Thursday, March 20, 2008

Halacho #76 – Pessach starts on Purim

On the afternoon of the fast of Esther (today - Thursday), the custom is to give 3 halves of the local currency to charity. In Israel that would be 3 half-shekels, other places it would be three times 50 cents.

This commemorates the biblical half-shekel given yearly to buy the communal sacrifices during the time of the Bet Hamikdash – which today would be about US$ 15.-

This is besides the Matonos L’evyonium that are given to 2 poor people on Purim. (Each Matonos L’evyonium have the value of a small meal, e.g. a falafel, currently 12 NIS in Israel.)

The Purim meal should begin with a Dvar-Torah. Since Purim is 30 days before Pessach, the following is an appropriate Purim-meal Dvar-Torah:

“The laws of Pessach in Shulchan Aruch begin with: One should start learning the laws of Pessach thirty days before Pessach.

This year (outside of Jerusalem and other walled cities) the Purim meal is on Friday and needs to start in the morning, so as not to spoil ones appetite for the Friday-night meal.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:5, 142:5. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 429:1


The next Halocho a Day is planned for Monday


Have a joyful Purim and a Shabbat Shalom,

- Danny, in Jerusalem

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