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19

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 ...


18

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 ...


15

R Eliezer Melamed, author of Peninei Halakha, (here, note 10) writes The Aĥaronim debate whether a woman may write a Megilla. Birkei Yosef, Mateh Yehuda, and Pri Megadim posit that since a woman must read the Megilla, she may write one. R. Akiva Eger, Avnei Nezer, and others maintain that she is invalidated from writing a megilla, just as ...


14

Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky writes on page 129 of Kovetz Halchos that a woman is obligated to drink a rivies of wine on Purim, and that she can fulfil this obligation with grape juice (see footnote 231). In footnote 230, he holds that since women are obligated in all the mitzvos of the day, they are also obligated to drink a little wine, but to drink a lot of ...


13

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 ...


12

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: ...


12

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.


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

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?


11

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 ...


11

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 don'...


11

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 (...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

The Talmud (Megillah 16a) states: וסריסי המלך הגיעו ויבהילו מלמד שהביאוהו בבהלה.‏ "The king’s chamberlains came, and they hastened" - This teaches that they brought him in disarray. On which Rashi (ibid.) comments: מלמד שהביאוהו בבהלה - ולא רחץ יפה מטינופו This teaches that they brought him in disarray - And he did not wash properly from ...


10

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, ...


10

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. ...


10

I'm fascinated by the midrashic answers presented for this! Are there more? From a scholarly perspective, the increased use of the participle in place of the narrative waw-consecutive imperfect (wayiqtol) form is a classic feature of Late Biblical Hebrew (LBH). To unpack that a bit... What Modern Hebrew treats as the "present tense" (words like molekh, ...


10

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 ...


9

About the second part of the question: Yalkut Shimoni (to Esther 4:16) says that he limited the fast to those "found in Shushan" because they were the ones who had eaten at Achashverosh's feast. The Jews in the rest of the empire weren't guilty of that. [That they too were in danger is attributed by R. Shimon bar Yochai (Megillah 12a) to their having bowed ...


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 anti-...


9

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 ...


9

I gave a Shiur on this last year. Here is my summary of the reasons to be lenient. Much of this is based on a piece in קובץ פרי תמרים אדר תשמ"ז by Rav Ezriel Kahn. (Its also worth looking up the תשובה מאהבה חלק א' סי' ר"י.) 1) Rav Chaim Kanievsky - Because of the changing of the tides and shorelines and the like we don’t really know whether it was ...


9

Tosefos on Megillah 4a (s.v. "חייב אדם") writes that the primary pirsumei nisa is in the daytime reading. דעיקר פרסומי ניסא הוי בקריאה דיממא וקרא נמי משמע כן The Turei Even to Megillah 7b, s.v. סעודת פורים writes that the primary enactment, from the Megillah, of reading Megillah is only during the day, and the enactment to read at night is a secondary ...


9

The Talmud in Megillah 4a lays out the requirement for reading the Megillah both at night and during the day: ואריב"ל חייב אדם לקרות את המגילה בלילה ולשנותה ביום שנאמר אלהי אקרא יומם ולא תענה ולילה ולא דומיה לי סבור מינה למקרייה בליליא ולמיתנא מתניתין דידה ביממא אמר להו רבי ירמיה לדידי מיפרשא לי מיניה דרבי חייא בר אבא כגון דאמרי אינשי אעבור פרשתא דא ...


8

In Riv'vos Efrayim (volume 8 number 267), Rabbi Efrayim Greenblatt suggests that it may refer to Haman's slaves. (He also refers the reader to Or L'avraham on Rus, by Rabbi Avraham Gurewitz (spelling?), page 98; but I don't have a copy.)


8

The issue is discussed in the נזר התורה journal of Adar 5767, and in responses thereof. Among the sources cited by the author are the following: I. Responsum in Yizchak Burstein's מטעמי יצחק. There, R' Burstein cites Chulin 44b: Whenever R. Zera was sent a gift he would not accept it but whenever he was invited out to dine he would go, for he used ...


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