a city which may have had a wall around it in the days of Yehoshua should observe Purim on both the 14th and 15th of Adar. In fact, the Chazon Ish, who lived in Bnei Brak where Purim was typically observed only on the 14th of Adar, would also observe Purim on the 15th of Adar due to the residential continuity from Bnei Brak right through to Biblical Yaffo, a city whose walled status is itself doubtful.
There are a number of modern cities in Israel which may have been walled in the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun. Such cities include, Lod, Chevron, Akko, Beit Shan, Tzfat, Teveria, Kiryat Yearim, and others. Indeed, there are Torah observant communities in all of these places which observe two days of Purim due to the doubts involved. In fact, in the city of Tzfat a second day of Purim is widely observed due to that city’s proximity to Teveria – a city which in itself is in doubt as to whether or not it has the status of a walled city. It is also deemed a “middat chassidut” to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar in a place whose walled status is in doubt. It is worth noting that according to some authorities the reading of the Megilla has the status of a Torah based mitzva (mitzva d’oraita) and therefore greater efforts to properly observe Purim are warranted. As mentioned, however, there is very little room for doubt that ancient Beit Shemesh had a wall around it.
Samuch and Nireh – Historical Precedents
The requirement for cities which had wall around them in the days of Yehoshua to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar applies not only to the city itself but also to any other cities or settlements which are “samuch” (adjacent) or “nireh” (can be seen from) to such a place. The city of Beit Shemesh is both “samuch” and “nireh” to Tel Beit Shemesh and therefore should assume the status of a walled city accordingly.
Nevertheless, a number of halachic authorities rule that in the event that, for whatever reason, Purim is not observed at the actual site of the ancient walled city then the principles of “samuch” or “nireh” are negated and surrounding cities do not assume the status of a walled city. According to this approach, since Tel Beit Shemesh currently lies desolate and no one observes Purim there, it forfeits its prominence and is unable to extend its “walled city” status to the neighboring settlements, including modern day Beit Shemesh. Those who disagree with the notion of establishing a second day of Purim in Beit Shemesh cite this argument as their primary source.
This approach, however, appears to be in contradiction to historical precedent and normative halacha. A number of rishonim, including the Ran, Rashba, and Meiri insist that the principles of “samuch” and “nireh” apply even to an ancient walled city which currently lies desolate and abandoned. So too, the principles of “samuch” and “nireh” apply even if the only presence in these ancient sites are Gentiles and even when Purim is not observed at these places for any other imaginable reason. This was said to be the view of Rabbi Pinchas Epstein, Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman, and Rabbi Shlomo Zevin, among others, who ruled that the issue of whether or not there is currently Jewish settlement at the actual site of the ancient walled city is irrelevant. This was also the view of Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank. The Chazon Ish felt and explicitly ruled that even when non-Jews govern an ancient walled site, the principles of “samuch” and “nireh” still apply. Therefore, according to this approach, even when an ancient walled city lays desolate or is inhabited by Gentiles, it still maintains its ability to extend a “walled city status” to adjacent neighborhoods.
Indeed, many Torah communities in the city of Haifa observe two days of Purim due to that city’s adjacency to the ancient site of Tel Shikmona which currently lies desolate, similar to Tel Beit Shemesh. Furthermore, there remains some doubt whether or not Shikmona even had a wall around it in the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun. Even so, a number of rabbinical authorities have ruled that Purim is to be observed in Haifa on the 15th of Adar as well, and as mentioned, many communities do so. This is also the published opinion of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.
Though there are a number of cities whose status is similar to Haifa, perhaps the most convincing argument that even a walled city which lies desolate nevertheless maintains its influence to extend a “walled city status” to adjacent neighborhoods is none other than Jerusalem. When the Old City of Jerusalem lay in waste without a single Jewish inhabitant between the years of 1948 to 1967, the newer neighborhoods of Jerusalem, “West Jerusalem”, continued to observe Purim exclusively on the 15th of Adar.
