Question: [Monday, 3rd Adar 5781]
I keep hearing that this year is a Purim Meshulash, a three-day Purim because it falls on Friday? Can you please explain the context of what this means and how my Purim will be three days?
The concept of a three-day Purim, otherwise known as Purim Meshulash, is only relevant for Jerusalem residents and those cities that keep two days due to doubt, and thus everywhere else in the world keeps a regular one-day Purim which is celebrated on Friday making sure to fulfill all the Purim Mitzvos on this day just like on a regular Purim. Nonetheless, one is to increase in festivities and have a special Shushan Purim feast on Sunday the 16th, when Jerusalem celebrates their Purim meal.
The following are the details for those Jerusalem residents for whom the three-day Purim is relevant:
- When the 15th of Adar falls on a Shabbos for those cities which normally celebrate Purim on the 15th such as Jerusalem, the sages established to divide the Purim celebration into three days, Friday through Sunday, splitting the various mitzvos of Purim between the three days. The main reason for this is because the sages do not allow the Megillah to be read on Shabbos as one may come to carry it in an area without an Eiruv and hence Jerusalem residents must in this occurrence read it a different day.
- Megillah reading: Practically, the sages established that the Megillah is to be read by Jerusalem residents on Friday the 14th both by night and day just like the rest of the world and hence in a year such as this one, the entire world reads Megillah on the same night and day, and even those cities who due to doubt usually read Megillah two days on the 14th and 15th this year only read it once by night and day on the 14th which is Friday. However, Jerusalem residents must take extra care and effort especially this year to try to be by a minyan for the Megillah reading as it is debated amongst the Poskim as to whether the Megillah may be read with its blessings if a minyan is not present and hence one should try to avoid entering this debate by all costs, although those who are accustomed to say the blessing even by a private Megillah reading without a minyan have upon whom to rely and each is to contact their Rav.
- Matanos Laevyonim: Matanos Laevyonim is to be distributed in Jerusalem on Friday just like the rest of the world. The Rebbe suggests that in Jerusalem they are to repeat the giving of Matanos Laevyonim also on Sunday.
- Al Hanissim and the Torah reading of Amalek: Al Hanissim and the Torah reading of Amalek is not recited on Friday in Jerusalem but rather on Shabbos.
- Purim meal: The Purim meal and Ad Delo Yada is celebrated on Sunday. It is however proper to also have a special meal on Shabbos with extra delicacies.
- Mishloach Manos: Mishloach Manos is distributed on Sunday. It is however proper to also distribute Mishloach Manos on Shabbos. This can be accomplished with Shabbos guests by the day meal.
- Tachanun: In Jerusalem, Tachanun is not recited on Sunday the 16th.
The following are the details for those questionable cities which usually keep two days of Purim:
- Megillah reading: Friday with a blessing even if a Minyan is not present.
- Matanos Laevyonim: Friday. The Rebbe suggests that in Jerusalem they are to repeat the giving of Matanos Laevyonim also on Sunday, and perhaps the same would apply to questionable cities.
- Al Hanissim and the Torah reading of Amalek: Al Hanissim and the Torah reading of Amalek is recited on Friday. Many recite Al Hanissim also on Shabbos. Others don’t.
- Purim meal: The Purim meal and Ad Delo Yada is celebrated on Friday. It is however proper to also have a special meal on Shabbos with extra delicacies. It is especially proper to celebrate a Purim meal on Sunday, as does Jerusalem.
- Mishloach Manos: Mishloach Manos is distributed on Friday. It is however proper to also distribute Mishloach Manos on Shabbos. This can be accomplished with Shabbos guests by the day meal. It is especially proper to distribute Mishloach Manos also on Sunday, as does Jerusalem.
- Tachanun: Seemingly, Tachanun should not be recited on Sunday the 16th.
Sources: See Michaber 688:6; Peri Chadash 690; Pnei Meivin 228; Shulchan Gavoa 690:40; Kol Eliyahu 2:28; Bnei Binyamon p. 104; Kaf Hachaim 690:118; M”B 690:61 and Shaar Hatziyon 690:59:61; Purim Meshulash Zonenfeld 3; Salmas Chaim 1:102-103; Rav Tukichinsky in Ir Hakodesh Vehamikdash 26b [unlike his ruling in Sefer Eretz Yisrael and his Luach]; Chazon Ish 155:2; Moadim Uzmanim 1:97; Purim Meshulash [Deblitzky] 2:11 footnote 28 in great length; M”B 688:17-18; Shaar Hatziyon 688:30; Olas Shmuel 110; Nimukeiy Orach Chaim 688:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 696:4; See Shulchan Menachem 3:331 from Likkutei Sichos 21 p. 490; See also Purim Hameshulash [Zonenfeld] 6; Purim Meshulash Debilitzky 2 footnote 56; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 688:12-17 for various details on Purim Meshulash; See also Seder Purim Hameshulash of Rav Chaim Zonenfeld; Purim Hameshulash of Rav Dabelitzky; See regarding Safek cities: Hilchos Chag Bechag Dinei Purim Meshulash [Karp] p. 46-47