Summary of laws of Purim-Part 2-Seder of Purim night and day

1. Purim Night:

  • Maariv on Purim night: In Maariv Shemoneh Esrei we add Al Hanissim. We do not announce Al Hanissim prior to Shemoneh Esrei and rather, upon the Chazan reaching Al Hanissim, he is to recite the first words aloud. After the Amidah, a complete Kaddish with Tiskabel is recited. The Megillah reading is begun after Kaddish. After the Megillah reading, Ata Kadosh is recited, followed by a complete Kaddish without Tiskabel. It is not our custom for the Baal Korei to wear a Tallis at night, although some are accustomed to do so.
  • Eating prior to Megillah Reading: It is forbidden to eat prior to hearing the Megillah at night. This applies even if it is difficult for one to continue fasting Taanis Esther until the end of the Megillah reading. However, in a time of great need [such as one who feels very weak due to the fast or one who is sick] one may eat a small snack prior to hearing the Megillah. The definition of a snack is up to 55 grams of bread or 55 grams worth of an alcoholic drink prior to hearing the Megillah.
  • Purim festivities after Maariv and Megillah: Upon returning from Shul, one is to be greeted at home with a lit and set table. One is to celebrate with a festive meal, in ones Shabbos clothing. However, being this is not the main meal of Purim, one should save the more festive delicacies for the main meal the next day. Many Poskim rule one is to eat the accustomed Zaronim [grains and legumes] specifically on the night of Purim, after the fast. The Mitzvah of drinking wine on Purim is to be fulfilled during the day, by the Purim meal. However, some sources imply that one is to fulfill the Mitzvah of “Lebesumei” also by the night of Purim.
  • Tachanun in Kerias Shema Sheal Hamita: Tachanun is omitted from Kerias Shema Sheal Hamita. This applies for both the nights of the 14th and 15th. Marital relations is permitted at night.

2. Purim day

  • Waking early: One is to wake up early on Purim morning to go to Shul.
  • Eating prior to Shacharis: It is forbidden to eat [not drink] prior to hearing the Megillah day reading just like it is forbidden to eat prior to the night reading. It is an act of piety to completely fast until after one hears the Megillah reading, just like it is an act of piety to fast prior to hearing the Shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah and shaking the Lulav on Sukkos. In a time of great need [such as one who feels very weak or one who is sick] one may eat a small snack prior to hearing the Megillah. The definition of a snack is up to 55 grams of bread or 55 grams worth of a drink prior to hearing the Megillah. Nursing or pregnant women may eat a regular meal prior to the Megillah reading. This especially applies if she is waiting on her husband to come home in order to read the Megillah for her.
  • Shacharis: Shacharis follows a normal weekday Davening until Shemoneh Esrei. In Shemoneh Esrei one adds al Hanissim in the Amidah. Tachanun is omitted. After the chazzan’s repetition of the Amidah, half Kaddish is recited followed by the Torah reading of the portion of Amaleik from Parshas Beshalach. One reads first Zecher and then Zeicher in the Torah reading. If one did not hear Parshas Zachor he should have in mind by the current reading to fulfill this Biblical Mitzvah. After the Torah reading, half Kaddish is recited which is followed by Hagba and Gelila. The Torah scroll remains held until after the Megillah reading and Ashrei/Uva Letziyon/Kaddish Tiskabel. The Megillah is read immediately following the reading of the Torah and the recital of the half Kaddish. One is not to remove his Tefillin until after Megillah reading. This applies even if one already finished Davening and is hearing the Megillah after Davening. The Megillah is read while still wearing the Rashi Tefillin. One who has not yet given Machatzis Hashekel is to do so prior to the Megillah reading. Upon reciting the blessing of Shehechiyanu by the day reading it is proper to have in mind to include also the mitzvah of the festive meal and Mishloach Manos, and according to some also Matanos Laevyonim. After the Megillah reading the prayer proceeds with Ashrei, Uva Letziyon, complete Kaddish, Beis Yaakov, Shir Shel Yom etc.
  • It is stated in the name of the Baal Shem Tov that on Purim one is to awaken early and bequest Hashem with prayer and supplication on all matters that pertain to his life, family, and livelihood. This is similar to Yom Kippur which is a day of prayer and so too Purim is a day of auspiciousness for one’s prayer to be accepted.
  • Mincha: Mincha is to be Davened early on Purim day. The Purim meal is eaten after Mincha.
  • Beginning the review of the laws of Pesach: One is to begin reviewing the laws of Pesach on Purim, the 14th of Adar.
  • Working On Purim: The accepted custom is to refrain from working on Purim. One who does work on Purim will not see blessing from that work. The definition of work is any action which takes a lot of one’s attention. Thus, those matters which can be done without much concentration are permitted to be done. One may buy and sell on Purim being that this is considered a joyous activity. All Mitzvah related activities may be done. Thus, one may write Halachic rulings. One may do any action or work, even if it takes much of one’s attention, if it is needed to be done for Purim. One may not cut his nails on Purim. It is disputed whether one may cut his hair. It is forbidden to do laundry on Purim. It is permitted to do work on Purim in order to prevent a loss.

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