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Weekly Halacha

Parshios Vayikra & Purim

Zachor And Purim

QUESTION: If one missed one or several words from the Torah reading of Parashas Zachor, must he hear the Torah reading again?

DISCUSSION: L'chatchilah, one should pay full attention so that he does not miss even a single word of the reading.(1) But as long as one heard the basic message of the Torah portion - o remember Amalek's dastardly deed and to eradicate their memory- one has fulfilled his obligation even though he did not hear every single word of the reading.(2)

Similarly, some poskim(3) consider the birchos ha-Torah recited over Parashas Zachor an integral part of the mitzvah. This means that the oleh who recites these blessings must recite them slowly, loudly and with kavanah to be motzi the congregation with the berachos. The congregation, too, must hear every word with kavanah to be yotzei with the berachos. But since most poskim do not mention this stringency, if one did not hear part of the berachah, or even if he missed the berachos altogether, he has fulfilled his obligation.(4)

QUESTION: When Purim falls on erev Shabbos as it does this year, when should the Seudas Purim begin and end?

DISCUSSION: When Purim falls on erev Shabbos, the festive Purim meal should begin earlier than usual. L'chatchilah, the meal should begin on Friday before chatzos(5) (approximately 12:00 p.m. in the New York area). If, for some reason, the meal is delayed, one may still start his meal until the beginning of the tenth hour of the day(6) (approximately 3:00 p.m. in the New York area). B'diavad, if the meal did not begin by the tenth hour of the day, one is still permitted to start eating, but he may only eat and drink the bare minimum so that he will be able to eat the Shabbos meal with appetite.(7)

Most people end the meal early enough to allow sufficient time for cleaning up and completing all other Shabbos preparations before the onset of Shabbos. By ending the meal in a timely fashion, one ensures that all of the other mitzvos of the day, including Birchas ha-Mazon with Al ha-Nissim, Minchah, Kabbolas Shabbos and Maariv, are all fulfilled as they should be.

QUESTION: If one wishes to do so, may he continue the Seudas Purim into Shabbos?

DISCUSSION: Some people have the custom of continuing the Seudas Purim into Shabbos.(8) One who does so must abide by the following guidelines(9):

  • Take a break before sunset in order to daven Minchah.
  • Stop all eating and drinking - including water - once it is sunset.
  • Cover any challah or bread that is on the table,10 and recite Kiddush over a cup of wine or grape juice. If the person reciting Kiddush has already drunk some wine or grape juice during this meal, Borei pri ha-gafen is omitted.
  • Uncover the challah and eat at least a k'zayis of it.(11) Preferably, he should eat two k'zeisim.(12)
  • Recite Retzei in Birchas ha-Mazon. Al ha-Nissim is omitted.(13)
  • Recite the Shema and the Shabbos Maariv at the conclusion of the meal.

    QUESTION: Is a son required to listen to his father's strict orders not to become inebriated on Purim?

    DISCUSSION: Generally, a child is not allowed to listen to a parent's command if the parent tells him to do something which is in any way contrary to the Halachah. Since the Halachah obligates one to drink on Purim until he can no longer distinguish between boruch Mordechai and arur Haman,(14) it would seem that a son should disregard his parent's request not to get drunk on Purim. Harav S. Z. Auerbach,(15) however, ruled otherwise. He explained that the Halachah does not require one to become inebriated to the degree of ad delo yada. Rather, as the Rambam and Rama(16) hold, one can drink just a bit of wine [a little more than his customary daily amount], and then go to sleep. This is enough wine to fulfill the mitzvah, since in his sleep one is certainly not able to distinguish between "blessed Mordechai" and "cursed Haman." Since the son can fulfill the mitzvah in that manner, he has no right to ignore an explicit command from his father prohibiting him to get drunk.

    QUESTION: Who should recite the berachos when a man, who has already read or heard the Megillah in shul, reads the Megillah for a group of ladies?

    DISCUSSION: The preferred method depends on several factors:

  • If there are fewer than ten ladies present, then each lady should recite the berachos herself.(17)

  • If there are ten or more ladies, there are two options: Either one lady recites the berachos and is motzi the rest of the group,(18) or each lady recites her own berachos.(19) Either way is l'chatchilah.(20)

  • If the ladies do not how to recite the berachos, then the man reading the Megillah recites the berachos for them.(21)

    QUESTION: If there is no man available to read the Megillah for a lady who was unable to go to shul, may another lady read the Megillah for her?

