Monday, March 10, 2008

purim meshulash - seudah, parshas zachor

The Yerushalmi (mentioned in yesterday’s post) writes that the simcha of Purim established by Sanhedrin cannot be celebrated simultaneously with the simcha of Shabbos, which was established by G-d, and therefore if Purim falls on Shabbos, the seudah is pushed off until Sunday. The Bavli does not mention such an idea; whether that silence indicates disagreement or not is a subject of major debate. The Ran already is uncomfortable with the whole idea of celebrating seudas Purim on the 16th when the megillah explicitly tells us “lo ya’avor”, that the date of the celebration cannot extend beyond the 15th. Another problematic element of the Yerushalmi is the assumption that Shabbos is not just a day of oneg, but includes an obligation of simcha as well. Tosfos in M.K. (23b d”h “man”) writes that the reason a Yom Tov cancels aveilus and Shabbos does not (i.e. if a Yom Tov falls out in the middle of shloshim or shiva, one does not resume mouring after Y”T) is because Y”T is a time of simcha and Shabbos is not. Even if one grants the assumption that Shabbos is a day of simcha, whether we apply this idea of “ain m’arvin simcha b’simcha”, not celebrating two simchas simultaneously, to this type of simcha is debatable (see M”K 8). No one would suggest, for example, that a pidyon haben needs to be rescheduled until after chol hamoed so as to not mix the two elements of simcha.

Is there any explicit gemara in the Bavli that we can point to as being in disagreement with the Yerushalmi? The Bavli (Meg 30a) quotes an argument between Rav and Shmuel when to read parshas zachor in a year such as this one where Purim falls on a Friday. Rav says to read zachor the week before Purim, as we do, so that the reading precedes the Purim. Shmuel, however, argues, and says zachor should be read on the Shabbos of the 15th so that “zechira v’asyia b’hadei hadadei”, the reading of zachor and the celebration of Purim for those in walled cities will be simultaneous. The simple reading of the gemara clearly implies according to Shmuel that the celebration of Purim is not pushed off until Sunday, but occurs on Shabbos itself, the same day that zachor is read. The Pri Chadash and others attempt to refute this proof, but certainly at first glance it seems very convincing.

For those with a hearty appetite, it probably is not such a big deal to make a seudah on Shabbos and a seudah on Sunday to be yotzei all opinions. However, you still can’t completely escape the debate, because one must decide on which day(s) to say “Al haNissim”. For those with a hearty appetite for learning and want a fuller treatment of this topic, R’ Ovadya Yosef in the first volume of Yechaveh Da’at has a nice review of the issues involved in a "Purim meshulash".


  1. Anonymous7:24 PM

    Someone asked me this question today and I had no Idea what the answer is. I figured you do. Why from all the things that we have to remember is Amalek the only one that gets a special extra laining that is a Doraisah?

  2. The Shulhan Aruch, who follows the Purim Meshulash view which defers the Seudah to Sunday, still maintains that Al Hanissim should be recited on Shabbat.

    If I remember correctly, this was a big point of contention between Rabbi Levi Ibn Haviv, the Rav Harashi of Yerushalayim, and R' Yosef Karo and his adherents in Tsefat.

    I agree that the proof from the Bavli seems pretty much ironclad.

  3. Anonymous10:37 PM

    I am confused I undesrstood from the first post it was a posuk la'asos oso y'mei mishteh v'simcha", that Purim involves turning an ordinary day into a special day of simcha, as opposed to Shabbos, which is already fixed since creation as a day of simcha put now you are implying it is
    “ain m’arvin simcha b’simcha”, not celebrating two simchas simultaneously Which is it?

  4. The idea is that the simcha which already exists on Shabbos is a clash with the man-made simcha of Purim, which amounts to the same sevara as 'aim m'arvin simcha b'simcha'.

  5. If you're interested in hearing a shiur on the kashe on the Pri Chodosh, who learns pshat in the Yerushalmi based on ein me'arvin, and the problem that there is no din of simcha on Shabbos, (like R' Akiva Eiger #1,) go to the Purim kinus shiur Rabbi Romenik is saying in the Yeshiva in Far Rockaway on Monday. But I think he's just going to disagree with the Pri Chodosh.