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20

It's amazing what you can find on Hebrewbooks!... In Sifsei Chachamim, by R' Avraham Abba Hertzel (Bratislava, 1899), he says that this is based on the Gemara's statement (Megillah 15b, top) that "that wicked man had all of his treasures engraved on his chest" (evidently meaning that he wore a medallion, or something similar, that had all of his possessions ...


16

There are, of course, a lot of explanations about what happened here and what this story means. Shaloh (Torah Shebichsav, Tetzaveh) states that Rabbah brought R. Zeira to a level of Divine understanding, and with that divestment from his physical body, beyond his capabilities. As for the term "slaughtered" (שחיטה), he compares it to the phrase וישחטם במדבר ...


14

The Gemara (Megilla 14a) gives three answers (punctuation and numbering added): הלל נמי נימא?! 1. לפי שאין אומרים הלל על נס שבחוצה לארץ יציאת מצרים דנס שבחוצה לארץ היכי אמרינן שירה כדתניא עד שלא נכנסו ישראל לארץ הוכשרו כל ארצות לומר שירה משנכנסו ישראל לארץ לא הוכשרו כל הארצות לומר שירה 2. רב נחמן אמר קרייתא זו הלילא 3. רבא אמר בשלמא התם (תהילים קיג) ...


14

I don't know about heresy per se. But since Pirkei Avos (4:12) says that "your awe for your teacher should be like your awe towards G-d," the following would seem to be relevant. There is a well-known story (this article, in Hebrew, collects over a dozen versions of it) where a yeshivah student, in his role as a Purim Rav, says something insulting about the ...


12

Here's something I wrote about to answer this question a couple of years ago: If one reads only the text of the Megillah without any awareness of the talmudic materials on it or the history surrounding it, Achashveirosh seems like a pretty neutral king. However, having been the one personally responsible for the halting of the building of the Beis ...


12

Ben Ish Chai identifies two understandings of this aggada: (1) It's literal interpretation in which Rabba actually slaughters R' Zeira, and (2) the "explanation of the kabbalists", in which Rabba and R' Zeira were discussing esoteric secrets of the Torah, and Rabba's soul in some way triumphed over his R' Zeira's, in some sense "unraveling" his soul. (Don't ...


12

Alshich (to 5:5-8) says that indeed she didn't eat at the first feast. Among many other things, this explains why the first one is just described as "the party which Esther made" (5:5), while to the second one Achashverosh and Haman came "to drink with Queen Esther" (7:1).


11

Parts of the city were indeed conquered already in Yehoshua's times or shortly thereafter. Josh. 15:63 states: וְאֶת-הַיְבוּסִי יוֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם, לֹא-יוכלו (יָכְלוּ) בְנֵי-יְהוּדָה לְהוֹרִישָׁם; וַיֵּשֶׁב הַיְבוּסִי אֶת-בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה, בִּירוּשָׁלִַם, עַד, הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה. "The children of Judah were unable to dislodge the Jebusites, ...


11

"Ad delo yada" is not accepted as halachah at all. (Taz, Orach Chaim 695:2) It means to drink enough that you sleep, and then you don't know the difference between "cursed is Haman" and "blessed is Mordechai." (Maharil, cited in Rema there) Which is the greater benefit that Hashem granted us: that Haman was degraded and executed, or that Mordechai was ...


10

As I understand it, Charvonah is the linchpin of the Megilah, the meeting of two separate plots. Without Charvonah, Mordechai's rescue of King Achashverosh ends with his pony ride around Shushan. And without Charvonah, Esther's plea for her nation might have fallen on deaf ears; Achashverosh might well have decided to side with his chief advisor, who had ...


10

This article has a writeup on the subject, speculating that it was written no later than about 500 CE (i.e., during the Talmudic era), based on its style. Machzor Vitry in fact places it earlier, tracing it to the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah. Still other sources attribute it to R. Asher Halevi of Worms (late 11th-early 12th century). As for why it's said: ...


10

Bartenura (to Megillah 1:1) says that it is associated with Yehoshua because he was the first to wage war against Amalek. Indeed, G-d directs Moshe there to "write this as a memorial in the book and place it in the ears of Yehoshua" - the Gemara (Megillah 7a and 18a) explains that this phrase refers, among other things, to the Megillah.


10

The Gemara (Megillah 13a, bottom), cited by Rashi to the verse in Esther, says that this was Achashverosh's last-ditch attempt to get Esther to reveal her origins, since otherwise she might be replaced as queen. (It says that this was done at Mordechai's advice; thus the juxtaposition that "Mordechai was sitting at the king's gate." Me'am Loez adds - I ...


10

ABSOLUTELY. DO NOT DRINK IF IT IS MEDICALLY CONTRAINDICATED!! NEVER EVER EVER!! Immediately after the statement about "obligation to drink on Purim", the Gemara tells a tale of one rabbi who got drunk and very nearly killed someone. Most rabbis say that's just a cautionary note to moderate your drinking, but the Baal HaMaor says the Gemara is refuting the ...