Beit Shemesh, right through to Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef, forms one continuous residential area. As such, the entire area should be required to read the Megilla on the 15th of Adar. As we have seen, this should be true even if there is a doubt whether or not ancient Beit Shemesh even had a wall at all. This is similar to the situation in Jerusalem where the entire city observes Purim on the 15th of Adar even though the newer neighborhoods are actually situated many miles away from the Old City. Indeed, even a single neighborhood situated adjacent to the site of an ancient walled city will in turn create a chain reaction in which all successive neighborhoods will be required to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar, as well. This can theoretically continue ad infinitum for as long as there exists an unbroken chain of residential continuity. This is especially true when a rather large population lies immediately adjacent to the ancient site. It appears, therefore, that there are grounds for residents of Beit Shemesh to observe an additional day of Purim, on the 15th of Adar, as well. As the Piskei Teshuvot writes: “According to the Chazon Ish one should conduct oneself stringently in all settlements in Eretz Yisrael that are adjacent to cities which might have had a wall around them during the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun [even if this is doubtful] and read the Megilla on the 15th of Adar…and perform the mitzvot of mishlo’ach manot, matanot l’aevyonim, and the seuda.” 
The Location of Ancient Beit Shemesh
Until now, our argument has been that Beit Shemesh should observe Purim on the 15th of Adar due to it being “samuch” (adjacent) and “nireh” (within sight) to Tel Beit Shemesh. However, there is reason to believe that parts of the modern city of Beit Shemesh may have unintentionally been built directly on top of territory belonging to ancient Beit Shemesh which would inherently designate all of modern day Beit Shemesh as a “walled city” for the purposes of Purim. In fact, there are those who suggest that the reason residents of Jerusalem continued to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar between 1948 and 1967 even though the Old City was devoid of any Jews is actually unrelated to the principles of “samuch” or “nireh”, but rather, because there is no doubt that the ancient walled city of Jerusalem was a much larger territory than today’s “Old City” actually occupies. As such, much of “newer Jerusalem” is actually built on top of territory which was once part of “ancient Jerusalem” making the entire region inherently a place in which Purim should be observed on the 15th of Adar. Indeed, it is noted that archeologists have noted that due to insufficient funding excavations of Tel Beit Shemesh to date have been far from exhaustive and have only uncovered negligible segments of the ancient city.
As such, there are certainly grounds to suggest that much more of ancient Beit Shemesh has yet to be revealed and much of it may actually lie below modern Beit Shemesh. Indeed, excavations of Tel Beit Shemesh reveal a very small area while historical records indicate that ancient Beit Shemesh was a large and well populated city. It follows to reason, therefore, that the ancient city must have extended further in all directions than is currently visible. Consequently, neighborhoods such as Nofei Aviv which are situated closest to the site of the Tel may actually be situated upon territory which would have been within the borders of ancient Beit Shemesh. There would actually be no need to even invoke the principles of “samuch” or “nireh” in order to assign Beit Shemesh the status of a walled city.
Additionally, according to the principles of “Techumim” any area within seventy amot of another area is deemed to be an extension of the original area. With residential areas within this distance of the Tel, it can be said that according to the principles of Techumim alone, the Tel and the city of Beit Shemesh are merged as one.
Furthermore, there is a new residential project currently being erected upon land situated between Highway 38 and Nofei Aviv, virtually touching parts of the already revealed Tel site. It is difficult to deny that this new neighborhood will likely be situated directly above a section of ancient Beit Shemesh. It may just be that this project alone will become the catalyst which will positively affect the status of all of Beit Shemesh, regardless of the other considerations.
