Taanis Esther/Shabbos Vayikro/Purim 5784

Taanis Esther/Shabbos Vayikro/Purim 5784
Taanis Esther/Shabbos Vayikro/Purim 5784

Taanis Esther (Fast of Esther): Thursday, March 21, 2024

  • Fast Starts: 6:15 AM
  • Shacharis: 6:40 AM
  • Mincha followed by Maariv: 7:10 PM (Machatzis HaShekel is given before Mincha in shul)
  • Fast Ends: 8:05 PM

Erev Shabbos Parshas Vayikro/Zachor, Friday, March 22

  • Candles 7:22 PM
  • Mincha/Kabalas Shabbos/Maariv 7:00 PM

Shabbos Parshas Vayikro/Zachor, Saturday, March 23

  • Shacharis followed by Kiddush 8:30 AM (Parshas Zachor is read; all men & women should be in shul to hear this special leining, no later than 9:45 AM)
  • 15-min Pirkei Avos Shiur for Women following Kiddush
  • Women & Children S”S 6:00 – 7:30 PM
  • The World of Tefilla with Rabbi Avraham Chaim Bloomenstiel 6:25 PM
  • Mincha 7:10 PM
  • Sunset 7:41 PM
  • Talmud Shiur: Gemara Avoda Zara following Mincha
  • Shabbos Ends 8:31 PM (All men & women say Baruch Hamavdil Bein Kodesh L’Chol, before doing melacha and preparing for Maariv and Megilla Reading)

Purim Night: Motzei Shabbos, March 23, 2024

  • Maariv followed by Megillas Esther: 9:15 PM (Havdalla in shul, but should be repeated at home, per every Motzei Shabbos)

Purim Day: Sunday, March 24, 2024

  • Shacharis: 8:00 AM
  • Megillas Esther: 8:30 AM
  • Mincha: 4:00 PM
  • Purim Seudos at home 6:30 PM
  • Dessert – Music – Dancing in shul 8:30 PM
  • Maariv 9 PM

Remember the four mitzvos of Purim day:

  1. Matanos L’Evyonim: Charity is sent to at least two different needy people (Money may be given to the rabbi for distribution on Purim)
  2. Mishloach Manos: Each Jew over the age of bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah must send two different, ready made foods to at least one friend
  3. Seudas Purim: Toward evening, a festive meal called Seudas Purim is held, often with wine as the prominent beverage
  4. Megillas Esther: Each Jew over the age of bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah must hear Megillas Esther read at night and during the day

Matanos L’Evyonim: Gifts to the Needy

It is a positive rabbinical commandment to give two gifts to two needy people on Purim, one gift to each person. Even a poor person who himself subsists on charity is obligated to this requirement.

This obligation can be fulfilled through any type of gift: money, food, drink, or clothing. Optimally, the gift should be substantial. If the gift is money, the amount should enable the poor person to purchase bread sufficient for at least one meal. At the very least, each gift must be worth at least a perutah (monetary value of a quarter).

The gifts should be given during the day of Purim rather than at night. It is proper to give them after the reading of the Megillah. One should not give these gifts from money that has been set aside for donating to charity. However, one may add a small amount to the money which was set aside and then give the larger amount to the poor so as to fulfill the obligation. Money that one has designated for giving to the poor on Purim may not be given to another charity.

The obligation of giving gifts to the poor on Purim does not free a person from his general obligation to give charity. Even poor people are required to give charity at least once a year aside from their obligation to give gifts to the poor on Purim.

These gifts should be given early enough so that the poor person can benefit from them on Purim and for the festive Purim meal. However, the recipient may use these gifts in any way that he sees fit.

The gifts should not be given before Purim, lest the poor person use them beforehand, in which case the donor will not have fulfilled his obligation.

We do not attempt to determine whether the recipient is indeed poor, whoever stretches out his hand is to be given a gift. If there are no poor people in his community, the gifts that one usually gives should be set aside until he has an opportunity to give them to the poor.

We should spend at least as much on Matanos L’Evyonim, Gifts for the Needy, as we spend on our Purim Seudah and Mishloach Manos.

In light of all of the above-complicated laws, it is recommended to make the rabbi of the shul your agent to fulfill this mitzvah properly. I am now available to accept your donations for this great opportunity, and will faithfully deliver the money to the appropriate people on Purim on your behalf. You may come to our home at 7119 Bremerton Ct., Dallas 75252, or to the shul during davening hours, to appoint me as your agent to deliver your Matanos L’Evyonim on Purim. — Rabbi Yaakov Rich

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