Al Hanissim Prayer

Purim: When, How, What?

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: 4 Mitzvahs for Purim, 4 Mitzvos for Purim, 4 things you need to do on Purim, A Miracle in Our Times, Al Hanissim Prayer, Ester, Esther, Haman, How is Purim celebrated, Jewish Customs, Jewish Miracles, Jewish traditions, Mishloach Manos, Mordechai, Parshas Mishpatim, Purim, Real, Seriously Dude!, Shushan Purim, sweet, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, We WANT Moshiach NOW!!!, What?, What’s Purim, Wow! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

Hey everbody!  It’s Purim Today!!!

Do you know what Purim is?

How do we celebrate it?

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We had a question IF it’s OK to marry on Purim

So, we asked a Rabbi on Askmoses.com who said that we do NOT marry on Purim since we do NOT want to MIx the two Simchos together, as to NOT to take away from the significance, the importance & the holiness of Purim!!!

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What is Purim?

purim-mordechai-on-horse

A. Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrating G-d‘s problem with one ancient anti-Semite’s Final Solution. The story of Purim is the subject of the Scroll of Esther, one of the 24 books in the TaNaCH. Purim is one of two Jewish holidays enacted by the Sages in contrast to the biblical holidays commanded to Moses. (The other is Chanukah.)

B. Purim is the plural for lots in Persian. Haman (pronounced Hah-mahn), the chief of staff of the Persian Empire, attempted the ethnic cleansing of the kingdom’s Jewish population. He cast lots to determine what date would be best to wipe out the Jews, came up with the 13th day of the Hebrew month Adar, dispatched an imperial Jew-annihilation order to every government office, and sat back to take a drink. Little did Haman know that the recently coronated Queen Esther was Jewish and the cousin of his arch-nemesis, the Jewish government official Mordechai. Through his palace contact Hatach, Mordechai begged Esther to intervene, which she did—greatly annoying her royal hubby Ahasuerus (AKA: Achashverosh) who was rather ruffled to hear that someone wanted to murder his wife and her whole extended family. “Who’s the slob?” snarled the king. “He’s sitting right in front of you,” sobbed Esther. “‘Tis Haman!” Haman and family were hung, the annihilation order was countered with a Jewish self-defense provision (which resulted in empire-wide street combat between the Jews and their enemies), and the Jews triumphed.

Jews were the doctors and lawyers of their day. They were successful… they climbed all social ladders, they were Persians. But somewhere, somehow, they forgot about G-d

C. To mark this great miracle, Mordechai and Esther instituted that every year the 14th of Adar, the day the Jews rested from battle against their foes, be celebrated with feasts and rejoicing.1

D. Purim is more than just a dramatic true story. While outwardly an ethnic celebration, its inner significance is its hidden spiritual side–the restoration of the Jewish people’s tarnished spiritual identity. At the time of the Purim story, all the world’s Jews made their home in the contemporary superpower, the Persian Empire, which stretched from India to Ethiopia. They were the doctors and lawyers of their day. They were successful–profoundly, proudly successful. They were doing great. They identified with their host society, they fit in, they climbed all social ladders, they were Persians. But somewhere, somehow, they forgot about G-d. When their prestige, position and powerful connections failed them in the face of Haman’s hate, when even their own sister in the palace did lunch with their main malefactor, they turned all their hopes to Heaven and rushed headlong into the open arms of their Fathers’ faith. The resulting spiritual renaissance so reinvigorated and revolutionized Jewish society that in a few short years, the Second Temple was built and the 70-year Persian Exile came to a close

Footnotes:

1. Esther 9:20-32. In Shushan, the Persian capital, the Jews continued to defend themselves on the 14th of Adar and rested on the 15th. The 15th of Adar is also a holiday. See “What is Shushan Purim?”

How is Purim celebrated?

1. Take a Scroll

Go to your local synagogue and listen as the whole story of Purim is read from a hand-written scroll of parchment called a Megillah. The Megillah is read once on Purim eve and a second time the next morning, Purim day. During the reading, make sure to make lots of noise when the name of Haman is mentioned. You might want to get hold of a “gragger” a special noisemaker for the occasion. (If you are unable to make it to synagogue, contact your closest Chabad Center. It’s quite likely they can get someone to come read the Megillah for you.)

