Volume 47 Number 05
                    Produced: Tue Feb 22 21:43:04 EST 2005

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Collaborative Luach development
New Insights on Seudat Purim
         [Joseph Mosseri]
         [Jack Gross]


From: Yakir <yakirhd@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 14:13:53 +0200
Subject: Collaborative Luach development

I am the developer of the "Tamar Luach" application for Palm handhelds.
One of the newer features is "DailyData" which allows for installing data 
for selected days.
This data could be anything but so far has been of two types:
- Limud Yomi (Daf Yomi)
- "Luach" info such as tefillot, laws & customs, historical events etc.

Details at:  http://www.geocities.com/hyneni/Tamar/Tamar.html

While trying to generate this data and cover different sources, minhagim etc 
I thought "why not tap into the resources (people) of Mail Jewish".
What I am proposing is a collaborative effort at producing _basic_ luach 

I have posted the (very) preliminary data at: 
Feel free to download, comment, make changes additions etc etc (according to 
the guidelines).
Send me the changes and I will incorporate them (at my discretion of 
All contributors and Mail Jewish will be acknowledged.

As a way of expressing Hakarat HaTov (thanks & appreciation) to  MJ - anyone 
on the MJ list who wants to register Tamar can do so at a reduced rate (20% 
off) at:  http://www.geocities.com/hyneni/Tamar/reg-MJDY0518.html

-- Yakir,


From: Joseph Mosseri <joseph.mosseri@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 07:31:53 -0500
Subject: New Insights on Seudat Purim

I sent a question to Mail Jewish about 3 weeks ago regarding the proper
time for Seudat Purim when it is on Friday. Almost every response seemed
to indicate that halakhah dictates that it be done in the morning. I did
my own research and found otherwise. I would like to share this with all
of you and eagerly await your thoughts, insights, comments, and

         This year Pourim day falls out on Friday March 25,2005.

        Pourim day has fallen out on Friday 12 times only from 1900--2004.
        Pourim day will fall out on Friday only 12 times from 2005--2103.

This e-mail is concerning Seoudat Pourim BeEreb Shabbat.
What is correct?
What is it based upon?
What do you remember from previous years?
Who instructed you?
What are you planning on doing this year?
What have you taught to your congregants?

Maran Ribi Yosef Karo in his Shoulhan Aroukh siman 695 discusses the
laws of Seoudat Pourim. He himself mentions nothing about Pourim on Ereb
Shabbat, but Mouram Ribi Mosheh Isrelish says in Seif 2 that in such a
case the Seoudah should be in the morning due to the honor of
Shabbat. It seams that his only source for this is Sefer HaMinhagim of

Shoulhan Aroukh first printed in 1564 , Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488-1575)
Hagah first printed in 1578, Rabbi Mosheh Isrelish(1525-1572)
Sefer Maharil first printed in 1556, Rabbi Yaaqob HaLevi (1357-1427)

Now comes along a great Hakham whom I will term "our Sefaradi Hagah",
his name is Ribi Yaaqob Castro, better known as Mahariqash. He lived
from 1523-1610 but his book of hagahot, Erekh Lehem was not published
until 1718.  In it he writes, that when Pourim fall out on Ereb Shabbat,
you make Seoudat Pourim while it is still day and when night falls you
make Qidoush and continue to eat. Then he also mentions that there are
those who make their Seoudah in the morning and everyone should follow
their minhag.

The prolific writer and genius Ribi Haim Yosef David Azoulai (1724-1806)
who wrote so much on every subject does not seam to have mentioned a
word about this situation. I have checked all his halakhah books and
have come up empty handed, maybe I've missed something, let me know.

Rabbi Hayim Palaggi (1787-1868) who was Chief Rabbi of Turkey wrote in
his Moed Lekol Hai (1861) chapter 31 item 45 that on a Friday Pourim the
most correct time is to have the Seoudah in the morning after Shahrit or
at the very least prior to Hassot (mid-day). He also is of the opinion
that the Seoudah should always be in the morning no matter what day of
the week it is.

Nehar Missrayim (1908) by Hakham Refael Aharon Ben Shimon (1847-1928)
who was chief rabbi of Egypt from 1891-1921 wrote that regarding the
time of Seoudat Pourim. There are those who make it early and those who
do it late, but most god fearing people make the seoudah after hassot
closer to the evening. That is the time that the poor stop making their
rounds for charity and no one makes the seoudah in the morning. He then
goes on to quote HaRambam Hilkhot Megilah Pereq 2 Halakhah 17 who
stresses the importance of spending the earlier and better part of the
day engaged in Matanot LaEbyonim and Mishloah Manot. He then continues
that When Pourim falls on Ereb Shabbat the nice and pleasant minhag is
to make the Seoudah after Minhah when it is almost night (before
sunset). In the middle of the meal (once it becomes shabat) you should
spread a clean tablecloth say qidoush and resume eating, what is now
your Seoudat Shabat. For this he quotes Mahariqash. Then once the meal
is complete you say Birkat Hamazon with Al HaNisim (and Resseh
VeHaHalissenou). Then you should pray Arbit of Shabbat. And this way is
the most correct and straightforward path! This is how we conduct
ourselves and such is the custom of many who awe god.

