BH בס"ד


Shabbat "Zachor" - שבת זכור


Saturday, Adar 8, 5781. March 20, 2021

Shabbat Zachor ("Sabbath [of] remembrance שבת זכור) is the Shabbat immediately preceding Purim. Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (at the end of Parasha Ki Teizei), describing the attack by Amalek, is recounted. There is a tradition from the Talmud that Haman, the antagonist of the Purim story, was descended from Amalek.

Click here to read about "The Laws of Hearing Parashat Zachor"

Fast of Esther (Ta'anit Esther)

Fast of Esther - Erev Purim

    תענית אסתר - ערב פורים

Wednesday, Adar 13, 5781. March 25, 2021

Fast starts:                5:47 AM

Shaharit:                   7:00 AM

Minkha:                    6:00 PM

Arvit and Megila :    6:45 PM

Fast Ends:                  6:48  PM  (AFTER Arvit & Megila reading)

Click here to read about "The fast of Esther"

‘Must do’? Or not ‘Must do’? That is the question!

What are we obligated to do on Purim and what is just a custom?

Every Holiday has its own Mitzvot whether it is a commandment from the Torah or a rabbinical commandment.

There are seven Mitzvot that we are obligated to do in order to fulfill the Mitzvot of Purim.

1. Give Mahatzit Hashekel – Half a Shekel: מחצית השקל

The source of this mitzvah is the Torah, Parashat Teruma, where every man over 20 years of age, gave a half shekel (silver coin) as a donation and to count the population. Later on at the time of the Beit Hamikdash – the Holy Temple, the money was used to purchase cattle for the communal sacrifices which were offered daily, as well as the additional sacrifices offered on Shabbat and holidays.

Today: It is customary to give the equivalent of 10 grams of pure silver as the half shekel. Today that comes to about $8.50.When: Most people will give it on Ta’anit Esther – fast of Esther, which falls on Thursday, March  25, 2021 BEFORE Minha, OR between Minha and Arvit OR any time during Purim.

2. Say ‘Al Hanissim’ in all Tefilot (Arvit, Shaharith, Minkha) and Birkat Hamazon: מזכירים ניסים

This is a special “Thank you” to Hashem. It is a paragraph added during Amidah right after Modim and in Birkat Hamazon – the blessing after the meal.

Click here to read about "The laws of "Al Hanissim"

3. Megila reading: Reading (or hearing) the Megila at night and during the day of Purim. מקרא מגילה

This year,  Wednesday, March 25, 2021 evening after Arvit.

During the following day:

Friday, March 25, 2021 it can be read once anytime from

sunrise 06:15 am to sunset 6:19 pm. (In cases of pressing need, one can read the Megillah from alot hashachar (dawn: 05:29am), but it may not be read any earlier. If one still  had not read the Megillah by sunset, they should read the Megillah without reciting the beracha.

Click here to read about "The laws of Megillah Reading

4. Torah Reading on Purim day: מקרא תורה

Friday, March 26, 2021

We read “Vayavo Amalek” - the end of Parashat Ki-Tezei, which tells us to remember how Amalek wanted to kill the people of Israel as they left Egypt. Haman was a descendent of Amalek and also wanted to destroy us. In every generation we have a "Haman". We should not forget that Hashem is always protecting us.


5. Giving a minimum of two kinds of foods to one person  משלוח מנות  Mishloakh Manot

Click here to read about "The laws of Mishloakh Manot

6. Giving gifts / money to the poor.

Matanot La'evyonim מתנות לאביונים

Friday, March 26, 2021

Minimum of two gifts to two poor peopl. It is customary to give money. The minimum that is required is the equivalent of a full meat meal with wine. Today we give about $15 to each poor person.


7. Purim festive meal (during the Purim day) משתה

Friday, March 26, 2021

Mid day:  earliest Minkha: 1:14 PM



Other customs:

To wear a costume: It is a custom only.


To get drunk: The source of this Minhag – custom, is in the Gemara: “a person must drink until he is confused when asked: “who is blessed and who is cursed, Haman or Mordechai”? If you are confused – you are drunk! Some people take this way too far. You need to know your limits. Don’t make a Hillul Hashem – a disgrace of Hashem's name.


Whatever we do on Purim should be with Simha – Happiness, and with a little more care to be modest, respectful and dignified.


Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Sasson