This Purim definitely was a pleasure. I had the rare opportunity to attend shachrit for the megillah reading all by myself. To be able to hear birchat hacohanim and to be able to follow along so closely with the entire Megillah reading was quite enjoyable and I decided not to run home immediately and stay for the halacha shiur that follows shachrit.
Today's halacha shiur, predictably, was on the halachot of Chag Purim as brought down by Rav Ovadiah Yosef. I enjoyed the reading and shiur and figured that I would share my mental notes:
- Sephardim do not say shechechinanu on the second reading of the Megillat Esther.
- One is obligated to give two mishloach manot worth made up of two foods worth a minimal value (a pruta), but preferably the mishloach manot should be enough for a symbol meal. But, a married couple counts as two people and therefore two manot. Nevertheless, it is praiseworthy to go beyond the minimal requirement.
- One is NOT obligated to wash for the Purim Seudah and eat bread. Nevertheless, it is praiseworthy to wash and eat bread. If one (who washed for the meal) forgets to say Al Ha'Nisim he does not need to repeat birchat hamazon as one is not actually obligated to wash on the Purim seudah.
- One should try to have meat from a beheima for the seudah, rather than fowl or fish.
- One should drink wine at the seudah beyond what one would normally drink, but should not become drunk as one needs to be able to fulfill their other halachic obligations, such as saying birchat hamazon if necessary.
- Rather than become drunk to get to the point of ad deloh yada, one should take a nap after the seudah as that fulfills the requirement.
- Rav Ovadiah holds that the mockery of talmidei hachamim on Purim is inappropriate and should not be done.
Here's hoping that everyone else had a wonderful Chag.