Now I recently found in a book I've had for a number of years a
teshoubah on this exact subject. The book is entitled VaYaan Shemouel
and printed in Jerusalem in 1959. The author is Rabbi Shemouel Marssiano
who was originally from Dobdou, Morocco and in 1959 he was in Lod,
Israel. There is a picture of him in the book in which he looks very old
and "holy". The Haskamot by very prominent Rabbis of the day also refer
to him as the great saintly and old from a great line of rabbis
etc.... In any case on page 18 siman 29 he discusses the situation at
hand and first he quotes the Baer Hateb (by Rabbi Yehoudah Ashkenazi)
siman 695 seif qatan 6 "and I found written in the Mordekhi, that he
would eat seoudat Pourim on Ereb Shabbat , pray arbit, spread a
tablecloth, make qidoush, and say al hanisim in birkat hamazon." He then
continues and says that others wrote that no he did not pray arbit at
that point, for if he did, he would not be able to say al hanisim in
birkat hamazon. Maharil wrote therefore it seems to me that he should
say birkat hamazon first then pray arbit in order that he shouldn't run
into any problems. Now Maran in siman 271 seif 4 writes that it is
forbidden to even taste anything even water before qidoush, if he began
prior to shabat he must stop, spread a tablecloth and say qidoush. There
the Baer Heteb in seif qatan 5 writes that obviously he need not pray
arbit yet since he is spreading the cloth and saying qidoush, because he
has begun with something permissible. Maran also writes in the same
place that if they were drinking wine before hand they must still make
qidoush but not birkat hayayin (bore feri hagefen) and then say birkat
hamossi. And see Baer Heteb seif qatan 7 on that.  From all he wrote in
this teshoubah it would seem that he also agrees with Nehar Missrayim
and Mahariqash to make Seoudat Pourim close to Seoudat Shabbat, saying
Qidoush in the middle of the meal , saying birkat hamazon with both al
hanisim and resseh, and praying arbit after birkat hamazon is over.

I've been looking high and low for any posqim who discuss this issue of
Seoudat Pourim when Pourim falls out on Ereb Shabbat. Thank God I just
found two more sources and they both seem to concur with the idea as
originally laid down by Mahariqash (Hakham Yaaqob Castro).

They are :

1) Hakham David Cohen Saqli (1862-1949) he was Ab Bet Din and Chief of
all Rabbis in Oran, Algeria for over 40 years. His She-elot ouTshoubot
entitled Qiryat Hannah David was published in 2 volumes in Jerusalem in
1935 & 1936.  It carries the haskamot of the Rishon Lession Hakham
Yaaqob Meir as well as the leading rabbis of North Africa and that of
the Chief Rabbi of Paris Dov Halevi Englander.  In Volume 2 siman 90 he
writes about our case and says "sarikh" you have to start the Seoudah
prior to Shabbat and when Shabbat arrives pores mapah and make qidoush,
etc... continue eating, say birkat hamazon with al hanisim and resseh
then pray arbit. He also mentions that since both hagefen and hamossi
were recited prior to Shabbat while it was only pourim, since it's all
one big meal, to not say birkat hagefen in qidoush nor to say hamossi
afterwards. Just make qidoush and continue eating, etc,,

2)Hakham Baroukh Abraham Toledano who was born in Meqnes, Morocco and
was Rosh Ab Bet Din there for well over 30 years, he passed away
sometime after 1974 but I'm not as yet sure exactly when. His son Rabbi
Pinhas Toledano who is a Dayan in London has begun publishing his
fathers works and in his responsa Sha-alou LeBaroukh (Jerusalem 1993) he
writes in siman 76 concerning the minhag when Pourim falls on Friday
when is the proper time to eat the Seoudah. He says that the custom of
"the rishonim" was to start the meal prior to Shabbat and once Shabbat
arrives to spread a cloth, say qidoush and continue with the meal. In
Birkat Hamazon say Al HaNisim and Resseh then pray Arbit. And this is
what I saw my fathers do and it seems to me to be the correct way to

So far if we just say majority rules it would seem that the above
mentioned system is in the lead as stated by Erekh Lehem, Nahar
Missrayim, VaYaan Shemouel, Qiryat Hannah David, and Sha-alou LeBaroukh.

