The Month of Adar – Halacha According to the Sephardic Practice

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16 Feb 2024

Scheduling a court case

  1. The month of Adar is a particularly auspicious time for success. Therefore, if one needs to have a court case against a non-Jew, he should schedule it in Adar, since there is a greater opportunity for one to win.[1]
  2. During the month of Adar, one should try to be more happy than he usually is. This can be accomplished by trying to worry less about things that bother him, or by scheduling a happy occasion, such as a wedding, specifically during the month of Adar.[2]

Determining one’s birthday

  1. If one was born in Adar and the year of his thirteenth birthday is a leap year, he celebrates his bar mitzvah during the second Adar. If one was born in a leap year during the first Adar, and the year of his thirteenth birthday is a leap year, he celebrates his bar mitzvah during the first Adar. Similarly, one who was born in Nissan only becomes a bar mitzvah during Nissan, and not in the second Adar if the year of his bar mitzvah is a leap year.[3]
  2. One who’s relative passed away in Adar should observe the yahrzeit in the second Adar on a leap year.[4]

 The Seventh of Adar

  1. Some people have the custom to fast on the seventh day of Adar since it is the day that Moshe Rabbenu passed away.[5] On a leap year, when there are two months of Adar, the fast should be in the second Adar. There are some people, though, who fast in both Adars.[6]
  2. Even if there are ten people who are fasting in a minyan on the seventh of Adar, the parashah of VaYechal Moshe is not read. Similarly, the chazzan only recites Anenu in Shome’a Tefillah, and Birkat Kohanim is not recited during Minchah.[7]

The fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar Alef – “Purim Katan”

  1. Tachanun is not recited on the fourteenth and the fifteenth of Adar Alef.[8]
  2. When the fourteenth of Adar is on Sunday, Tzidkatecha is not recited during Minchah on the Shabbat prior.[9]
  3. One may neither deliver a eulogy nor fast on the fourteenth or fifteenth of Adar Alef.[10]
  4. One may, however, eulogize a talmid chacham on the fourteenth and the fifteenth of Adar Alef.[11]
  5. It is proper to prepare a seudah on Purim Katan (the fourteenth of Adar Alef in open cities, and the fifteenth in walled cities).[12]
  6. On the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar Alef, one does not observe any of the mitzvot of Purim, i.e. keriat haMegillah, matanot la’evyonim, mishloach manot, and seudat Purim.[13] However, it is praiseworthy to add a dish to one’s regular meal in honor of the day.[14]
  7. An avel on Purim Katan must observe all of the halachot of avelut.[15]
  8. Al HaNissim is not recited on the fourteenth or fifteenth of Adar Alef. If one accidentally recited Al HaNissim, he does not have to repeat the Amidah again.[16]

[1]. Taanit 29a; Talmud Yerushalmi, beginning of Megillah.

[2] Sefer HaMichtam, Taanit 29b, says that one can accomplish this by making poor people happy or doing any simchah of a mitzvah. See also Halichot Shlomo, Purim, ch. 18, footnote 36, who says that one does not have to be actively happy, and it suffices to try not to be sad or worried. Nitei Gavriel, Purim, 11:3, says that there is no specific thing that one must do to be happy, and each person should try to do things that will make him more happy during the month of Adar. Shoneh Halachot, Torat HaMoadim, 686:1 brings in the name of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky that if one has a party to make, he should preferably schedule it during Adar. Derech Sichah, vol. 2, p. 303, cites Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky who also says that one should try to learn more Torah than he usually does since the Torah makes one happy, and in the month of Av, where the Gemara says that one should lessen his happiness, one should learn topics that are sad, such as the laws of Avelut.

During a leap-year, some say that this also applies to Adar Alef (see Teshuvot Chattam Sofer, C.M. end of siman 20; Rivevot Ephraim, vol. 3, 465:3). However, most poskim say that this only applies to Adar Bet. See Ohr LeTzion, vol. 4, 53:6; Shevet HaLevi, vol. 10, 105:3. See also Chashukei Chemed, Megillah 6b.

[3]. See Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 55:10 and Rama. See also Yalkut Yosef, Purim, pp. 214–215, which points out that it may end up being that a person who was born in the second Adar during a leap year will become a bar mitzvah in the same month as a person who was born in the first Adar, if their thirteenth year is not a leap year. See also Yalkut Yosef, Purim, pages 215–217, which discusses one who is born on the thirtieth of Adar Rishon, or on the thirtieth of Shevat, and the year of his bar mitzvah is on a regular year, when Shevat and Adar Rishon each have twenty-nine days.

[4]. Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 568:7; Chazon Ovadia, Avelut, vol. 3, p. 229. Ashkenazim, on the other hand, observe the yahrtzeit during Adar Rishon.

[5] See also Purim BeTzion, p. 30, who says that some people have the custom to observe the yahrtzeit of people whose day of death is unknown.

[6]. Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 580:2. See also Yechaveh Daat 1:83 and Chazon Ovadia, Purim, p. 32. Kaf HaChayim 580:21 and Moed LeChol Chai 31:7 point out that there are several prayers and sections that should be recited on the seventh of Adar; on a leap year they should be recited in both Adars.

[7]. Chazon Ovadia, Purim, p. 35.

[8]. Shulchan Aruch 697:1.

[9]. Chazon Ovadia, Purim, p. 209, in the footnote.

[10]. Shulchan Aruch 697:1.

[11]. Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 670:3. See Yabia Omer, vol. 9, Y.D. §46 and Yalkut Yosef, Purim, p. 784.

[12]. Rama 697:1. See Chazon Ovadia, Purim, p. 210. Purim BeTzion, p. 35, reports that the custom of Rabbi Salman Mutzafi was to give out candies to the people in his household on Purim Katan.

[13]. Bet Yosef in the name of the Ran. See also Yalkut Yosef, Purim, p. 789.

[14]. Chazon Ovadia, Purim, p. 209. Kaf HaChayim 697:8 says that some say that one should also have a meal on the 15th of Adar Alef as well.

[15]. Yalkut Yosef, Purim, p. 789, in the name of Eliyah Rabbah 697:1; Pri Megadim, Mishbetzot Zahav 697:1; Mishnah Berurah 697:3.

[16]. Magen Avraham 697:1; Mishnah Berurah 697:1; Kaf HaChayim 697:1-4.