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Contemporary Halachos on Purim





1) Even though it’s not mentioned in Shulchan Aruch as a Halacha or an obligation, all children should get dressed up for purim for so is the minhag.


2) To dress up is not a chiyuv-but a “minhag that became," not a minhag from halacha. Therefore if a child for some reason does not want to dress up ex: he reaches an age that he just doesn’t want or he wants to wear Shabbos clothes he should let to be.[1]


3) Preferably costumes should resemble and mimic clothing worn in the times like that of Achasvarosh Haman and Mordechai. But this is not common practice.


4) Should adults dress up? Understanding the minhag its reason and origins, there is sufficient reason to back the practice of adults dressing up. But yet, on the other hand there is just as much reason for backing the practice of adults not dressing up, but rather wearing B’igdai Shabbos. One could and should follow what brings him more simchas purim.


5) A reasonable pshara I would suggest that during davening and leining of the Megila, adults should dress in shabbos clothing while during the rest of day one is free to dress up as he likes.


6) Whether or not, adults should dress up or wear Shabbos clothes during the seuda. Each should do as is the custom by his family and friends.


7) Is it permitted for girls/women to dress up on purim? In a place that the women don’t get dressed up it would be a breach of tzinuius, even in modest, tzniusdika costumes. Tzniuss is an issue of drawing attention to oneself by dressing or undressing in a manner of what is out of the norm. Drawing attention of others-to look at the person. {like we have elaborated in many past shurium}


8) What is brought in Rama and mishna berura to wear shabbos clothes on purim possibly is not the same level of chiyuv as is on Shabbos-both in regard to how much one must be makpid on this and how “shabosdig” must the clothing be?[2]


9) One doesn’t have to literally wear his shabbos clothes if he fears that because of simcha’s purim it will get dirty or ruined.


10) But yet, the clothing worn should demonstrate that today is a yom tov even wearing clean nice weekday clothing, the same as one wears during the week should not suffice.


11) Dressing up with clothing of the opposite gender — though the Rama is mattir it-the Mishna Berura and the Aruch Hashulchan following the Taz and Bach want this practice to be stopped.


12) If one dresses up on purim according to his gender but just wants to wear one item of the opposite gender to enhance his costume example: a woman's glove, scarf, pin, he is permitted but from the “loshon” the language of the mishna berura it implies that this still isn’t correct, and one should avoid doing so just we need not stop him from doing it.


13) Clothing which are generally worn by woman but it's not obvious that it is a woman's garment there is room to be meikel and permit this to be added to a costume.


14) The Rosh Hayeshiva felt that to be mekaim the “custom” of dressing up on purim, there it maybe is more reason to wear a mask-a costume that camaflouges the face-rather than a costume on the body based on the reason for the minhag.[3]

15) Clothes that are of the opposite gender that are worn out and torn to the point that they would not be worn by any woman in the street could be mutter for plays in school or a purim costume and would not be included in Lo Tilbash etc. (heard from Rebbe Rav Belsky Ztl)


16) I added to rebbe the same should hold true for clothing that is not in style at all that no one would wear today example Afro wig and the alike. Rebbe responded: yes


17) To dress up wearing woman's lipstick and make up, or for a woman to stick on a mustache upon proper understanding of the sugya of lo Tilbash it is clear that this is the strongest issue of the issur and under no circumstance-purim included-should this be done not even for a child costume.


18) Children should be advised against dressing up as the opposite gender especially if it is real like. This is obviously worse and is more of problem of "Lo Tilbash" then just wearing clothing of the opposite gender it should not be done no matter what age the child is.


19) Children should be advised not to wear opposite gender clothing (that is not torn or old which would not be worn in the street) from the age that they are “Higia Lechinuch”.


20) What is deemed Higia Lechinuch for this issue some say three years some say six. I have no opinion, nor is my opinion necessary about things that gedolim and poskim spoke about and paskend already?


21) Nevertheless children who do indeed dress with clothing of

The opposite gender on purim who are under Bar and Bas mitzvah should be left alone and not be rebuked for there is a mekor and precedent in practice doing so.

22) Children who's costumes are opposite gender clothing even if they are to be permitted on purim its difficult to permit them to be worn before purim as is commonly done that the children bring in their costumes to school before purim for a play or a party.(unless as we spoke the clothing would not be worn in the street)


23) Even if we permit opposite gender dressing on purim in my opinion this does not include dressing in vulgar clothing that lack tznius example: dressing up as a hippie preetzusdik’a rock star..etc.

For though lo tilbash is maybe relaxed somewhat on purim, but not the issue of pretzus.


24) Children's clothing that are not specifically boy-girl as is the case by many clothes for small children may not cause a problem of lo tilbash. (heard from my Rabbaim)


25) Many costumes that bochrim put together shopping in thrift shops may contain shatnez. Mistakenly people think anything could be worn on purim. This is not so for even the Rama that vindicated clothing on purim that contains shatnez, he clearly states shatnes “D’rabanan”.

