Purim Devar Torah – Playing Cards / Eating Birkouks After Shaharit / Working on Purim

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Tuesday, 02 March 2010 | AP | Purim, Shaharit

12 Adar 5770 – Feb. 26, 2010. – Perashat Tesavé (Shabbat Zakhor)
Shabat Shalom and Hag Purim Sameah!

NEW for Purim:

Purim פורים – Mashiah Malki Abdakh – Qseda – Yigdal
Moroccan Megilat Ester מגילת אסתר מרוקאי

Piyut of Hodesh Adar
Purim – Kal Atsmotai (Minhag Morocco) – Piyut of Shabbat Zakhor
Purim – Kal Atsmotai (Minhag Tanger) – Piyut of Shabbat Zakhor

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Rabbi Wallerstein on Purim
Submitted by Guila Moyal


He tells a story of a little boy, Ya’aqov, who came to his parents and asked for a bike. His parents refused, telling him he had done nothing to deserve it. The next day, on his way home from school, Ya’aqov got hit by a car and is was transported to the hospital. While his whole family was waiting for good news from the doctors, one doctor came out with a very sad look on his face and told the family he was very sorry, “We did everything we could.” Little Ya’aqov’s father, devastated, called his friends from the Hevra Qadisha and told the doctors nobody should touch his son’s body. All of a sudden, a nurse came running out of Ya’aqov’s room screaming, “we got a heart beat Doctor! Doctorr, we got him back!” Everyone was so excited to hear the good news. Family came to visit little Ya’aqov and everyday Ya’aqov was getting gifts from everyone. A few days later, when Ya’aqov went home, he found a bike waiting for him in his room. Yet nothing had changed. Had Ya’aqov done anything to deserve the bike since the last time he asked? No. Only because his parents almost lost him and were so happy about getting him back that they wanted to give him anything he asked for.


Rabbi Wallerstein makes the beautiful comparison of this story to Hashem and his children, the Jewish nation. Since Hashem almost “lost” us on Purim, anything we ask for on Purim He will give us out of joy that we are still alive, even if we do not deserve it. The same way we have no choice in giving Matanot la’Evyonim on Purim, Hashem will “have no choice” but to give us anything we ask for on this special day. We must pray on Purim for everything our heart desires, even if we think we may not deserve it! May Hashem answer all of our prayers and may all of our dreams and wishes come true! Amen.


Netivot haMa’arav – e”H Ribi Eliyahou Bitton s”t

Minhagim of Purim

20. In some places they had the minhag to play various card games [ie. to gamble], and the Rabanim speak out furiously against this and have even made taqanot (decrees) against this practice.              

There are many terrible minhagim that developed over time which have stemmed from ignorant people, and this is one of them where people exploit the atmosphere of Purim in order to strengthen their corrupt/deviant ways.  Therefore, the Rabanim have rebuked the nation extensively regarding this.            

To see the taqanot see “Taqanot Hakhmé Meknes” (Taqana 8, Year 5546 and Taqana 16, Year 5548).  To see laws regarding playing cards see Shulhan ‘Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat (Siman 34:16) and the Aharonim on it; also in the Bayit haYehudi Volume 4 (pp. 71). To those who say that on Purim playing cards is permissible, see what the Yalqut Yosef (Mo’adim, Siman 34:16) writes about this.

26. After Shaharit [on Purim], we have the minhag to eat “Birkouks.” [Small circular pasta that look like large couscous, served in buttermilk (petit lait or "llbn" in Arabic).           

The reason we eat this as a remembrance to the "kemisa" measurement of flour that defeated Haman.            

[T.N. The Gemara in Masekhet Meghila (16a) relates the incident where Haman approached Mordekhai in order to honour him according to Ahashverosh's command as thanks to Mordekhai for having saved his life. Mordekhai at this time was learning the halakhot of the "kemisa" (palms-breadth measurement) of flour that is brought as a kapara in the Qorban Minha. When Mordekhai saw Haman approaching he immediately stood up to pray as he thought Haman was coming to kill him for not bowing down to him. Haman waited for Mordekhai to finish praying and asked him what he was studying. Mordekhai told him he was studying the laws of the "kemisa" of flour. So Haman told him: "Your "kemisa" of flour pushed aside the 10,000 talents of silver that I bribed Ahashverosh with to exterminate the Jews." Therefore, we have the minhag to eat the "Birkouks" which is to remind us of this. For full details see the Gemera over there in Masekhet Meghila 16a.]           

31. We have the minhag not to do melakha (work) on Purim, and they had a saying regarding this: “Kaspé Ekha, Mi Khamokha, en bahem siman berakha” – “The money of Ekha (i.e. Tish’a beAb) and the money of Mi Khamokha (i.e. Purim) have no blessing.”This is because doing work distracts one from performing the misvot of this day.

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Our holy sages, Hazal, teach us that “one who studies [at least two] Halakhot daily is guaranteed a portion in ‘Olam Haba (the world to come).” -Masekhet Meghila 28b

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