Purim and its Mitzvot
What are the Mitzvot (and their meanings) of the holiday of Purim?
What does it mean to be commanded to eradicate Amalek – the Jewish people’s nemesis in history and ideology?
As we explore the roots of the laws themselves in the Book of Esther, we’ll analyze the multi-level meaning of the Megillah and the holiday itself. If you liked the classes on Chanuka, you’ll love our Purim series (which follows the same model).
Purim and its Mitzvot: Lesson 1
PURIM AND ITS MITZVOT: Purim and Chanukah are products of rabbinic activism. Neither of these holidays is mentioned in the Torah, but they are both responses to events that were perpetrated by enemies. Even though they were not originally mandated by the Torah, they both merit being part of the eternal calendar. The Sages dictated what Mitzvot are connected to Purim, and throghout generations we have uncovered the significance of these practices. Tonight we begin with a foundation story, and a brief perusal of the source of the mitzvot in the Tanakh and the Talmud. If you are new to the sources, or you need a refresher course, we will be delving into all aspects of Purim and her many multi-layered meanings.
Purim and its Mitzvot: Lesson 2
ORIGINAL SOURCES FOR THE MITZVOT OF PURIM…AND…: The relationship of Purim to Megilat Ta’anit that determines mourning practices on Purim, and gives insight into the nature of the day. We will look at the Tur and the Beit Yosef–the precursor to the Shulchan Aruch to get a deeper understanding of how these halachot evolved.
Purim and its Mitzvot: Lesson 3
ON TO THE MITZVAH OF READING THE MEGILLA BOTH NIGHT AND DAY…: After we finish up some remaining issues regarding Ta’anit Esther, we continue with the Mitzvha of reading the Megilla, and its importance. Even though it is not a Mitzvah from the Torah, it takes precedence over Mitzvot that are. Why is Purim so important? Tonight we may get to that question!
Purim and its Mitzvot: Lesson 4
WHO CAN READ THE MEGILLA FOR OTHERS AND WHY?: This week we wil see not only who is obligated to read the Megilla, but who can read for others thereby fulfilling their obligations to both. The Beit Yosef brings many opinions on this matter. Hope to see you tonight!
Purim and its Mitzvot: Lesson 5
WE’VE GOT THE BACKGROUND, NOW WHAT’S THE HALACHA?: Regarding status of who is obligated to read, we have seen that women and men seem to have the same obligation. Once the Shulchan Aruch digests and distills the laws from his encyclopedic commentary, the Beit Yosef, we shall note what he consideres normative practice. After that we will further explore the Mishnah Brura for even a later commentary. We maybe or maybe not surprised on how things end up!
Purim and its Mitzvot: Lesson 6
WHO READS THE MEGILLAH AND HOW DOES ONE DO SO?: Last week we spent some time seeing what the Halacha says regarding who is obligated to read, and who has the ability to fulfill the MItzvah for others. We have more to do, but we will also begin learning the Tur on how one must read the Megillah in order to fulfill the Mitzvah. There’s a lot of material, so we will attempt to be as efficient as possible. See you tonight!
Purim and its Mitzvot: Lesson 7
READING AND WRITING OF THE MEGILLA: There are a variety of opinions regarding how much of the Megilah one has to read. How these opinions are derived teaches much about a Holiday the source of which is the Megilah itself. How much do we have to read? Can some of the Megilah be missing? These and other mysteries will be unraveled as our joy begins to expand during this sacred month of Adar.
Purim and its Mitzvot: Lesson 8
IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME!: And according to the Beit Yosef…That’s Okay according to everyone! The special status of Greek language regarding the Megilah is an interesting halacha to plumb. If time permits, we will investigate the many faces of Amalek, and Haman. Looking forward to seeing everyone!