To go into detail what is Shatnez D’oirasa and what is Shatnez D’rabanan is beyond the topic of this shuir and even Shatnez D’rabanan the Mishna Berura and Aruch Hashulchaan advise against it. Therefore all costumes for purim should be checked that they are shatnez free.


26) Rav Nisiam Karelitz shlita opposes wearing costumes that scare people especially children. I personally have never seen or heard this issue before I don’t think the oilam is makpid on this.


27) Maran Rav Chaim Kanievsky shilta, opposes dressing up as a goy, a gentile, on purim. Originally I understood him to mean one should not dress up as a modern day goy in the street. But i viewed his words and he seems to imply as King Achsvarosh one should not dress up. In my humbly opinion this is a Chidush for this was the accepted custom to dress up as the Purim story characters, Haman, Mordechai, Esther, Vashti, seems to imply that even as king achashverosh. One should not dress up in my humble opinion, this is a chidush-for this was accepted custom to dress up as the purim story characters haman, Mordechai, Ester, Vashti, Zeresh etc:


28) Some take issue with dressing up as a Rasha (a wicked person) its hard to accept this includes Haman. Not to dress up as Hitler I hear, but not as Haman there is actual evidence and reason to say that the costume to dress up as Haman is rooted in the inyan of AD DLO YADA BEIN Arur HAMAN LBORUCH MORDECHAI and is actually a preferred and recommended costume [it seems from Rav Chaim Kanivesky that he even does not recommend dressing up as Haman. See in orchos Rabainu 3: pg 60 in the name of his father the Steipler that in yeshiva who ever dressed up as Haman went off the derach]


29) To dress up as the pope or any other christian clergy may be assur and should be avoided. (Maran Rav Elyashiv)


30) Dressing up as a moslem clergyman is mutar.


31) Dressing up as a Buddhist monk may be assur and should be avoided.


32) Dressing up as a clown on purim is common practice and is almost customary. Interestingly Maran HaSteipler, in orchos Rabbeinu, vol 3 pg 6, strongly criticized a Rav who publicly proclaimed that it's a problem to dress as a clown under the issur of Bechukoshalem lo Telechu. The Steipler points out that dressing as a clown on purim was the custom for hundred of years this possibly as I explained above is because costumes related to the purim story are recommended and King Achasvarosh was viewed as a clown see Gemara Megila “Melech Hafachfan” or possibly the kings palace had jesters who entertained them.

33) Maran Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shilta, recommends not to dress up as an army solider.

34) Costumes that are made specifically for both boys/girls to wear do not have a problem of lo Tilbash.


35) For a woman to wear a mens style hat or a cap would depend if she is currently in a place and community where it isn’t specifically designated for only the men to wear such hats. If women wear sometimes these type of hats then it could be permitted on Purim to don a such hat or costume.


36) The Rosh Yeshiva felt that wearing a red shirt, even if its button down, which is mens style but since the color is red which is not worn by men only woman would be a problem of lo tilbosh and possibly should be avoided.


37) Wearing an “Irish-Kilt” would be a problem in the united states. (and should be avoided on purim)


38) There is room to be matir for a child to wear the clothing of the opposite gender if it is obviously to big for them to wear example: a small boy wearing a huge dress of his mother a small girl wearing her fathers hat or shoes which is usually the case when children dress up.






1) On purim people often act rowdy. One must be extremely

Careful on Purim not to damage anyones property or belongings.


2) One who is intoxicated on purim also must be careful not to damage anyones property. If his friends see that he cannot be cautious in his actions and behavior they should stop him from entering peoples homes to collect money or to be mesamech.


3) One who did do damage to anothers property on purim if it was done on purpose he is liable and most emend and pay back all the damage he caused.[4]


4) If he damaged by way of his dancing and jumping without intent if it is customary in his town or community to waiver such damages and not request reimbursement one is not required to pay those damages.


5) The question though arises what if the owner refuses to forgo his loss and is adamant that the person pay for what he damaged is the person nevertheless not required to pay?

I believe that if the person really wants reimbursement and is genuily not forgoing and forgiving his loss, then one should pay what he damaged. But if the loss is minimal and the owner “wants to teach the person a lesson” and therefor summons him to pay [I was actually present by a Din Torah by such a case] upon the understanding of the Dayan he could be exempt from paying for he acted from simchas purim and this removes from him penalization.[5]

6) If the damage that the person caused could be categorized above minimal “Hezek Gadol” under all circumstances the perpertrator must pay.

