Celebrating Purim: Jerusalem Style!

One of the most interesting things about Purim {פורים} is that there is a difference regarding the time of celebrating the holiday in Jerusalem as opposed to in other places.

In all other locations, Jews celebrate Purim on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar {אדר}  (yesterday) and in Jerusalem the holiday is celebrated TODAY on the 15th of the month.

Why is the Purim celebration different for Jerusalem?

In the Book of Esther it is written:

“This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness. But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness. Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting…”(Esther 9:17-20)

In the original Hebrew, the term ‘rural towns’ appears as ‘Arei Perazot’ {ערי פרזות} which means places that were not surrounded by walls (interestingly, in Modern Hebrew this is the term for ‘demilitarized’). For this reason, there is a difference in the celebration time between cities surrounded by walls (like Susa and Jerusalem) and all the other places.

Shushan Purim Sameach! {שושן פורים שמח} (Happy ‘Susa’ Purim Everyone!)
*(‘Shushan Purim’ is what we call it here in Jerusalem)