There is yet another consideration which contributes to Beit Shemesh assuming the status of a walled city: the city-wide Eruv. The Beit Shemesh community Eruv not only surrounds the entire city, but sections of the Tel are included within the Eruv’s perimeter as well, thereby combining modern and ancient Beit Shemesh into a single domain. The ability of the Eruv to halachically unite the new city along with the ancient one for the purposes of Purim is independent of the applications of “samuch” and “nireh”. In fact, it might just be that the only reason the neighborhood of Ramot observes Purim on the 15th of Adar along with the rest of Jerusalem is by virtue of the municipal Eruv which connects it with the rest of the city.
Indeed, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach insisted that an Eruv which includes an area which is to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar will compel all other neighborhoods included in the same Eruv to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar, as well. In fact, he himself observed Purim on the 15th of Adar in the neighborhood of Ein Karem long before it had any territorial (residential) continuity with the rest of Jerusalem. He felt very strongly that since Ein Karem had been included along with the Jerusalem city-wide Eruv it assumed the status of Jerusalem for the purpose of Purim. Following the same approach, Beit Shemesh would also assume the status of a city which is to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar.
Ramat Beit Shemesh
From among the many archeological excavations of biblical cities in Eretz Yisrael very few have been so positively identified as the ancient site of Yarmut. Yarmut was a prominent kingdom in ancient Israel and is mentioned several times in Sefer Yehoshua. It is not only mentioned in Tanach, but also in the El Amarna Tablets as a main city in the Late Canaanite period. It is also one of the largest “Tel” sites in all of Israel. Therefore, from both archeological and scriptural sources, there is no doubt whatsoever that the city of Yarmut had a wall around it in the days of Yehoshua.
The site of Tel Yarmut is well within one kilometer of Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef neighborhoods (the area referred to as “Ramat Shilo”), as well as the shopping area, and possibly even right through to Nachal Dolev street. As such, it appears to this writer that Ramat Beit Shemesh inherently assumes the status of a walled city due to its adjacency (“samuch” and “nireh”) to Tel Yarmut. Furthermore, construction has already begun on the neighborhood of “Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel” which is being built directly on top of territory belonging to the site of Tel Yarmut. In fact, it has already been reported in local and national newspapers that valuable antiquities have been found on the construction site which continues to impede the speed of the construction.
The archeological site and ruins of Tel Yarmut are easily accessible. On the eastbound side of Nachal Tze’eilim about 600 meters from Highway 38 one will see two benches. Just behind the area of the benches there is clearly visible steeply inclined dirt trail. Once at the top of this hill keep left and the archeological site of Tel Yarmut will be visible. So too, the remains of ancient Beit Shemesh can be visited at any time and are located alongside Highway 38. There is parking available at both the entrance to Tel Yarmut and Tel Beit Shemesh.
Tel Beit Shemesh / Tel Yarmut – Abandoned or Settled?
It can also be argued that Tel Beit Shemesh and Tel Yarmut are no longer to be categorized as “desolate” but rather, in our day and age, they are to be categorized as “settled” and “inhabited”. This is because these sites are under Jewish sovereignty, protected by national law, and designated as “National Parks”. They are also within the municipal boundaries and administration of the city of Beit Shemesh. There can be no greater assertion of sovereignty (“settlement”) than the full administration and maintenance of the site. The fact that the authorities made the decision to preserve Tel Beit Shemesh and Tel Yarmut as a tourist and archeological site, and not as a residential one, is of no concern.
According to this approach, “settled” and “inhabited” refers to the area having an organized power of authority, such as the right of eminent domain, security, and other decision making abilities. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ruled that an ancient walled city which is within the municipal boundaries and jurisdiction of a modern day city forces the entire city to assume a” walled city status” as well. It follows, therefore, that based on this approach as well, Tel Beit Shemesh and Tel Yarmut are certainly able to extend a “walled city status” to neighboring areas. In fact, anyone can camp out and spend the night at either of these sites if they’d like.
