Question:

Why do we read the Megillah twice every Purim, once at night and once during the day?

Response:

That’s an interesting question, and I’m glad that you’re questioning practices that others may take for granted. Let’s delve into the Talmud for some insights:1

Rabbi Joshua ben Levi taught that we read the Megillah twice as a reflection of the verse in Psalms (22:3), “O my G‑d, I call in the day time . . . and in the night I am not silent.” This verse is part of a chapter which the sages of the Talmud (Yoma 29a) associate with Queen Esther.

As the threat of genocide loomed, the distressed Jews of the Purim story cried out to G‑d during the night and day. Thus, we recall His kindness on the eve of Purim and then again the following day.2

Rabbi Chelbo would quote Ula of Biri, who associated this practice with the verse in Psalms (30:13), “So that my soul will sing praises to You and not be silent . . . I will thank You forever.“

Reading the Megillah twice is thus an expression of thanksgiving to G‑d, as well as a testament to His everlasting kindness.