Purim - Mitzvot & Customs in the Sources of the Halachah (Kitzur Shulhan Arukh)

Article 141. Rules regarding the Reading of the Megillah:

 

IV) One should put on Sabbath clothes in honor of the reading of the Megillah. When one comes home from the synagogue one should find candles burning and the table laid. In the evening service "Kaddish Titkabel" is recited after the Shemoneh Essreh before reading the Megillah.

IX) The most appropriate way of fulfilling the Mitzvah of hearing the Megillah is in the synagogue where there are many people, for in the "multitude of people is the king's glory" (Proverbs 14:28). If this is not possible, an effort should be made to hear the Megillah at least with Minyan (a quorum of ten male adults). If it is not possible to hear it in a Minyan, every individual should read it from a kasher Megillah (written on parchment), reciting (only) the Blessings before reading.

XI) When reading the Megillah, both on the eve and on the morning of Purim, three Blessings are recited before the reading: "Al Mikra Megillah", "Sheassah Nissim" and "Shehekheyanu". After the reading, the Megillah is rolled up, placed on the table, and the Blessing "Ha-Rav et rivenu" is recited.

XXII) On the morning of Purim one goes to the synagogue early. The half Kaddish is recited after the Shemoneh Essreh, the passage of "And Amalek came" is read from the Torah, for which three men are called to the Torah. This is followed by the half Kaddish. The Sefer Torah is returned to the Holy Ark, after which the Megillah is read.

 

Article 142 - Rules for the "mishloah manot" to friends and presents to the poor and the festive Purim meal.

1) Every person must send two portions to at least one person, as it is written: "And sending portions to one another", that is, two portions to one person. Praiseworthy is the person who sends portions to many people. However, it is better to send many presents to the poor than to eat big meals or send many portions to friends, because there is no greater joy before G-d than when He sees that we gladden the hearts of the poor, the orphans and the widows and make them happy.

2) Under "portions" foodstuffs are meant which can be eaten as they are without any preparation, like cooked meat or fish, sweetmeats, fruit, wine, mead and the like.

3) Every person, even a poor man who lives on charity, must give at least two presents to two poor people, as it is written: "And gifts to the poor" -- two presents to two poor people.

 

4) It is a religious obligation to eat, drink and be merry on Purim. On the eve of Purim one should also be merry and have a somewhat richer meal. However, one does not fulfil one's duty of the Purim meal with the evening meal, because the Purim meal must be taken in the daytime, as it is written: "Days of feasting". Candles should be lit also for the day meal, like on joyous occasions. On the eve of the 15th of Adar -- Shushan Purim -- one should also be merrier than usual. The portions and gifts to friends and the poor should also be send by day. Since this keeps one busy during the day, part of the meal is eaten after dark.

5) Since wine was the agent of the miracle throughout the story of Purim -- Vashti rebelled during a wine feast, and her place was taken by Esther, and Haman's downfall also occurred during a wine feast -- our Sages declared it a duty to drink wine on Purim, saying that one has to become merry on wine on Purim, until one no longer knows the difference between "accursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordekhai".

From: Purim Resources, edited by Haim Weinreb


 

 

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15 Jun 2005 / 8 Sivan 5765 0