It is recorded that in ancient times, most cities in Eretz Yisrael read the Megilla on both the 14th and 15th of Adar, due to the concern that they may have had a wall around it in the days of Yehoshua. In fact, there was once a custom to observe Purim exclusively on the 15th of Adar in any city which is mentioned in the Tanach and its environs. As a result of these precedents, Rabbi Yechiel Michel Tukatchinsky writes that the Megilla should be read on both days of Purim in all the [modern-day] Biblical cities of Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv has encouraged such communities to adhere to Rabbi Tukatchinsky’s ruling in a number of published forums. As such, observing Purim on the 15th of Adar in Beit Shemesh is not a radical innovation, but rather, the application of normative halachic principle and the restoration of the original custom which existed prior to the renewal of modern settlement in Eretz Yisrael!
Removing Oneself from a Doubt
The issues related to halachic doubts regarding Purim apply in a number of other circumstances besides those relating to Beit Shemesh. In what is a mirror image of the halachic issues relating to Purim in Beit Shemesh we find that there are those who observe Purim on “both days” even in Jerusalem in order to discharge the mitzvot of Purim without a doubt. Although observing Purim on the 15th of Adar in Jerusalem is virtually universal there are a number of neighborhoods within the city whose halachic status is in doubt. For example, there are Torah communities in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Romema, Eitz Chaim, Ramot, and Ein Karem, which also observe Purim on the 14th of Adar as halachic stringency since these neighborhoods are located so many miles away from the Old City.
There are also a number of contemporary authorities in Israel who have promoted the practice of observing Purim on both the 14th and 15th of Adar in any place where even the most minimal considerations warrant doing so.
To quote but a few:
- Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: “It is proper to observe two days of Purim as per the ruling of the “Divrei Yosef” who says that in ancient times they observed two days of Purim in all the ancient cities of Eretz Yisrael.
- Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu: “Places indentified as possibly having a wall around them in the days of Yehoshua Bin Nun…have an obligation to observe two days.”
- Rabbi Avraham Shapira: “Those who choose to be machmir…tavo aleihem beracha.”
- Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch: “Those who are machmir…tavo aleihem beracha“
Mishtatef Imo B’inyanav
There is yet another consideration for observing Purim on the 15th of Adar in Beit Shemesh although it’s admissibility from a halachic perspective is somewhat questionable. According to some authorities, any city which is dependant upon another city for much of its everyday life will often assume the halachic status of that city as well. This is referred to as “mishtatef imo b’inyanav” – any city which is dependant upon another for vital services assumes the status of the feeder city itself. With so many Beit Shemesh residents working in or otherwise commuting to Jerusalem each day along with it being the closest destination for hospitals and other vital services not found in Beit Shemesh, it is possible that Beit Shemesh may be considered to be somewhat of a suburb of Jerusalem from the perspective of halacha.
Observing Purim on the 15th in Beit Shemesh
Although it is certainly preferable for residents of Beit Shemesh who choose to observe Purim on both the 14th and 15th of Adar to read the Megilla again on the second day, it is interesting to note that in the event that the residents of a walled city (which is to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar), read the Megilla on the 14th of Adar, they will have nevertheless discharged their obligation regarding the mitzva of Megilla, b’dieved.
What this essentially means is that one who read or heard the Megilla on the 14th of Adar in a place which was truly meant to observe Purim on the 15th of Adar will have discharged their obligation to read the Megilla without the need to do so again on the 15th of Adar if doing so is not possible. The remaining mitzvot of Purim, however, such as mishlo’ach manot, matanot l’evyonim, and the Purim meal, cannot be discharged on the 14th of Adar in a walled city even b’dieved, and must be repeated on the 15th of Adar. As such, those who for whatever reason are unable to hear the Megilla on the 15th of Adar can still participate in observing the 15th of Adar as Purim in Beit Shemesh by performing the remaining Purim mitzvot.
It is interesting to note that even in chutz la’aretz there are a number of cities which have observed Purim on both days due to the possibility that they may have had a wall around them during the days of Yehoshua. Such cities include Tyre, Damascus, Bagdad, and Prague.
