The Sources say that only Purim will be observed forever:

-Tanakh: "These days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city. These days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, nor the memory of them perish from their descendants. (Esther 9:28)

-Talmud:"In the Time to Come all Prophets and Writings will lose their worth, except for the Torah of Moses and the Book of Esther."(Megillah Yer. 1:5)

-Midrash: "All festivals will be abolished in the future except Purim and Yom Kippur." (Yalkut Shim'oni on Proverbs 9:2)

But the Torah also says the same about Sukkot: "And you shall keep it a feast to the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations." (Lev. 23:41)

So why is only Purim to be celebrated "forever"?

  • 2
  • Re your last quote, I think that phrasing is used for Shavuot or some other holiday. I have to check. Re Purim, I heard that only Purim embodies the concept of true "rayut" - i.e., caring and friendship towards each other. This is most exemplified by the mitzvah of mishloach manot. Rayut is an essential "foundation" of all mitzvoth as R. Akivah said that "Loving your Re'ah as yourself* is the foundation of all of Torah. You do raise a good point re your last citation. Requires some research as to what that means.
    – DanF
    Sep 12, 2018 at 16:49
  • The Maharal at the beginning of Ohr Chadash addresses this
    – robev
    Sep 12, 2018 at 17:07
  • 1
    @robev Could you (or someone) please put this in an answer, or just summarize what he says? Thanks
    – SAH
    Sep 12, 2018 at 22:57

3 Answers 3


The Rashba (1:93) asks the same question concerning the wording by Pesach in Shemos 12:14,17:

וְהָיָה֩ הַיּ֨וֹם הַזֶּ֤ה לָכֶם֙ לְזִכָּר֔וֹן וְחַגֹּתֶ֥ם אֹת֖וֹ חַ֣ג לַֽיהוָ֑ה לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם חֻקַּ֥ת עוֹלָ֖ם תְּחָגֻּֽהוּ׃

This day shall be to you one of remembrance: you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD throughout the ages; you shall celebrate it as an institution for all time.

וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם֮ אֶת־הַמַּצּוֹת֒ כִּ֗י בְּעֶ֙צֶם֙ הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֔ה הוֹצֵ֥אתִי אֶת־צִבְאוֹתֵיכֶ֖ם מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֞ם אֶת־הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֛ה לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶ֖ם חֻקַּ֥ת עוֹלָֽם׃

You shall observe the [Feast of] Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your ranks out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day throughout the ages as an institution for all time.

He answers that by all other holidays God did not promise that they couldn’t be removed on account of sins, based on Eichah 2:6:

וַיַּחְמֹ֤ס כַּגַּן֙ שֻׂכּ֔וֹ שִׁחֵ֖ת מוֹעֲד֑וֹ שִׁכַּ֨ח יְהוָ֤ה ׀ בְּצִיּוֹן֙ מוֹעֵ֣ד וְשַׁבָּ֔ת וַיִּנְאַ֥ץ בְּזַֽעַם־אַפּ֖וֹ מֶ֥לֶךְ וְכֹהֵֽן׃ (ס)

He has stripped His Booth like a garden, He has destroyed His Tabernacle; The LORD has ended in Zion Festival and sabbath; In His raging anger He has spurned King and priest.

As opposed to Purim, it does not use the word to guard, rather it is a promise as it says in Esther 9:28:

וְהַיָּמִ֣ים הָ֠אֵלֶּה נִזְכָּרִ֨ים וְנַעֲשִׂ֜ים בְּכָל־דּ֣וֹר וָד֗וֹר מִשְׁפָּחָה֙ וּמִשְׁפָּחָ֔ה מְדִינָ֥ה וּמְדִינָ֖ה וְעִ֣יר וָעִ֑יר וִימֵ֞י הַפּוּרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה לֹ֤א יַֽעַבְרוּ֙ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַיְּהוּדִ֔ים וְזִכְרָ֖ם לֹא־יָס֥וּף מִזַּרְעָֽם׃

Consequently, these days are recalled and observed in every generation: by every family, every province, and every city. And these days of Purim shall never cease among the Jews, and the memory of them shall never perish among their descendants.

Also by Yom Kippur, it says (Vayikra 16:34) it is to be a law for all time, as a promise, that even if it will not be guarded Yom Kippur will still atone.

וְהָֽיְתָה־זֹּ֨את לָכֶ֜ם לְחֻקַּ֣ת עוֹלָ֗ם לְכַפֵּ֞ר עַל־בְּנֵ֤י יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מִכָּל־חַטֹּאתָ֔ם אַחַ֖ת בַּשָּׁנָ֑ה וַיַּ֕עַשׂ כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר צִוָּ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה אֶת־מֹשֶֽׁה׃ (פ)

This shall be to you a law for all time: to make atonement for the Israelites for all their sins once a year. And Moses did as the LORD had commanded him.

But when it says regarding Pesach (and Succos) you will guard (or observe)...an eternal law, that is as a warning, if it is guarded it will be eternal. But it is not a guarantee.

—— Additionally, as @robev pointed out Maharal gives a reason.

These two holidays are significant in that Purim was an attempt to destroy Yisroel completely in a physical sense, and without Yom Kippur Yisroel would be completely destroyed in a spiritual sense. And therefore Yisroel would have never been able to make it to the times of Moshiach (where this question is taking place) because Yisroel would have been utterly destroyed one way or another. But all other holidays, which are referenced as a remembrance to bondage in Egypt, can be removed because Yisroel could have been eventually redeemed from there to the times of Moshiach. Thus survival wasn’t dependent on them.

ולכך שני הימים האלו אשר הם באים על שהש"י מציל אותנו מן הכליון לגמרי הן מצד הגוף הן מצד הנשמה לא יהיו בטלים כי שאר המועדים אפשר הבטול להם מפני שהם זכר ליציאת מצרים ואף אם היו עוד משועבדים במצרים היו באחרונה נגאלים לכך אפשר להם הבטול אבל אלו שני המועדים שהם באים על שהש"י הציל אותנו ונתן לנו השארית והמציאות לא יהיה דבר זה בטל לעתיד כי אם לא היו אלו שתי גאולות הן גאולה מצד הגוף והן גאולה מצד הנפש היה כאן אבוד לגמרי ולא היה כאן גאולה אחרונה שתהיה לימות המשיח ולכך אלו שני ימים לא יהיו בטלים


Rabbi Yitzchak botton from hidabroot gives an amazing answer.

In the rest of 'The people were saved stories' there were still casualties. However in the story of purim no casualties were there because He was with 'Each One's of us.


Another suggestion I'd heard (is this Chabad?) -- the early Biblical, laws-of-nature-bending miracles (e.g. the Passover story) will pale in the face of newer laws-of-nature-miracle-bending miracles. But Purim is an entirely different sort of miracle, one that camouflages itself within the laws of nature.

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