Ta'anit Esther, 5780

13th of Adar, 5780 / March 9th, 2020

Fast Begins:  6:03 AM

Fast Ends: 7:30 PM
Laws relating to Taanit Esther and
the holiday of Purim:

On the 13th of Adar, the Jewish people observe the Fast of Esther.

This fast is considered a Taanit Tzibbur.  While it is considered an important fast day on the Jewish calendar, the question of the true date of Megilat Esther cause the chachamim to be relatively lenient when it comes to fasting on Taanit Esther.  While a person should try his or her best to fast, when pregnant, nursing or ill, one should speak to a Halakhic authority to consider to discuss one's permissibility not to fast.  
***Please Note:  This year, given the concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus, many rabbanim have issued a p'sak that if someone is under quarantine and feels unwell, there may be great risk in dehydration.  Fasting should not take place with people in those conditions.  Please feel free to connect with R' Dina Najman at for any questions related to fasting.

Davening additions on Taanit Esther:
During Shacharit, the Chazzan recites "Aneinu" in the chazarat haShatz.
Avinu Malkeinu is recited.

During the Mincha Amida, if one is still fasting, the "Aneinu" prayer is inserted in the "Sh'ma Koleinu" paragraph.
Sim Shalom is said in place of Shalom Rav
There is no Avinu Malkeinu and no Tachanun

It is customary to hear the Megilah read before breaking one's fast. 

Additions to Tefilot on Purim:
Al haNissim (Bimei Mordecai v'Ester) is added to the Modim section of our Amida.
Al haNissim (Bimei Mordecai v'Ester) is added to Birkat haMazon after the paragraph Nodeh' l'Cha.

Deletions from Tefilot on Purim:
On the 14th and 15th of Adar (the 15th being Shushan Purim), the following is not recited:
  • Tachanun
  • Lam'natzeiach

The Megilah instructs us to perform 4 Mitzvot on Purim Day:
1. Matanot l'Evyonim - Gifts to the Poor
2. Kriyat haMegilah - Reading the Megilah
3. Mishloach Manot - Gifts of food
4. Mishteh - Seudat Purim - the Purim Festive Meal

Matanot L'Evyonim:
If one could only keep one mitzvah of Purim, matanot l'Evyonim should take priority. To fulfill the mitzvah of Matanot l'Evyonim, a person should give gifts or money to at least two people in need - one donation per person.  Many have the custom to give approximately what would be the cost of a Purim meal during the day time.   When giving, one should make sure to give, with a kind heart, to all those who ask for assistance.  
This year, the Kehilah will be collecting money for matanot l'evyonim virtually.  However, the money will be given to those in need on Purim day.
The obligation is to give to 2 different places.
There will be donation A and donation B.  These are two separate places that the Kehilah will make sure is distributed on Purim day.

Click here to give to Matanot l'Evyonim (remember to donate to A and B to fulfill your obligation of two places).

*Since this is a virtual donation, all monies should be given by 8 AM*

Kriyat Megilat Esther:
Megilat Esther is read in the evening and morning.  There is an obligation of men, women and children (who are able to sit and listen) to hear Megilat Esther twice.  A person is obligated to hear each world of the Megilah.  If a word is missed, it may be made up by reading that section from the printed Megilah text. 
It is customary to blot out Haman's name with groggers or noisemakers when hearing his name.

Mishloach Manot:  Gifts Sent to Friends:  
The Megilah declares that we have an obligation to give gifts to our friends: "Mishloach Manot Ish L’ray’ehu."
The obligation is to give to one person, 2 ready to eat food or drink items.  The foods should be items that one could eat at a Purim Seudah.  One should not rely on a shul's mishloach manot as the gift they have given on Purim.  Rather, they must make sure to give one mishloach manot to another person. 
A person who in mourning:  While there is an obligation to give mishloach manot, they should be more simplified as far as festive wrapping and joyful items.

An Avel and Mishloach Manot:
While a person in mourning should not be given mishloach manot, if one gives to a person in mourning, he or she may receive it.
It is permissible to give to a family where there is a member in mourning, but, where others are not in mourning.  

Purim Seudah:
On Purim Day, one is obligated to have a festive meal.
A person should be well into the daytime seudah by the time sh'kiyah (sunset) happens.
One should wash and make a motzi on bread.
If one is planning to drink on Purim, there is a custom to daven Mincha before the seudah begins.  
Please be advised:  The directive to drink wine at the Purim seudah can be fulfilled with small amounts of wine.  The Rishonim and Achronim maintain that if drinking causes a person to be less respectful of the goodness that Hashem has bestowed upon His people and the meal becomes less of a place of praise, should not drink or drink very little.  Please be mindful of children and teenagers at your table and be cognizant of the chinuch we are providing them with when drinking.  
If drinking occurs at your seudah, please make sure that there are designated drivers chauffeuring those who drink to their homes.
We celebrate Purim, but, not at the expense of our health and the well being of others.

Some Purim Seudah customs:
Some customs involve singing specific songs,
Eating Kreplach (a chassidish minhag which is done on Erev Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabba as well).  
Performing a Purim shpeil.

Machatzit haShekel:
While the obligation of machatzit haShekel cannot currently be fulfilled, given that we do not have a Beit haMikdash or Mishkan, there is still a standard custom to give money - three half-coins, zecher l'machazit haShekel. This money often goes for the needs and maintenance of the community where the funds are collected.  The amount is customarily three half-coins - three half dollars are given for each adult, and for the children as well. The half shekels are customarily given before Mincha on Taanit Esther or before Megilah reading on Purim night.  Some give the Machatzit haShekel in the morning of megilah reading.
Please have in mind that your donation is in memory of the machatzit hashekel by declaring:  "zecher l'machzit haShekel."

Click here to donate to machatzit haShekel.

Wishing everyone a Chag Purim Sameach!


MARCH 9TH, 2020 / 14TH OF ADAR

7:40 PM Virtual Megilah reading of
Megilat Esther
(men and women will be leining the megilah)

Based on current guidance from NYSDOH, because of new COVID-19 cases in New York and because SAR Academy and HS now obth have positive cases, SAR is closed through Monday, March 16.  Many in our community are now under precautionary quarantine through Monday, March 16, 14 days from the last possible exposure of possitive cases.

Given the Balancing our responsibility to the Kehilah with our responsibility to the greater community, we have, in the interest of caution, decided that the Kehilah will NOT meet at the YMHA tomorrow evening as previously planned.

But, we will have the same ba'alei kriyah, just via ZOOM!

While we will not have a Break fast and Purim Chagigah...


Via Zoom, show off your best Purim Costume.

Prizes for:

Best Child Costume

Best Adult Costume

Best Family Costume

*Please stay tuned for information on  Communal Mishloach Manot Package Pickup*

Special Thanks to: 
Molly Palefski and Sarah Braum for organizing and coordinating our Purim Program
and to
Nahum Palefski for organizing the break-fast and costume contest!



3 Days 3 ways is an initiative that SAR 7th Grader, Charlotte Filer, for a second year, wanted to help provide food for people in NYC.  She has decided that in the spirit of Purim she will have a pasta food drive.

If you have used a small box of pasta for a grogger, as a donation, please set it aside. 
Charlotte would like to donate it to the Bronx Jewish Community Council and City Harvest.

Tizku l'Mitzvot!!!
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