…to celebrate in a way that you’re coasting on a plane that takes you beyond your natural inhibitions and constraints. Let loose and celebrate

2. Food Gifts

Send a gift of at least two ready to eat food-types to at least one friend on Purim. See Mishloach Manot: Who What Where and When?

3. Gifts to the Poor

Give a monetary gift to at least two poor people. It is best to give directly to the poor on Purim but if that is not possible, give to a charity organization or place money in a charity box. See Why do we give charity on Purim?

4. Eat

Some time on Purim day, have a great feast. The Talmud instructs us to get so “spiced” (drunk) that we know not the difference between blessed is Mordechai and cursed is Haman. Obviously this does not apply to minors or those sloppy with their drinks. The idea is to celebrate in a way that you’re coasting on a plane that takes you beyond your natural inhibitions and constraints. Let loose and celebrate. (Remember: Purim practitioners drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.) See If getting drunk is inappropriate, why is it a Mitzvah to get drunk on Purim?

5. Thank G-d

We add a short section of thanksgiving to the Amidah and to the Grace After Meals. See Where can I download the prayers for Purim?

***   This is ONLY the additions for Purim, HOWEVER, for the FULL Text for the Grace After Meal, you can go to:

http://www.chabad.org/media/pdf/92404.pdf

Where can I download the prayers for Purim?

Actually, Purim has the least prayers of all Jewish holidays. (Perhaps we are intended to spend the day rejoicing and uniting with our fellow Jews, not holed up in the synagogue).

We do, however, add a short section to the Amidah and to the Grace After Meals. Click here for the text of this prayer — in Hebrew and English.

***   This is ONLY the additions for Purim, HOWEVER, for the FULL Text for the Grace After Meal, you can go to:

http://www.chabad.org/media/pdf/92404.pdf


Al Hanissim Prayer:

Text and Translation for the “Al Hanissim” prayer said on Purim during the daily prayers and grace after meals.

al-hanissim-prayer-1

When is Purim?

calendar

Purim is on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar.1 [During a Leap Year, Purim is on the 14th day of Adar II.]

For the year 2009, Purim starts at nightfall, Monday, March 9th, and ends at nightfall, Tuesday, March 10th.  [Click here for the exact times of nightfall for any location.]

Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish nation over Haman‘s decree of annihilation. Click here to read more about What is Purim? , How is Pruim celebrated?, and also What is Shushan Purim?.

The following are the beginning dates for Purim for the next few years:

2010 — nightfall, February 27

2011 — nightfall, March 19

2012 — nightfall, March 7

Footnotes:

1. In certain cities in Israel, Purim is observed on the 15th of Adar and is known as Shushan Purim. See What is Shushan Purim?

(http://www.askmoses.com/qa_detail.html?h=529&o=56435).

What is Shushan Purim?

David: What is Shushan Purim?

Rabbi Marcus: Shushan Purim refers to the day after Purim. It commemorates the day when the Jews of Shushan, the Persian capital, finally rested after defeating their enemies.

Rabbi Marcus: The Book of Esther1 records that in the rest of the kingdom, the Jews fought and beat their enemies on the thirteenth of Adar and rested on the fourteenth. That’s why Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth. But in Shushan, due to a special request by Queen Esther, the Jews received special dispensation from the king to continue fighting on the fourteenth—hence Shushan Purim, which is celebrated on the fifteenth of Adar.

David: I heard something about walled-cities and Shushan Purim?

Rabbi Marcus: Indeed. Shushan was a walled city. So in order to commemorate the celebration of the Jews of Shushan, other walled cities celebrate Purim on the fifteenth as well. Now, because Shushan was the capital city, it was considered prestigious to celebrate Purim on the same day as Shushan. The problem with that was that at the time that Purim was established, all the cities of the Land of Israel lay in ruins. So in order to grant some prestige to the Land of Israel, the sages said that inhabitants of any city that had a wall around it in the days of Joshua—even if now it lay crumbled—should celebrate Purim on the fifteenth like Shushan.2

Rabbi Marcus: In this way the Land of Israel was honored in the commemoration of Purim. If a city did not have a wall in the days of Joshua but had one in the days of Purim, its inhabitants would read on the fourteenth (except Shushan, which did not have a wall in the days of Joshua).

