Observing Purim

Posted on: March 12, 2016
Hamantaschen cookies and candy background. View from above

Observing Purim

TA’ANIT ESTHER-THE FAST OF ESTHER, Wed., March 23 Fast begins 5:42 am •Fast ends 7:50 pm The Fast of Esther commemorates the fasts and prayers of Queen Esther and the Jewish people which led to our salvation.

Minchah “Machatzit HashekeI,” the contributing of the half shekel commemorates the annual donation of a half shekel that every Jewish male gave to the Bet Hamikdash. It is customary to give three such coins at Minchah in commemoration of the three collections that were made to the building of the first Tabernacle and its sacrifices. (Half dollar coins will be available for purchase in the shul)

PURIM EVENING, Wednesday March 23 Starting from the Ma’ariv service on Purim night we begin adding the thanksgiving prayer – “Al Hanissim” to each Shemoneh Esreh and to Birkat Hamazon, Grace After Meals.

Ma’ariv7:35 PM • Reading of Megillat Esther 7:50 PM All of us, men, women and children, should hear the reading of the Megillah, just as all of us were touched by the miraculous salvation from Haman’s evil decrees.

 

PURIM DAY, Thursday, March 24 Services at 6:45 AM. Tachanun is omitted. Hallel is not recited because the Megillah is considered praise of Hashem in place of Hallel.

First Megillah Reading 7:45 AM • Second Megillah Reading 11:00 AM

 

PURIM FEAST The special Purim meal is one of the essential mitzvot and highlights of this beautiful holiday. Our traditional Purim Seudah will be held at 5:30 PM in the Kent Auditorium. Dinner is $25 per adult, $10 per child featuring PURIM IN THE 60’S theme with entertainment and good times for all.

 

MISHLOACH MANOT lt is a sacred tradition for every Jew to send at least one gift containing two food items to a friend. This tradition is prominently mentioned in the Megillah. The Shulchan Aruch – the Code of Jewish Law – emphasizes that, “he who sends more to a greater number of friends and the needy deserves praise.”

 

Matanot La’evyonim At this time of joy for our people we must not think only of ourselves. Those less privileged than us must rejoice as well. To this end, we are obligated to give charity to at least two poor people on Purim. Donations to the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund will be distributed to needy people here and in Israel on Purim day.