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Purim Particulars - 5781

Purim is almost here! Although this year 5781 will be different from all other years, see below for some details about the when and where of what's happening.




Shabbat Zachor

Fulfilling the mitzvah of remembering & never forgetting the danger of Amalek even today

According to most authorities, it is a mitzvah d’oraita (directly from the Torah) to hear Parashat Zachor which describes Amalek’s attack on B’nai Yisrael after they left Egypt. We read this section from the Torah on the Shabbat that precedes Purim since Haman was a descendant of Amalek whose ideology is the antitheses of Judaism.


 February 20th

11:00 am

Ta’anit Esther


Dawn to dusk fast

Prior to appearing uninvited before the King, Esther and all Shushan’s Jews fasted for three days. Additionally, the Jews fasted on the day that they battled their enemies. By fasting, we de-emphasize our physical needs and focus on our ability to control our own behavior.


February 25th


Machatzit Hashekel



three half dollars

When the Beit Hamikdash (Temple) stood, a month before Pesach, every Jewish male over twenty would contribute a half-shekel as dues for the coming Temple year, which began in Nissan. To commemorate this, we donate three half dollars to the shul for each family member.


February 25th All day

Megillat Esther



the Story of Esther

To celebrate Jewish unity and our shared history, it is customary for both men and women to come together to read/hear the Megillah from a handwritten scroll on Purim, both night and day.

Thurs. - Fri.

February 25-26 

6:20pm & 8:30pm

7:30am & 9:30pm

Al Hanissim


Special Purim prayer

In the evening, morning, and afternoon services, as well as in the grace after meals, we insert an additional paragraph expressing our gratitude to the Almighty for the miraculous salvation of our ancestors on Purim.

Thurs. - Fri.

February 25-26 

All day

Mishloah Manot


Sending gift baskets

After their victory over Haman and his supporters, the Jews sent food to each other to nurture friendship and a sense of community. Similarly, we send two types of ready-to-eat food to at least one friend.


February 26th All day

Matanot L’evyonim


Gifts to the poor

In celebration of their victory over Haman, the Jews provided financial assistance to the poor. Similarly, we give tzedaka to at least two needy people. These funds should be in addition to one’s yearly tzedaka allocation.


February 26th All day

Seudat Purim


Festive Purim meal

Since the salvation of Purim was of a physical nature, in that the Jews were saved from annihilation, it is customary to eat a festive meal with family and friends providing enjoyment to our physical senses.


February 26th All day

Ad D’lo Yada

Having a l’chaim…or two

One of the major components of the salvation on Purim involves drinking. Therefore, one is encouraged to imbibe a little more than usual.


February 26th All day

Shushan Purim


Purim in Walled Cities

The Jews of Shushan were granted an extra day to fight off their enemies, so they celebrated their victory on the day after everyone else. Therefore, all walled cites from that time observe Purim a day later.


February 26th All day