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Shabbat, February 23, 2013

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History
Laws and Customs

The festival of Purim begins at nightfall tonight, and the Megillah (Book of Esther) is read for the first time this evening.

Since the first Megillah reading takes place after Shabbat ends, one should be careful not to travel to the synagogue to hear the reading prior to the end of Shabbat (click here for times), or before saying the special prayer: Blessed Is the One Who Separates Between Holy and Mundane. If one owns his own Megillah scroll, it should be brought to the synagogue prior to Shabbat (since one may not prepare on Shabbat for after Shabbat).

See entries for tomorrow, Adar 14. (In Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities, the festival is observed beginning tomorrow night--see entries for Adar 15.)

NOTE: The "Fast of Esther", usually observed on this date, is moved back this year to the previous Thursday, because of the sanctity of Shabbat (see entry for Adar 11)

Daily Thought