I’m not sure how we catogrize a minimal hefsed or a hefsed gadol for it is all relative

The Rosh Hayeshiva explained that the requirement to pay was said by a “Hezek gadol”. One can contemplate does hezek gadol exclude any hezek-damage that is not gadol, large and above the norm, which would include any damage even if it is minute and insignificant that one need not pay. Or does the term “Hezek Gadol” connate to exclude only small insignificant damage, but in deed for “average” damage one would also need to repay.[6]

I imagine it is up to the Beis Din or Rav to decide what is to be deemed a hefsed gadol


7) If one caused bodily damage he could and should be summoned to make emends and even monetary reparations if indeed it is “damage” that he caused, which can be subject to monetary compensation.[7]


8) The pass given to one who damages others belonging [minimally] “lechora” reasonably applies to the night of purim the day of purim and the following night [of shushan purim] but not the following day of shushan purim.[8]


9) If one drank just a little, R’ Shlomo Zalman Aurbauch does not believe this person is given the pass if he damages for he should have had control to watch and be careful. But the way we explained the halacha one is given a pass on purim if he damages is because he is acting rowdy because of simchas purim it has nothing to do with intoxication and how much one drank.


Note that in Shulchan Aruch it is not mentioned that the exemption is wine and alcohol related. Added to this the “Pri Migadim” brings two reasons for the pass given to the person who damages


A. He is somewhat a “oynes”. This would seem in accord if we are indeed exempting him because of his alcohol consumption and drunkiness due to a mitzvah


B. People are customarily forgiving if one damages their belongings on Purim. This reason would and should hold true and apply even if one damaged due to dancing and jumping not necessarily alcohol consumption


10) One who damaged because of an overabundance consumption of alcohol, severe drunkiness, it is possible that for this person there is no pass of Mezik Bereshus for to be that drunk is not necessarily the mitzvah.


11) One who vomits over the floors or chairs of someone on purim there is more room to forgo him the responsibility to pay damages. For the act of vomiting is “directly related” to the consumption of alcohol which is a mitzvah on Purim. While the act of damaging by ones hand or dancing or jumping is with ones intent [though he is intoxicated] But the Rosh Yeshiva opined that one could actually concur the opposite that dancing is somewhat simchas purim, vomiting is not in anyway simchas purim for anyone, Especially that the vomiting is usually due to the mixing of alcohols not for over consumption of wine “mixing isn’t a mitzvah or purim……"


12) Grabbing food, nosh, wines, shnaps from people and from their tables on purim is acceptable unless the person specifically and adamantly opposes you taking it. If one nevertheless did take the food or wine regardless ignoring the request of the owner, even though its wrong, one cannot be considered as if he stole.[9]


13) If the owner opposed taking his food or beverages but one did it regardless he may make a bracha on that food.[10]


14) One who was “completely” intoxicated where it is obvious that he doesn’t know what he is doing or saying [the best way to invalute this would be to quiz him if he remembers “the day after” what he did or said] All monies the he gave or promised for tzadaka can not be final and he has the right to change his mind and retract.[11]


15) One who was “high” and promised many monies for tzedaka may claim after purim that he was just joking and playing games for Simchas Purim. But I recommended he should nevertheless be Matir Neder


16) If he actually gave out the money on purim if he wasn’t “Shikur Klot”-completely intoxicated his givings are to be deemed final and he should not be able to take back the money


17) The Rosh Hayeshiva was “Mesupak” in doubt what would be the halacha if he wasn't “shikur k’lot” but he already gave out the checks. Can he ask for them back or cancel them claiming he was high and just kidding around.


18) The Rosh Hayeshiva also was mesupak if one can retract a pledge or cancel a check that he gave claiming that he was high and didn't realize who the person or organization the collection was for.[12]





1. There is a dispute in Halacha if women are obligated in the mitzvah of Mishloach Manos [see RAMA 695; 4 as opposed to Magen Avraham and GRA Mishna Berura 25] it is recommended for women to be stringent and fulfill the mitzvah of Mishloach Manos.[13]


2. It would seem that all women, including married women, should see to it that they send Mishloach Manos separately for themselves-Two dishes to one person- and not rely on the Mishloach monos the “family” sends.[14]


3. Nevertheless a married woman may rely on the Mishloach Manos that her husband sends.[15]


4. Some say that married women are automatically joined into the Mishloach Manos of her husband. Probably this is because “ISHTO KEGUFO” added to the fact that she is “SOMECH AL SHULCHAN BALAHA”-relies on her husbands [table] support.[16]


5. Other say that the husband should clearly state, especially to the receiver of the Mishloach Monos that what he is receiving is from his wife as well as him.[17]


6. While still yet others want that the husband should be “MAKNEH” the Mishloach Manos to his wife and to achieve that the package is indeed actually from his wife.[18]


7. Some say that The method of “kinyan” that the husband is Makneh the Mishloach Manos to his wife can be through the method of “ZECHIYA”–that the husband gives it to a Second party to deliver it to the recipient and that middleman [party] accepts it with the intent to acquire the Mishloach Manos on behalf of the wife.


