Halacha for Sunday 30 Adar 5784 March 10 2024

“When Adar Begins, We Increase Our Happiness”- The Procedure on A Leap Year- Fasting on Shabbat

Purim Which Coincides with Motza’ei Shabbat
Today, the 30 of Adar I is the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar II. This year, Purim (the 14th of Adar II) will fall out on a Sunday. As we all know, Purim is celebrated everywhere on the 14th of Adar besides for walled-cities from the times of Yehoshua bin Nun which celebrate Purim on the 15th of Adar.

Ta’anit Esther Which Coincides with Shabbat
The day of Ta’anit Esther (13 Adar II) will coincide with Shabbat this year. Since it is forbidden to fast on Shabbat, it would have been correct to push the fast off until Sunday, as is the case regarding other fasts. Nevertheless, the Rishonim (Agudah and others) write that the Fast of Esther is not considered a calamity such that it should be postponed; on the contrary, it should have been held earlier, i.e., on Friday. However, since our Sages did not want to establish the fast on a Friday due to the honor of Shabbat (see Maharil), they therefore pushed the fast up to the Thursday before, the 11th of Adar II. Based on the way Purim falls out this year, we will need to discuss some additional laws of Purim which falls out on Motza’ei Shabbat.

When Adar Begins, Our Happiness Increases
The Gemara in Masechet Ta’anit (29a) tells us, “Rabbi Yehuda son of Rav Shmuel ben Shilat taught in the name of Rav: Just as when the month of Av begins, we diminish our happiness, so too, when Adar begins, we increase our happiness. Rav Papa says, therefore, if a Jew has a court case with a non-Jew pending, he should avoid having it during the month of Av when the Jewish nation’s fortune is bad and try to have it held during the month of Adar when the Jewish nation’s fortune is good.”

The source for this is based on a verse in Megillat Esther which states, “And the month which was switched for them from tragedy to joy,” which teaches us that the good fortune of this month brings about salvation and goodness for Israel since their fortune is optimal during this month.

The Reason Why the Jewish Nation’s Fortune Shines During Adar
Rashi on the aforementioned Gemara explains that the reason our Sages said that when Adar begins, we increase our happiness is because these days are days when miracles occurred for the Jewish nation, referring to the miracles of Purim and Pesach. Since the time these great miracles happened to the Jewish nation, these days will forever shine in their goodness for the Jewish nation, and they are auspicious for bringing tremendous bounty upon them.

The Sefer Sefat Emet (on Ta’anit ibid.) explains that it is possible that since during the month of Adar during the eras of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and the first and second Bet Hamikdash the Half-Shekel coins were collected in the Bet Hamikdash and the Jewish nation donated them joyously, there was a spirit of great joy in the world. Until this very day, from the time Parashat Shekalim is read in the synagogue (on the Shabbat of or preceding Rosh Chodesh Adar), an immense joy is awakened in the world.

First or Second Adar
In any event, since the primary reason for joy during the month of Adar follows the explanation of Rashi which is due to the great miracles that occurred during this time of year, it certainly follows that this joy applies specifically to the second Adar preceding the month of Nissan, for it is the primary Adar during which Purim is celebrated. Although some say (based on the Talmud Yerushalmi) that the miracle of Purim happened on a leap year in the first Adar, nevertheless, the commentaries on the Yerushalmi (Korban Ha’Edah and Penei Moshe) explain that the miracle of Purim actually occurred in the second Adar. Thus, we too shall begin to increase our joy beginning from Rosh Chodesh Adar II. May Hashem grant us a spirit of joy, sanctity, and purity and may we merit witnessing the arrival of our righteous Mashiach and the Ultimate Redemption, Amen!

8 Halachot Most Popular

Parashat Ki Tetze

Gathered from the teachings of Maran Rebbeinu Ovadia Yosef ztzvk”l (from the years 5744-5772) (written by his grandson HaRav Yaakov Sasson Shlit”a) (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) Ellul is the Time to Engage in Battle Against the Yetzer Hara, ......

Read Halacha

Eating Cake on Shabbat Morning

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of All Our Dear Soldiers May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy. May Hashem protect all the captives and have mercy upon them so that no harm befalls......

Read Halacha

 The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing

Our Sages teach us (Eruvin 40b) that one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon seeing a new fruit that renews once a year. Even if one sees this fruit in the hands of another person or on the tree, one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. Nevertheless, the P......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Blood Found in Eggs

Blood in Eggs Blood found in eggs is forbidden for consumption, for this blood indicates the beginning of the embryotic development of the chick and this chick has the halachic status of “fowl” whose blood is forbidden for consumption by Torah law; thus, the opinion of the Rosh and Tosa......

Read Halacha


Parashat Terumah

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Difference Between Moshe and Betzalel [Understanding Why Betzalel Was Able to Make the Menorah, Whilst Moshe Couldn’t] This Sh......

Read Halacha

The Proper Method for Reciting Blessings

During the days preceding Tu Bishvat, we have discussed some laws of blessings. We shall now discuss the law that the food must be in front of the individual before reciting a blessing, for this is the first law in reference to the laws of blessings. Waiting Until the Food is Brought Before the I......

Read Halacha

The Scent of Lemon

Question: If one smells the pleasant scent of a lemon, which blessing should one recite? Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 43b) states: “Mor Zutra said: One who smells the fragrance of an Etrog  (citron), or a quince recites the blessing of ‘Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’......

Read Halacha

Parashat Vayechi

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Power of a Good Word In the weekly Parashah, Yaakov Avinu gathered his sons and blessed them before he passed away, as the Torah sta......

Read Halacha