Rabbi Joel Landau (email@example.com) has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.
- Created: 07 March 2017
Looking to brush up on your Purim knowledge? You’ll find all you need to know for this upcoming holiday right here. Purim Sameach!
Prior to appearing uninvited before the King, Esther and all of 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.
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 antithesis of Judaism.
|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.|
|In order 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 hand written scroll on Purim, both night and day.|
|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.|
|After their victory over Haman and his supporters, the Jews sent food to each other in order to nurture friendship and a sense of community. Similarly, we send two types of ready-to-eat food to at least one friend.|
|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.|
|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.|
|One of the major components of the salvation on Purim involves drinking. Therefore, one is encouraged to imbibe a little more than usual.|
|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 cities from that time observe Purim a day later.||