10

I have found that at Purim meals where no one gets seriously drunk, everyone tends to have an equivalently-good time. How good a time that is, of course, depends on the quality of the company, conversation, etc., just like at any other gathering. If you're looking for a great source of both holy and fun holiday-appropriate conversation-starters, I recommend ...


10

Medrash Esther Raba 3 says Charvona was called Charvona as he was responsible for the Churban Bais Hamikdash. חרבונא מופיע פעמיים במגילה - בתחילת המגילה הוא מופיע כאחד משבעת הסריסים המשרתים את פני המלך אחשרוש, ובסוף המגילה הוא מגלה לאחשורוש על העץ שהכין המן. חרבונא זהו שם פרסי (א' בסופו). אומר המדרש [אסתר רבה, ג] שמשמעות שמו - "אחריב ביתיה", לשון ...


9

You are right as to the reason why we don't have two days of Yom Kippur is because it is dangerous and we don't decree on people decrees that they can't handle. As to the other two, see 9 Days of Chanukah?


9

The Nitei Gavriel - Purim Perek 11 #4 brings from the Yalkut Avraham Siman 686, that the Minhag was to put the משנכנס sign over the Zecher L'Charban area, since it is a Zeman Simcha. Regarding hanging a Mishenechnas sign in the Shul - see page 262 - that the Minhag was to hang it on the Western wall of the Shul - where often that is where the entrance is. ...


9

The mitzvos of Purim and Chanuka definitely fit the bill for the violation of lo sosifu according to the Ramban (vaeschanan 4:2). More specifically, the Yerushalmi quotes a different pasuk- These are the mitzvos that Hashem commanded Moshe. Lo sosifu refers to adding in general, but the former pasuk forbids adding even through prophecy. Both the Bavli ...


9

Megilla 13b says that Ester would "rise from the bosom of Achashverosh and immerse herself and sit in the bosom of Mordechai". Tosfos Harosh asks how this was permitted due to the law of "havchana" (the requirement for a women to abstain from relations for three months between husbands to identify the father), and explains that she utilized ...


9

Rav Yosef Messas a"h (he served as Rav in Tilimsan Algeria, Meknes Morocco, and as Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Haifa) held that wearing costumes/disguises on Purim is absolutely forbidden as hukas hagoyim and that its origins stem from an imitation of the pre-Lent festivity of Carnavale which itself has origins in the orgiastic paganism of Bacchanalia. He ...


9

The Medrash records a machloket Tannaim about whether in the future all the moadim are batel except for Yom Kippur and Purim or all the moadim except for Purim. The Maharal writes in his hakdama to Ohr Chadash, his commentary on Megillat Esther, that on both days the Jewish people were/are opposed by a force that seeks their complete destruction - Yom Kippur ...


8

The translations I have seen translate it differently, and effectively elide the vav; either קניניו refers to the rest of Haman's household, or to the fact that his sons were his dearest possessions. From Koren/Sacks: His many sons and his household You hanged on the gallows. From Artscroll: His numerous progeny -- his possessions -- on the ...


8

Many, many poskim (Rambam included) say the mitzva is specifically wine. Chayei Adam observes that this is to commemorate the Purim miracle which occurs over a series of scenes, all set at wine-drinking parties.


8

It seems pretty clear that 'Ad DeLo Yada' is fulfilled through alcohol, not wine per se. I've heard that wine is preferable, and even that one does not fulfill the requirement if one gets drunk on whisk(e)y. This seems very strange to me, as the point is to get so joyfully drunk that one is unable to distinguish between two polar opposite characters. Unless ...


8

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim/article_cdo/aid/483409/jewish/Is-a-woman-allowed-to-dress-up-as-a-man-on-Purim.htm This prohibition is intended to prevent licentious behavior. The question remains, however, whether this prohibition applies to Purim, a day when any cross-dressing would only be for "harmless" entertainment purposes. The Rama, ...


8

Hazon Ovadia Purim pg. 199 מה שנוהגים להתחפש וללבוש מסיכות בפורים, אין כל איסור בדבר.‏ It is Mutar to dress up Purim. What is Asur on Purim? Cross dressing Inviting magicians Making fun of the Rabbis on Purim (All from Yalkut Yosef 695)


8

Aruch HaShulchan 694:2 says that it is clear to him that it does not have to be given directly to the poor man, and can be given through a messenger (Shaliach) on Purim day. Nitei Gavriel Purim 68:6 mentions in the name of the Yad Aharon 694, Chug Eretz 15, and others that if money is given to a messenger (Shaliach) before Purim to give to the poor man on ...


7

"Al Hanissim" seems to be the older version (as found, for example, in Machzor Vitry and in various siddurim printed in the 16th and 17th centuries). R' Zalman Hanau (Shaarei Tefillah, sec. 110) cites and agrees with an opinion that it should correctly be with a vav, though, since it's a continuation of the preceding list of things we thank Hashem for. ...


7

At the 2014 International Bible Contest for Adults (חידון התנ"ך הבינלאומי למבוגרים תשע"ה) televised finals1, celebrated grammarian2 Dr. Avshalom Kor (אבשלום קור) posed this question among a series of short vignettes about "Ma'oz Tzur" that he presented while the next contestant was getting into place. He answered that the 'ו' preceding "his possessions" is ...



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