Before I continue, please allow me to share a scenario with you.  This
is very common if not the norm for most people that I know.

Here we are Friday morning of Pourim. You get up to join a minyan for
Shaharit, sefer torah, megilah, etc.. you finally finish the prayers and
it's later than usual. You have to go running off to work. It's a Friday
of course so for many people (especially retailers whom are closed on
Shabbat) it's a very busy day. As it is it's Ereb Shabbat and that
doesn't leave you much time to dilly dally, either to get to work late
or have a long lunch, or to leave earlier than you would normally have
to on a short Friday.  Some may suggest getting together with friends at
a restaurant for a longer than usual festive lunch, the only problem is
that most better restaurants in Brooklyn or Manhattan are closed on
Friday.  If you plan on having the Seoudah in the morning while drinking
wine you may be better off not getting on the road. Or for that matter
for driving all around town with mishloah manot.  If you have time to
get together with your family for a late morning meal or an early
afternoon lunch then you're probably off from work and all of this
doesn't make much difference to you.  As a side note, when Pourim does
not fall out on Friday, I do not work on pourim day and I do my best to
convince others not to as well, it's not a day for working. When it's
Friday it's a whole different issue.I have no choice but to work and so
do many others who have deadlines to complete projects before the

The only feasible plan would seem to be:

Get a minyan together at someone's home, pray Minhah about 1 hour before
sunset then begin seoudat pourim (recall that on a "normal" year most of
us begin our Pourim Seoudah about 1 hour before sunset), before sunset
light candles, at sunset "pores mapah" and make qidoush, then continue
the meal.  At the meals end say Birkat hamazon with al hanisim and
resseh vehahalissenou then pray arbit shel Shabbat.

One small question here is :
When should Qabalat Shabbat (which includes bameh madliqin) be recited...
a)before candle lighting?
b)before qidoush?
c)after birkat hamazon before arbit?

   Now, it should be remembered that the whole custom of qabbalat
Shabbat was begun by the AR"I HaQadosh, and only gradually spread out
from Safed to other communities.  Thus, it is very possible that
MaHaRiQaSh did not have this problem.

    Incidentally, the custom of having a leisurely late-Friday-afternoon
meal, then "prisat mappa" followed by kiddush etc. and only finally
Shabbat prayers -- was the normal custom every week in 15th century
Alexandria, as related by Rabenou Obadiah MeBertenura in his accounts of
his travel to Eress Yisrael!

    Finally I have just had the opportunity to do more research on this
subject and lo and behold look what turns up. Rabbi Obadiah Yosef in his
Yehaveh Daat (1st edition, Jerusalem 1980) volume 3, siman 55, page 171
in the footnotes.

     He cites Rabbenou HaMe'Iri, on Ketubbot 8a, who writes:

"It is our custom, and that of our fathers, that when Pourim falls on
Friday, we begin the Seoudat Pourim in the late afternoon, and when the
day becomes sanctified [= i.e., Shabbat begins] we spread a mappa, and
make kiddush, and complete our seoudah, and say birkat ha-mazon and
mention therein "'al ha-nissim".

So, this custom known to MaHaRiQaSH is actually a custom of the Rishonim.

>From the context, it seems that Rabbi Obadiah Yosef may agree with this,
although he is quoting it in the context of another issue under

Have I missed anything?????????
Your insight is greatly desired.

Joseph Mosseri

[I have to admit that I resonate strongly with the approach of having
the seudah close to Shabbat and be pores mapa u'mekadesh. Does anyone
know if there are Ashkenazi poskim who have written in support of that,
similar to the Sepharadi poskim quoted above? Avi]


From: Jack Gross <jbgross@...>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 09:38:15 -0500
Subject: thekotel.org

Follow-up to my posting of Friday:

I received a response Sunday from Yehiel Pomeranz of The Western Wall
Heritage Foundation (HaKeren L'Moreshet HaKotel HaMaaravi), the
organization behind the "TheKotel.com" Web site.  He included a letter
from HaRav Sh'muel Rabbinovitz ("Rav HaKotel HaMaaravi U'M'komot
HaK'doshim") regarding the operation of the site and its cameras on
Shabbat.  (They are both in Hebrew, so I cannot post them to the forum,
but I can forward them to anyone interested.)

Pomeranz says that, after my earlier letter, the organization took steps
to disable access to the camera streams during Shabbat (Israel
time). They currently redirect new entrants on Shabbat to a page that
says the cameras are off-line.  But for the present the cameras keep
rolling, and any browser session that entered the site earlier continues
to receive live streams, and remains able to alternate amongst the three

The letter stated that they are now working on a system to turn off the
cameras entirely during Shabbat; no time estimate was offered.

Jack Gross


End of Volume 47 Issue 5