Make no mistake, this writer is well aware that there are sources and authorities which take issue with every one of the arguments presented here. So too, due to the number of doubts which are inherent in the issue, the observance of the 15th of Adar is certainly only a “chumra” and is not halachically required. Nevertheless, the amount of literature (and by no means is this paper a comprehensive review of the issue) which clearly favors observing a second day Purim in Beit Shemesh is more than compelling. Observing a second day of Purim in Beit Shemesh is also consistent with the widespread practice to observe mitzvot b’hiddur, in a more preferred and meticulous manner. This may be particularly true for residents of Ramat Beit Shemesh.
There is also no reason to suggest that such a practice should be prohibited under the clause of “lo titgodedu”, the prohibition to create a situation where it may appear that the community is fragmented. Even in the Talmudic era we find that there were a number of cities in which there was some doubt as to their status with regards to Purim. This resulted in some of the residents of such cities observing Purim on the 14th of Adar while others would also observe it on the 15th of Adar as an added precaution, with full rabbinic endorsement for doing so.
There is reason to suggest that had the city of Beit Shemesh been founded by Torah scholars, the observance of Purim on the 15th of Adar may have been implemented from the very beginning similar to other such cities in Israel. It is only in more recent years that Torah scholars have made Beit Shemesh their home which makes changing the existing practice awkward and difficult. Nevertheless, there are a number of individuals who do indeed observe a second day of Purim in Beit Shemesh and have been doing so since their arrival.
Let us recall that the entire purpose that the sages decreed that walled cities are to read the Megilla on the 15th of Adar was in order to bring honor and attention to Eretz Yisrael which lay desolate at that time. The sages were actually looking for ways to institute the observance of the 15th of Adar as widely as possible. Ignoring the premise that Purim might truly have been intended to be observed in Beit Shemesh on the 15th of Adar can be misinterpreted as shameful and degrading to the honor due to Eretz Yisrael. The original honor and glory of our wonderful city continues till this day and should be acknowledged as such. Indeed, no longer do the cities of Judea lie in ruins and perhaps making the effort to observe Purim in its original manner on the 15th of Adar may also serve as an awakening that we are just that much closer to the final redemption.
“…And the people of Beit Shemesh…rejoiced!” (Shmuel 1 6:13)
The following rabbis have agreed that observing two days of Purim in Beit Shemesh and Ramat Beit Shemesh is “a worthwhile chumra”:
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner
Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt
Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Hagar
Rabbi Yehuda Henkin
 Esther 9:20-22
 Megilla 2b
 Yerushalmi Megilla 1:1
 Megilla 5a,O.C. 688:4
 For sources on the admissibility of archeological evidence in the halachic decision making process see: Smag Mitzva 22, Nefesh Harav p.53 note 26, Letters of the Chazon Ish 2:22, 3:19. See also: http://www.koltorah.org/ravj/14-22%20The%20Role%20of%20Archaeology%20in%20Halachic%20Decision%20Making%201.htm for an extensive discussion of archeology and halacha
 Retrievable from the “Otzar Hachachma” database
 Magen Avraham 688:6, Rambam Megilla 1:11
 Pri Megadim M.Z. 688:3, Mishna Berura 688:17, 693:6
 Piskei Teshuvot 688:6, Eretz Hachaim p.93
 Mishna Berura 693:6
 Dr. Yoel Elitzur provided me with much archeological documentation attesting to this
 Yerushalmi Megilla 1:1, Divrei Yosef 2 (Rav Yosef Schwartz)
 O.C. 588:4
 Chazon Ish 153:3
 Teshuvot V’hanhagot 3:235
 Ran;Megilla 3b s.v. “V’linyan”. Though some authorities require it “mikkar hadin”.
