The Susa Purim

Only in Susa did the fighting last for two days. For that reason Jews in Susa celebrated on the fifteenth day of the twelfth month of Adar (after the slaughter on the thirteenth and fourteenth), whereas the villages celebrated on the fourteenth day of Adar (after the slaughter on the thirteenth). This special observance of Purim in Susa is based upon Esther 9:18. On the one hand, it is forbidden to fast or give a funeral address on this special Susa Purim; but on the other hand, it is expected to make a feast and rejoice. It is permissible to marry on the fifteenth day of Adar, but not the fourteenth day because, according to Jewish custom, two joys should not be intermixed.

The rabbis teach that cities that were surrounded by a wall in the days of Joshua observe Susa Purim, meaning they observe Purim on the fifteenth day of Adar based upon Esther 9:18. Because Jerusalem was clearly a city surrounded by a wall that is when they observe it. For many cities, there are some doubts as to whether or not they had a wall around them in the days of Joshua, so these cities observe it both on the fourteenth and the fifteenth day. In Israel today these cities include Joppa, Akko, Gaza, Lod, Tiberious, Shechem, Hebron Safed and Haifa. But the unwalled towns or villages observe it on the fourteenth day of Adar in keeping with Esther 9:19.130

 

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