Friday, March 6, 2015

It's Still Purim Today - But Only if You're in Jerusalem or Another Walled City


If you're like us, you probably have had your fill of hamantaschen (and snow) and Purim is over. But if you live in Jerusalem, you're celebrating Purim today, the 15th of Adar.

The battles fought between the Jews and their enemies throughout the Persian empire took place on 13 Adar. Around the world, the Jews rested and celebrated on the following day—14 Adar. In the capital city of Shushan, however, where there were a greater number of Jew-haters, the fighting continued for two days, 13 and 14 Adar. The victory celebrations in Shushan were thus held on the 15th.

When the holiday of Purim was set for the 14th of Adar, the sages instituted that Shushan residents perpetually observe Purim on the 15th of Adar—the day when the Shushanite Jews celebrated. The 15th of Adar is hence known as Shushan Purim.

Along with Shushan (which is located in modern-day southwestern Iran), all cities that were walled at the time when the Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, entered Canaan, observe Purim on the 15th.

Today, the only city that we are certain had walls in Joshua’s times is Jerusalem. And indeed, in the holy city, Purim is festively celebrated one day after all other cities. There are a number of other ancient cities in Israel, such as Jaffa and Tiberias, regarding which there is a reasonable doubt whether they were walled in Joshua’s times. These cities observe two days of Purim. 

Yesterday, Nefesh B'Nefesh staff members walked the streets of Jerusalem spreading joy and distributing baskets of goodies, fulfilling the mitzvah of Mishloach Manot. Nefesh B'Nefesh is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the revitilization and facilitation of Aliyah. (moving to Israel). 

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)