Purim Perazim - Purim of the open cities
The 14th day of Adar is called by the Sages "Purim Perazim", from the Book of Esther (9:19):
"Therefore the Jews of the villages, who dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month of Adar a day of gladness and feasting."
Shushan Purim is observed on the 15th day of Adar. On this day the Jews of Shushan [Suza], the city in which King Achashverosh dwelt, celebrated their victory. The Sages also called this day "Purim Mukafim" (Purim of the walled cities) since it is celebrated in a city surrounded by walls. In cities such as Jerusalem, which have a wall, or that were fortified in the past, the Megillah is read on the 15th day of Adar.
When the 15th of Adar falls on Shabbat, the celebration lasts three days: on Friday ("Purim Perazim"), on Shabbat, and on Sunday. ("Purim Mukafim" is postponed until the Sunday, since it is forbidden to read the Megillah on Shabbat, in order to avoid carrying in places where there is no Eruv; it is also forbidden to mingle the sanctity of Shabbat with the Purim festivity). On Triple Purim, the Megillah is read and gifts are distributed to the poor on Friday, and the mitzvoth of the Purim Feast and Mishlo'ah Manot are performed on Sunday. On Shabbat the section dealing with Amalek is read and the "Al Hanisim" prayer is recited.
Purim serves not only as remembrance of the salvation of Israel in the days of Mordechai and Esther, but is also a symbol of like cases throughout Jewish history in the Diaspora, when the Jews were saved from the "Hamans" of their generation. In his "Sefer Hamoadim", Dr. Yom Tov Levinsky lists ninety special Purims, that are celebrated as days of rejoicing, praise and thanksgiving.
One example of a special Purim, is the "Winz Purim", celebrated by the community of Frankfort-on-Main, to mark an event that occurred in the early seventeenth century. The baker Winz Fettmilch whipped up a pogrom against the Jewish community, which was miraculously saved from complete destruction. Winz and his associates were punished, and the Jews of Frankfort celebrated their deliverance from their local Haman.
In a leap year when there are two Adars, the second Adar is called by the people "and Adar". Purim in this case falls on the 14th day of the second Adar, while the 14th day of the first Adar is called Purim Katan. Some of the rejoicing of Purim is brought into Purim Katan, festive meals are eaten and mourning is forbidden.
Reference material for teachers and students in the Diaspora, Written & edited by Dr. Aviv Ekroni & Rafi Banai, from:
"Hetz", Journal of the former Department for Jewish Education and Culture in the Diaspora
- The Department for Jewish Zionist Education
Did you Know?
(Compiled by Dr. Asher Bavli)
- In the Book of Esther G-d's name is not mentioned even once.
- The longest verse in the Bible is in the Book of Esther.
"Then were the king's scribes called at that time, in the third month, that is the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordechai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces, which are from India unto Ethiopia, a hundred and twenty seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing and according to their language."
The verse has 43 words in Hebrew, and 90 words in the English translation.
- There is a "Queen Esther" street in the center of Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem.
- On January 30th, 1944, Hitler said: If the Nazis are vanquished, the Jews will be able to celebrate a special Purim.
- "Hadassah" was founded very close to Purim, in 1912. Hadassah is Esther's Hebrew name.
A PURIM ANTHOLOGY: Expanded and reedited,
Compiled and Edited by: Ora Limor & Haya Shenhav,
The former Department for Jewish Education & Culture in the Diaspora: The Department for Jewish Zionist Education