Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Rama (695:2) quotes from the Maharil (though I don't see it there):

וחייב במשתה ושמחה קצת בב׳ ימים י״ד וט״ו
and one must have a drinking party and joy, a little, on two days: the fourteenth and the fifteenth [of Adar]

(We also don't say tachanun or, I'm pretty sure, eulogies.)

Why?

Recall that the celebration of Purim is to commemorate a day of respite after battle. Jews in Shushan fought the 13h and 14th and had respite the 15th. Jews elsewhere fought the 13th alone and had respite the 14th. So for Jews in Shushan to celebrate on the 14th seems incongruous (though perhaps they should fast that day, as they do the 13th). And for Jews in New York (for example) to celebrate on the 15th seems irrelevant: the 15th is just another day on the calendar, no more celebratory than the 16th or the 17th.

The only reason I can think of to celebrate on both days is that Jews elsewhere are doing so, and we like to share one another's joy.[1] But that's conjecture, and seems IMO weak as an obligatory reason. I seek a source for a reason we celebrate both the 14th and the 15th of Adar.


[1] Indeed, I've heard that given, with no source AFAIR, as the reason we do hakafos in chutz laaretz on lel Sh'mini Atzeres, and in Israel on motzae Sh'mini Atzeres.

share|improve this question
    
I've heard your reason given as to why to not say lamenatzeach on isru chag in Israel but to say it on isru chag in Chu"l. I believe it was in the name of the Chazon Ish. –  Double AA Feb 19 '12 at 16:21
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The gemara in Megillah 5b quotes the Megillat Taanit which extends the restrictions of fasting and giving eulogies to both days in all places. Tosfot there (sv SheAsurim) says that this teaches that we don't say tachanun on either day because the days are not days of Tzara (pain) but days of Simcha (joy).

EDIT

The last Beit Yosef in Orach Chaim states that we do not say tachanun on the 14th and 15th of Adar I because they are days of miracles and salvation. I think this can help us understand Tosfot, in that since miracles and salvation happened on that day, the day itself attains a celebratory character. To what extent one applies that character (from skipping tachanun to having a second raucous feast) is likely debated among the rishonim, but it certainly provides basis for the Maharil's rule.

share|improve this answer
    
This is a good source for not fasting or eulogizing, and the reason is clearly because of joy (which, as I noted in the question, leads also to the Rama's rule), but it doesn't explain why we have joy that day. –  msh210 Feb 19 '12 at 16:59
    
@msh210 See my new edits. –  Double AA Feb 19 '12 at 17:13
    
FWIW, it's becoming more popular in Israeli cities which "might" have had a wall in the time of Joshua, to have a 2nd megilla reading on the 15th (without a bracha), and a 2nd feast. The mitzvah obligations are still done on the 14th, but there is a push to re-festivize the 15th in cities like Jaffa, Shiloh, Akko, those cities which may have had walls, but were not given special "Shushan Purim" status like Jerusalem was. –  user1095 Feb 19 '12 at 19:17
add comment

If you go back to the text of Megillat Esther you can see that the holiday is actually supposed to be two days (Esther 9:21,27). This halacha may be a reflection of the original intent of Mordechai and Esther.

share|improve this answer
    
9:21,27 are just as easily read that some Jews were to keep one day and some the other; and, in light of 9:19,22, that seems the more reasonable reading of 9:21,27. (And that's ignoring the fact that the g'mara reads them that way, which we shouldn't.) –  msh210 Mar 20 at 23:09
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.