Purim in Jerusalem
Purim in JerusalemFlash 90

Most Jews celebrate Purim on the 14th day of Adar, the day the Jews were miraculously saved from Haman's genocidal plans. Jews in cities which had walls during the time of Joshua, however, such as Jerusalem, celebrate Purim on the 15th of Adar, remembering what occurred in the ancient city of Shushan, Persia where the Jews continued to fight their enemies on the next day as well.

When the 15th of Adar, called Shushan Purim from a historical point of view and Purim Demukafin (Purim in walled cities) from a halakhic point of view, falls on a Friday, Jews in those cities observe all the Purim laws, but there are certain issues brought below, stemming from its being a Friday, that warrant attention:

  • It is advisable to prepare for Shabbat on Thursday, so as to be able to concentrate on observing the mitzvah of Purim on Friday.

  • One should nevertheless make sure to do something in honor of Shabbat on Friday morning, such as cooking something simple, and make sure to personally prepare something else for Shabbat in the afternoon (e.g. adding spices to a Shabbat food)

  • One should bathe in warm water in honor of the Shabbat . If there is time to bathe after the festive Purim meal (seuda) that is preferable. If bathing after the meal is not feasible, possibly because one might forget because of the wine drunk on the holiday, it is acceptable to bathe in the morning.

  • At any rate, a person should be sure there is no evidence of drinking on his clothes by Shabbat, and if not bathing, must at least wash his hands and face with soap and change into fresh clothes.

  • Foods suitable for Shabbat may be put in Mishloach Manot, as long as they are ready to eat in case someone wants to eat them on Purim itself and not wait until Shabbat.

  • Matanot Le'evyonim, gifts for the poor, must be distributed to the poor before sundown.

  • The festive meal should begin before midday

  • It is a good idea to delegate the task of straightening up the house one hour before Shabbat to a member of the family, so that the house will not be messy and there is no spilled wine or leftover Mishloach Manot etc. visible on Shabbat.

  • The shul gabaim (sextons) must be especially careful to make sure the shul is clean before the start of Shabbat evening prayers.

  • If someone is really drunk, he should not go to shul where he might disturb the prayers, but stay at home until he is sober and can pray seriously as one does before a King, even that means davening without a minyan (quorum of 10 men). If he is only somewhat tipsy, he can pray slowly and with concentration in a minyan.

  • If the festive Purim meal (seuda) is still going on when Shabbat begins, one can stop to say Grace after meals before sundown, go to shul to pray and return home to eat the Shabbat meal after reciting Kiddush.

Another possibility is for the family to go to shul in the middle of the seuda, leaving at least one participant at the table until their return, so as to continue the seuda.

A third possibility is to continue the seuda without pausing to pray, and wait until the meal is finished to daven(this last possibility is not recommended according to the Ari z"l's writings, but is allowed a priori by the Talmud).

  • Note: The last two possibilities require that he who intends to continue his meal cover the bread and foods with a cloth, say Kiddush without the blessing on wine (unless he did not drink any wine beforehand), break bread using two loaves without saying another blessing (as he already said the bracha at the start of the seuda) and then continue his meal. In those cases, Grace after the meal will include the Shabbat addition of Retzeh but not the Purim addition of Al Hanisim, but Sepharadim do not say Retzeh unless they actually ate at the seuda's continuation on Friday night.

  • Someone who falls asleep on Purim and awakens late Friday night, davens the Shabbat evening prayer (Maariv), recites the Kiddush and eats a meal that includes two loaves of bread. He is allowed to pray and say the Shema (ex post facto) until the break of dawn.

  • Gabaim must see to it that the Friday evening prayers are conducted as they should be in a place with the Divine Presence (shechinah), prevent noise and obstreperous behavior of anyone who comes to shul intoxicated from drinking at the Purim seuda.

  • A person who was unwillingly prevented (ne'enas) from reading the Megillah on Purim is allowed to read it during twilight on Friday, but does not recite the blessings over it.

  • Someone who falls asleep before the prayers welcoming the Shabbat and awakens the following morning, so that he missed the Friday night meal and evening prayers, must recite the morning silent prayer (amida) twice and recite the Friday night Kiddush, except for "Vayechulu" at his Shabbat-day meal (the first paragraph, "Vayechulu," is omitted when reciting the evening Kiddush during the next day, but it is permitted, ex post facto, to recite the rest of the Friday night Kiddush until Saturday evening). One should add a third meal during the day so that he eats the required three meals.

"We are overly intoxicated by external illusions, causing us not to sense our inner truths, the secret of real truth." (Rabbi Kook)