Home » JCentral

The Four Mitzvot of Purim

Submitted by
JewishTreats.org

Purim is celebrated on Sunday, February 28th (beginning after Shabbat on February 27th). Four mitzvot are associated with the holiday:

Megillah Reading – Book of Esther – The Megillah is read twice on Purim, once at night and once during the day. In order to properly fulfill the mitzvah of Megillah, it is necessary to hear every word during the reading. For this reason it is imperative that people not talk to each other during the Megillah reading.

Mishloach Manot/Shalach Manos – Sending Gifts - Every Jew is obligated to give at least one Mishloach Manot gift containing at least two different types of ready-to-eat food items.

Matanot La’evyonim - Gifts to the Poor - Giving to the poor is a mitzvah all year round. However, the mitzvah to do so on Purim is in addition to the general mitzvah of tzedakah (charity). To properly fulfill the mitzvah of Matanot La’evyonim one must give to two poor individuals. Although one may fulfill this mitzvah by giving a minimal amount of money to each person, the sages noted that the highest form of fulfilling this mitzvah is by giving enough money for a meal, or the equivalent in food. This mitzvah may be fulfilled by donating beforehand to an organization that will distribute the money or food on Purim day.

Seudah – Festive Meal - One is obligated to partake in a festive meal on Purim day. The minimum to fulfill this mitzvah requires that one ritually wash (netillat yadayim), eat bread and then recite the Birkat Hamazon , the Grace after Meals.

Drinking at the Purim Meal – “A person should drink on Purim up to the point where they cannot tell the difference between ‘ Blessed is Mordechai’ and ‘ Cursed is Haman.’” (Talmud Megillah 7a and Shulchan Aruch –Code of Jewish Law). On Purim, one is commanded to drink wine to a point of inebriation* – generally, this is interpreted as drinking more than one usually would or enough to make one sleepy.

*While drinking on Purim is a mitzvah, risking one’s life is not. Whether host or guest, it is important to be responsible:
1-Do not drink and drive.
2-Beware of underage drinking. While Purim is a religious holiday, and underage alcohol consumption is allowed by some for religious occasions, adults are still responsible for minors. Please do not give young people liquor beyond the bare minimum. Remember, as well, that our children are influenced by our behavior.

This Treat was originally published on March 5, 2009. It is being re-Treated to help us better understand the holiday of Purim.
Copyright © 2010 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

Email this post Email this post
Bookmark and Share

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.


three + = 4

Jmag Search
Search now! »
Please enter a zip code.

polls

  • How far would you drive for a first date?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...