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Friday, March 2, 2018

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Shushan Purim
Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

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).

Laws and Customs

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.)

Daily Thought

We all know the power of darkness—it is in the news every day. A thousand times over is the power of light.

A busy person stopping to do an act of kindness, a small child reaching up to kiss the mezuzah on the door of her room, a flickering candle for Shabbat or Chanukah—each of these are as bursts of light in the nighttime sky.

True, they rarely appear in the daily news. But the darkness of yesterday’s news will pass like the shadows of clouds on a windy day. Light endures forever, accumulating with every flash, until no room is left for darkness to hide.