This year Purim , 14 Adar, occurs on Thursday night, 25 February, 2021. Taanis Esther is all day Thursday, and Purim day is Friday 26 February.
Purim day on Friday is rare and really special. In Jerusalem, residents will be treated to their own unique celebration, the 3-day Purim. But even outside Jerusalem this Purim is special.
For a start, Thursday night we are off to hear the Megillah, instead of devoting the evening to Shabbos prep. And this year “off” may mean standing at the front door for a doorstep Megilla reading. Have your greggers and rattles ready to blast out down the street at Haman’s name.
The Purim seudah, the special meal of Purim day, cannot be held as customary by many at the end of the day, as that is already Shabbos with its own formalities. So the seudah will be held in the late morning or early afternoon, remembering to leave enough time for the Shabbos preparations and enough room for the Shabbos meal. Don’t forget also to leave enough time for your head to clear from the Ad lo yodah, the permitted drinking on Purim to confuse the identities of Mordechai and Haman. And find someone else to finish driving around for your deliveries!
Somehow the scramble to dress the children will have to fit into this tight schedule, and also the second Megilla reading, wherever you manage to get it.
Fit as many sh’lach monos deliveries into the short morning as you can (will you be able to continue on Friday afternoon? So much to crowd into this busy day). Remember you will have fulfilled the mitzvah of sending sh’lach monos, gifts of food to your neighbours and friends, with just one package of two different foods. All the rest is fun and extra.
While you are running around delivering, make a point of stopping off to deliver your matonos lo’evyonim, money delivered to the poor and needy, another of the four mitzvos of Purim.
With Purim running into Shabbos, many people will theme their sh’lach monos around Shabbos food, delivering arrangments of challas, dips, salads, fish and meat platters, cakes and kugels, and all manner of confectionery and nosh. Kosher Kingdom is fully stocked to help you with all these and so much more.
Arbes and bobs, the savoury chick peas and beans, loved on Shabbos and especially at a Sholom Zochor, make their appearance at the Purim seudah. They remind us of the vegetarian diet adopted by Esther in the court of Achashveiros. Now that vegetarianism has become such a fashionable style of eating, the chick peas and beans will be a welcome addition to the meal.
Triangular stuffed foods like kreplach and Hamantaschen also feature as in the seudah, reminding us that just as the filling is hidden, so the miracle of Purim was hidden. But the Hamantasch gets a modern upgrade from poppy seeds to chocolate, and the vegetarian version of the kreplach may contain spinach, sweet potato or mushrooms.
We sadly will not be able to host or participate in large seudas this year, but enjoy this extra special Friday Purim which will only be around again in 2025.
Wishing you all a happy Purim!