Rabbi Marcus: The Rishonim point out the connection between Joshua and Purim: Haman was a descendant of Amalek, the perpetual enemy of Israel. Joshua was the first to wage war against them (see Exodus 17:9). Thus the celebration of Purim is associated with Joshua.

Rabbi Marcus: Today, Jerusalem and Shushan are the only cities that are considered walled-cities as far as Shushan Purim is concerned. There are other cities in the land of Israel about which there is some doubt. The inhabitants of such cities, like Safed, observe the fifteenth as well “just in case.” (I.e., they read the Megillah but without saying the blessing.)

[Read the sequel to this chat: How do un-walled cities celebrate Shushan Purim? ]

Footnotes

· 1. Esther 9:16-18

· 2. Talmud tractate Megillah 2a-b. Maimonidies laws of Megillah 1:4-5

David: How do un-walled cities celebrate Shushan Purim?

David: I’m back again with another question…

Rabbi Marcus: My pleasure! What’s on your mind?

David: How do un-walled cities celebrate Shushan Purim?

Rabbi Marcus: Well, it is a festive day, which is celebrated with a bit of feasting, though not as much as Purim proper. We omit the Tachnun prayer as we do on Shabbat and holidays. You can’t fast on Shushan Purim; and if there is a funeral, we shouldn’t know from it, no eulogy is said. You don’t say the special prayer for Purim (v’al Hanissim).

Rabbi Marcus: Good news, though: if you want to get married on Shushan Purim, you can! (Though you can’t on Purim, since we don’t mix one joy with another. That’s why you can’t get married on a Jewish holiday. You have to give each celebration its own platform and date.)

Mishloach Manot: Who, What, Where and When?

food-basket

Everyone is required to send a food package to at least one Jewish acquaintance on Purim. This package is called Mishloach Manot — distribution of [food] portions. The package(s) must consist of at lease two different ready-to-eat food items and/or beverages.

Here are some Halachot pertaining to Mishloach Manot:

1) This Mitzvah must be performed during the daylight hours of Purim day;1 preferably after hearing the daytime Megillah reading.2

2) If you have little children, make sure they too send Mishloach Manot to their friends.3 It’s tons of fun, and educational to boot!

3) It is customary to send the Mishloach Manot via a third party. Little children make great, enthusiastic messengers! Also, have some treats handy to give out to those children who will be delivering Mishloach Manot to your home, and remind them to recite the proper B’rachah.

4) For reasons of modesty, men should send Mishloach Manot to male-friends, while women should give to female-friends.4 Alternatively, one family can send Mishloach Manot to another family.

5) It isn’t proper to send Mishloach Manot to a mourner. This includes anyone who has, G-d forbid, lost a father or mother within the last twelve months, or someone whose spouse, brother, sister, son or daughter has passed on within the last thirty days.5

6) Though we are required to give Mishloach Manot to only one person, someone who gives to more people is called “praiseworthy,” and this is a traditional opportunity for expressing our gratitude and friendship towards others. Nevertheless, it is better to spend money on giving Purim charity than on elaborate Mishloach Manot.6

7) The Mishloach Manot must consist of Kosher food. Now, duh…

See also Why do we give away food on Purim?

Footnotes:

· 1. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142:5

· 2. One should have in mind Mishloach Manot and Charity to the poor, when hearing the Shehechiyanu blessing for the Megillah reading. (See Siddur Yavetz on Purim).

· 3. Pri Megadim Orach Chayim 695:14. See also Shevach HaMoadim laws of Purim 11:6.

· 4. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142:4

· 5. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142:7. A mourner however must give Mishloach Manot. S/he should give someone something basic (just to fulfill the Mitzvah) but not a lavish basket etc.

· 6. Kitzur 142:1

The above info was found on Http://www.AskMoses.com

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

To find a Purim event in a city near you, please go to the following address:

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim/events.htm

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We recommend that you visit them for more info…

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*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

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