Why was purim not treated like the other holidays at that time, where work would be prohibited from being done? Seemingly it would have been appropriate to have instituted it like all other previous holidays.

  • What about Chanukah as well? I'd assume because they were both only instituted at a later date, and the other holidays are biblically mandated Dec 14, 2023 at 16:20
  • @Moses the rabbis were more than capable of prohibiting labor
    – Double AA
    Dec 14, 2023 at 16:22
  • See Bavli Megillah 5b
    – Double AA
    Dec 14, 2023 at 16:23
  • @DoubleAA Yes, but there was no reason for them to. The prohibition on melacha comes from the Torah on the main yomim tovim, but is there any reason to prohibit it on Rabbinical ones? Dec 14, 2023 at 16:24
  • 2
    @Moses to make them more holiday like. Do you think the Torah did it just arbitrarily? What good is a holiday where no one takes off and rests and enjoys? That's exactly what the OP is asking
    – Double AA
    Dec 14, 2023 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


Sorry I don't know the source but I had learned that prohibiting melacha like we do on yontif would have been considering "adding to the Torah" The Rabbis were allowed to prohibit melacha on second day yontif as a fence around the Torah but to make a holiday and forbid melacha would be considered adding to the Torah. My understanding is though, that even though one can do melacha it is highly preferable to not do "work" in the commonly accepted standard of what is work on Purim unless extremely needed or would cause a great financial loss.

  • Malbim says exactly that point (about bal tosif) in his commentary to Esther 9:19 and 22.
    – Meir
    Dec 15, 2023 at 0:20

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