The battles fought between the Jews and their enemies,
which took place on Adar 13 throughout the Persian empire (see "Today in Jewish History" for that date), continued for two days -- Adar 13 and 14 -- in the capital city of Shushan, where there were a greater number of Jew haters. Thus the victory celebrations in Shushan were held on the 15th of Adar, and the observance of the festival of Purim was instituted for that day in Shushan and all walled cities. (See Laws and Customs below).
In cities that are surrounded by a wall dating from the days of
Joshua (13th century BCE) -- a prominent example is the city of
Jerusalem -- the festival of Purim is observed on the 15th of Adar
(instead of the 14th), in commemoration of the fact that in the ancient
walled city of Shushan, the first Purim was celebrated on this day (see
"Today in Jewish History").
(For an overview of the Purim observances and links to more
information, see "Laws and Customs" for Adar 14.)
There is a quiet happiness: an inner sense of bliss, the innocent joy of a small child, one of wonderment and gratitude. It is a happiness to carry with you at all times.
Then there are those seasons when happiness blooms for all to see, bursting out in song, in dance, in celebration. A festival, a wedding, a time to feast and rejoice with family and friends.
But the ultimate happiness is the joy of Purim. It is no longer about you, your family, your life. It is about making others laugh, bringing smiles to the weary, celebration to those who feel abandoned, a feast to those who had lost all hope.
It is a season for breaking out of yourself, out of your character, out of all those bounds you have set for yourself—“beyond knowing.”