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Halachot of Purim

Fast of Esther - Taanit Esther

We fast the day before Purim to commemorate not only Queen Esther's fast, but also the fast that the Jews undertook before the battles of the 14th of Adar.

This year, we fast beginning at 5:53 a.m.  While this year the fast ends at 7:47 p.m., we continue fasting until after we've heard the megillah at night.


Half-Shekels - Machatzit HaShekel

Before hearing the megillah, it is customary to donate (to tzedakah) the equivalent of three half-dollars in commemoration of the half-shekels which were donated in the time of the Temple.

To help you fulfill this mitzvah, a donation plate will be available on Wednesday evening in the Main Sanctuary. All money collected will go towards the Welfare Fund.  On the plate you will find 3 half dollars, place your tzedaka money on the plate, lift the 3 "half shekels" in the air and place them on the plate for others to use. 


Reading the Megillah - Mikrah Megillah


Each person is required to hear the megillah twice -- once at night and once during the day.

At night, the megillah is not read until nightfall, but can then be read all night.  Similarly, for the day time reading, the megillah can be read as early as sunrise and the mitzvah of hearing it read can take place throughout the day.

If it is impossible for one to hear the megillah at shul, and one has not been able to arrange to have it read to him/her privately, then one should read the megillah to themselves.

When hearing the megillah, it is customary for everyone to stand for the berakhot, and then sit for the remainder of the megillah reading.  The megillah reader stands throughout.

There is an obligation to hear every word of the megillah.


Gifts to the Poor -  Matanot L'Eviyonim

On Purim Day, each person is obligated to give money or food to two poor people.

To help you fulfill this mitzvah, donation plates will be available during all megillah readings on Purim: one plate will collect money for local needs and another plate will collect money to be distributed in Jerusalem on Shushan Purim.


The Sending of Gifts - Mishloach Manot

On Purim day, each person is obligated to give at least one friend a minimum of two different foods requiring no preparation.  Please note that participating in the shul's Mishloach Manot fundraiser does not fulfill this mitzvah.

Sun, December 15 2019 17 Kislev 5780