    DISCUSSION: A lady may read the Megillah for another lady but only if she herself has not yet fulfilled her obligation of hearing the Megillah. If she has already fulfilled her own obligation, she may not read it again in order to be motzi another lady.(22)

    QUESTION: Do mishloach manos need to be delivered via a messenger or may the sender deliver it directly to the recipient?

    DISCUSSION: The poskim are divided on this issue. There are three opinions:

  • Shulchan Aruch and most poskim(23) do not state a preference. The basic halachah follows this view.(24)

  • Some poskim(25) hold that the word "mishloach" suggests that the manos must be "sent" via a messenger.(26) The messenger may be a minor or a non- Jew.(27)

  • A minority opinion holds that mishloach manos should l'chatchilah be delivered directly and not via a messenger.(28) In order to satisfy both opinions, is it appropriate to send mishloach manos both ways - once via a messenger and once directly.(29)

    FOOTNOTES:

    1 Mikroei Kodesh, Purim, 7.

    2 Harav M. Feinstein (oral ruling, quoted in Moadei Yeshurun, pg. 47 and in l'Torah v'Horoah vol. 8, pg. 16); Harav S.Z. Auerbach (Halichos Shelomo, 2:18-2).

    3 See Taz O.C. 685:2 and Chasam Sofer (notes on Pri Chadash 685:7).

    4 Harav M. Feinstein (oral ruling, quoted in Moadei Yeshurun, pg. 47). See similar ruling in Orchos Rabbeinu, vol. 3, pg. 32, quoting Harav Y.Y. Kanievsky.

    5 Mishnah Berurah 695:10.

    6 Mishnah Berurah 249:13. In this case it would be preferable to daven Minchah first; see Mishnah Berurah 232:30.

    7 Mishnah Berurah 529:8. Alternatively, he can daven Minchah, wash and eat all he wants at the Purim meal, and continue the seudah into Shabbos as discussed in the next segment; see Hisorerus Teshuvah 2:172.

    8 See Meiri (Kesuvos 7a) who writes that this was his family's custom.

    9 O.C. 271:4.

    10 According to the Levush, quoted in Peri Megadim O.C. 271 Eishel Avraham 7, all of the food on the table should be covered.

    11 Based on Mishnah Berurah 271:32. See also 267:5.

    12 Based on Mishnah Berurah 291:2.

    13 Mishnah Berurah 695:15 and Sha'ar ha-Tziyun 19. The Meiri, however, writes that his custom was to recite Al ha-Nissim.

    14 O.C. 695:2.

    15 Halichos Shelomo 2:19-25.

    16 O.C. 695:2 and Mishnah Berurah 5.

    17 Based on Mishnah Berurah 689:15 and Sha'ar ha-Tziyun 692:13. See Minchas Yitzchak 3:53-14.

    18 Recommended by Harav S.Z. Auerbach (Halichos Shelomo 2:19-3).

    19 Recommended by Minchas Yitzchak 3:54-38; 8:63.

    20 Harav Y.S. Elyashiv (Balaylah Hahuh, pg. 8)

    21 Mishnah Berurah 692:10.

    22 Beiur Halachah 689:1 s.v. venoshim.

    23 Chayei Adam, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch and Aruch ha-Shulchan do not mention this concept at all.

    24 Chazon Ish (Dinim V'hanhagos 22:8). See also Shearim Metzuyanim Bhalachah 142:1.

    25 Mishnah Berurah quoting Tesvhuvos Binyan Tziyon 44.

    26 There are a number of suggestions as to the reason behind this requirement: 1) It is derech kavod to deliver gifts via a messenger; 2) It is greater pirsumei nisa since an additional person is involved; 3) To free the sender from time-consuming deliveries thereby giving him more time to celebrate Purim.

    27 Chasam Sofer (Gittin 22b).

    28 Eishel Avraham O.C. 295; Salmas Chayim 1:105.

    29 See Kaf ha-Chayim 695:41 and Halichos Shelomo 2:19-14, note 44. vv


    Weekly-Halacha, Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Neustadt, Dr. Jeffrey Gross and Torah.org. Weekly sponsorships are available--please send email to the moderator, Dr. Jeffrey Gross jgross@torah.org.

    Rabbi Neustadt is Rav of Young Israel in Cleveland Heights. He may be reached at 216-321-4635 or at jsgross@core.com.


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