Rabbi Baruch Efrati
Rabbi Baruch EfratiR.B.E.

Note: Everything written here must be done in accordance with the regulations of the Health Ministry.

Laws of Purim that falls on a Friday - for both Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews

When Purim is on a Friday, all the halakhot of the holiday are to be kept as usual. (The laws for those living in walled cities from the time of Joshua, such as Jerusalem, are at the end of this article.)

Nevertheless, there are several points that need special mention:

Megilla reading:

It is important to try one's utmost to read the megilla with a minyan (quorum of ten Jewish men), because of the halakhic decisors who declared that this is a reading that is not at the regular time for reading from the Torah and mandates a minyan. However, if there is no minyan, the megilla is read anyway (without the closing bracha unless there are ten women present which constitutes an equivalent in this case).

If someone forgets to read the megilla on Friday, he is to say the full Hallel prayer on Shabbat without the bracha at the start of the prayer.

Laws and Customs:

1. It is a good idea to complete as much of the Shabbat preparations as possible on Thursday, so that one can concentrate on the Purim mitzvoth on Friday. However, one should make sure to do something needed for Shabbat on Friday morning (preparing a small item of food, for example) in honor of Shabbat, and in the afternoon to prepare something else (personally, not through another person) in honor of Shabbat, such as adding spices to one of the Shabbat foods.

2. One should bathe in warm water in honor of Shabbat, preferably after the festive Purim meal (se'udat Purim) and if one cannot (because he is worried about being too tipsy to remember), bathe in the morning. In any case, do not welcome the Shabbat with wine or stains on your clothes, and make sure to wash your hands and face with soap and put on clean clothes. Haircuts are permitted in honor of Shabbat, even though it is Purim.

3. When preparing Mishloach Manot (sending food portions to a friend, one of the Purim mitzvoth), it is permitted to send cooked foods that will probably be eaten on Shabbat and not on Purim day, but they must be ready to eat without further cooking.

Rabbi Baruch Efrati studied at Merkaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem and serves as a rabbi in Efrat. He is a prolific and much-read writer on Torah issues and heads the "Derech Emunah" (Way of Torah) movement of young Israeli Orthodox rabbis.

4. Matanot Le'evyonim (gifts for the poor, one of the Purim mitzvot) must be distributed before sunset.

5. It is mandatory to observe the guidelines of the Health Ministry and the Chief Rabbinate stringently, regarding the number of people at the se'uda and in shul, as well as all the other mandated cautionary measures during the corona era.

6. The Purim se'uda, including meat and wine, should lechatchila (a priori) take place in the morning, beginning before halakhic midday. However, the mitzvah is recognized throughout the day if that is not possible.

7. It is best to assign the responsibility to someone for cleaning up about an hour before the beginning of Shabbat, so that the house is not messy, there is no spilled wine and no leftovers from Mishloach manot and the like. Shul gabbaim (sextons) should be sure that the shul is clean before the Shabbat evening prayer.

8. Someone who is drunk should not go to shul and disturb the service, but wait until he is sober and can pray calmly, since, after all, he is standing before the King, even if it means missing prayer with a minyan (quorum). However, someone who is only somewhat tipsy is allowed to attend a minyan and concentrate on praying slowly and attentively.

9. If the Purim se'uda last until candle lighting,one can pause for Grace After Meals before sundown, then go to shul to pray Shabbat eve services, and return to have the Shabbat meal after making Kiddush.

Another possibility is to go to shul in the midst of the se'uda, and leave one of the participants at the table until returning to continue it.

A third possibility is to continue without pausing for prayers, and wait until the meal is over to pray (this is not recommended by the Ari z"l, but is allowed by the gemara a priori).

The second and third possibility mandate that one cover the food on the table with a cloth, say Kiddush without the blessing over the wine (unless one has not drunk any before hand), slice the challahs without the hamotzi blessing (since that was done earlier), and continue the se'uda.

When reciting Grace after Meals in these two cases, one says the Shabbat additions ("Retsei" etc.) and not the Purim addition (al hanisim). Sephardim do not say "Retsei" unless they actually eat part of the Purim se'uda on Friday night.

10. Someone who falls asleep on Purim day (Friday) and awakens late Friday night, should pray the evening Shabbat service (maariv) , say Kiddush with two challahs on the table, as usual. He can pray and recite the Shema prayer until dawn.

11. The gabbaim must take care that the evening prayer is conducted as it should be when one is in the Divine Presence, and prevent shouting and wild behavior on the part of those who left the se'uda while drunk and came to shul.

12. If someone was unintentionally unable to read the Megilla on Purim day, he can still do so during dusk on Friday evening without a blessing.

13. Someone who falls asleep before Shabbat and awakens the following morning, so that he missed the Shabbat evening prayers and the Shabbat meal, should say the moning (silent) prayer twice and say the second part of the Friday night Kiddush before eating the morning meal (ex post facto, he can do this until the evening) and add another meal during the day so that he has had all 3 Shabbat meals.

14. Jerusalem and other cities walled during Joshua's time:

In these places, the Purim mitzvoth are kept over three days.

The Megilla is read and Matanot Le'evyonim are done on Friday

Al Hanisim is said during prayers and the reading on Amalek is read on Shabbat (without saying Av Harachamim).

It is fitting to serve an especially festive meal on Shabbat so that it seems like the Purim se'uda, and give Mishloach Manot to a friend (that is because there are some halakhic decisors who say these two mitzvoth should be kept on Shabbat).

On Sunday, there is a se'uda and Mishloach Manot (it is even more praiseworthy to also give them on Friday).