 Chatam Sofer O.C. 161, Pri Megadim E.A. 688:4. See also Chatam Sofer Y.D. 233
 See: http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/projects/proj_bethshemesh.html and http://www.indiana.edu/~relstud/betshem/background.shtml
 Megilla 2b
 Yerushalmi Megilla 1:1;Korban Ha’edah, Biur Halacha 688 s.v. Oh Shesmuchin Lahem. This interpretation of the Gemara is far from unanimous.
 See Mishpacha Magazine (Hebrew Edition) 5 Tevet 5769 for an interesting historical episode as a result of their ruling. (Source provided by Rabbi Raffi Goldmeier)
 Har Tzvi O.C. 2:131
 The Chazon Ish took issue with the Mishna Berura’s assertion that if a site lies desolate than it does not have the influence of “samuch” and “nireh”. He leaves the matter “undecided”. A number of authorities assume the Chazon Ish would require one to observe a second day of Purim in any situation of doubt. Piskei Teshuvot 688:5,7
 Yerushalmi 1:2, Chazon Ish O.C. 154, Har Tzvi O.C. 2:131
 Kovetz Teshuvot 1:68
 Halichot Shlomo 20:10, Har Tzvi O.C. 2:131, Chazon Ish 154:3
 Chazon Ish O.C. 154
 Shu”t Maharal Diskin;Kuntres Acharon 103, Har Tzvi 2:133, Teshuvot V’hanhagot 2:347
 Yabia Omer 7:58,59
 Piskei Teshuvot 688:5
 Piskei Teshuvot 688:5
 Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhoffer in his shiur to Yerushalmi;Megilla 2b available at: http://www.yerushalmionline.org/
 See: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tel_Beit_shemesh_009.jpg and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tel_beit_shemesh_027.jpg
 Dr. Yoel Elitzur informs me that based on the laws of techumin – even if new Beit Shemesh is not built directly above ancient Beit Shemesh, but is nevertheless within seventy amot of the site – it is still considered to be a part of the city. Hence, according to this approach, there would be no need to invoke “samuch” or “nireh”.
 O.C. 398:6, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 90:3
 Minchat Yitzchak 8:62
 Shalmei Mo’ed 57
 Halichot Shlomo 20:9 based on Magen Avraham O.C. 401
 Yehoshua 10:3,5,23, 12:11, 15:35
 See: http://travelingluck.com/Asia/Israel/Yerushalayim/_293337_Tel+Yarmut.html#local_map and http://www.gpsupload.com/show_gallery.php?yahoo=0&route=8897&picture=6561 and http://www.gpsupload.com/show_gallery.php?yahoo=0&route=8897&picture=6562
 Halichot Shlomo 20:8
 Divrei Yosef 2, also cited in Kaf Hachaim 688:17
 Ran;Megilla 5, Minhagei Eretz Yisrael (Gallis) 35:2
 Luach Eretz Yisrael, Ir Hakodesh V’hamikdash 3:26
 Ran 2a s.v. “Aval”, See Also Dr. Yoel Elitzur’s remarks on this issue in Techumin Vol. 9
 Teshuvot V’hanhagot 3:235
 Cited in Techumim Vol 1 & Vol 9:367-380
 Teshuvot V’hanhagot 3:235
 Shaar Hatziun 688:5, Shoalin V’dorshin 2:24:4
 Yerushalmi Megilla 2:3
 Teshuvot Harambam L’tzur (Blau Ed.) 124
 Piskei Teshuvot 688:8
 Chayei Adam 155:8
 See Minchat Yitzchak 8:61
 Megilla 5b, Shoalin V’dorshin 2:24:5
 Mr. Yossi Louk who arrived in Beit Shemesh 35 years ago tells me that Purim was observed for two days during those years, however, shortly thereafter there was a wave of secularism in Beit Shemesh which made observing a second day of Purim uncomfortable and impractical. It seems the custom was established but then lost.
 See Otzrot Hatorah 5765
 Yerushalmi Megilla 1:1, Ran 2a
 Rambam Beit Hebechira 7:13