8. While still yet they are those Poskim who are even more Machmir–stringent, that the wife should actually pick up the Mishloach Manos and actually acquiring the Mishloach Manos making the wife literally giving the Mishloach manos just as the husband.[19]


9. Some even require that a separate package “two Manos for one person” should be given on behalf of the wife and that the husband and wife should not fulfill both of their obligations with one package.


10. The method of KINYAN–acquisition that the woman should do in order to be KONEH the Mishloach Manos [according to the opinion that holds that she should be Konah the Mishloach Manos] would be for her to raise the package Three TEFACHIM from the surface that it is laying upon.


11. Young girls who are still at home–not married, since they are supported from their parents by eating off their table are basically exempt from sending Mishloach manos. This includes even girls who have full well paying jobs for they still “eat it–off–their–parents table” as long as they are home.


12. Nevertheless it is “recommended” that even single girls who live at home see to it that they send Mishloach Manos from themselves and do not rely on the family Mishloach Manos that their parents send.


13. If the girl living at home buys with her own money the Mishloach Manos food that she's going to send that would preferable. But if not, and she is using the food from home, then she should preferably see to it to be KONEH the food before sending it.


14. When a woman sends “her” Mishloach Manos [if she wants to follow those that required her to do so] she should send only to another woman and not to a man.


15. A women may send Mishloach Manos to her brother and by this be YOTZAI.


16. A man should not send Mishloach Manos to any woman unless she is a close family member for example a sister or possibly and aunt.


17. If it happened that a man did send a woman or a woman sent a man though it is extremely wrong, not recommended and reprehensible, nevertheless they were YOTZAI “after the fact”.


18. A woman can send her father Mishloach manos and be YOTZAI.


19. Likewise a woman possibly may send her own husband and be YOTZAI Mishloach Manos, as long as she was KONEH the package prior to sending it.


20. There is strong reasoning to say that a woman who is sending Mishloach Manos to her friend can replace the food package with different gifts such as clothes or dishes and by this be YOTZAI Mishloach Manos. The Rosh Hayeshiva commented that this as a novel idea but the custom is to send food only for Mishloach Manos.




In one of the stanzas of Maoz Tzur, we speak of Haman and his downfall “Most of his children and his acquired Fortune, on the tree, you hanged.”


Many ask, True that his children were hanged, but how was all his fortune hung with him?


Some answer that words most of his children and his fortune is not connected to the final words ” on the tree you hanged” but on the preceding words “the wicked enemy you annihilated”


Yet, another answer based on the Gemara Megillah 15:B is that Haman carried all his wealth in a necklace around his neck, and whenever he saw Mordechai who did not bow to him, he got enraged, and he would point to the priceless necklace and proclaim “All this is worth nothing to me……” when Haman was hanged indeed it was with all his wealth and fortune.


Some answer that “his possessions” refers to as many slaves that they too were hung on the tree together with HAMAN.


HARAV CHAIM KANIEVSKY SHLITA answers that “his possessions” also refer to his children, for a Gentile may sell his children. When it says his children were hanged, this refers to his grown children. When it says and his possessions were hung, it relates to and is alluding to his small children.


I would like to offer A MACHSHAVA and a MUSSAR thought;


Haman’s whole ambitions and goals in life were achieving wealth and honor in his evil and corrupt mind–the mind of a EISAV and AMALEK–focusing solely on himself and his worldly desires.


The PASSUK States Haman gleefully boasts to his wife about “his wealth and his many children” notice his wealth and his children are equal in his mind as his success and happiness… even mentioning his wealth first…


The EVEN EZRA on that Possuk asks why does it say that Haman tells his wife about “ROV BANAV” most– The majority of his children. Also, why would Haman need to tell his wife about how many children they have, as his wife and the mother of some of these children she would Know on her own?


Answers the Even Ezra; “ROV” BANAV doesn't mean most of his children but rather the success and prestige of his children… we further see how lacking Haman was in his ideals and morals, for the only thing that he viewed as his success was the prestige and fame of his children but not his children themselves and therefore did not have feelings for, and was not proud of, of all his children.


The PASUK teaches us “Don't look at the wealth of a man or his honor, for when he passes, he takes none of it with him…


Haman’s downfall must teach us a great lesson. EISAV-AMALEK is busy acquiring all the riches and acquisitions of this world but the only true acquisition in this world, one's fortune, is his children and his children only.


This is the meaning of what we say in MAOZ TZUR -“ROV BANAV” all is children's FAME and prestige as HAMAN referred to it was hung on the tree including “KINYANAV” his real acquisitions and possessions–his children.


My REBBE, RAV PAM ZT”L, used to explain the question that the kohen asks the father by a PIDYON HABEN “what do you want more the money or your child”. The RISHONIM asks, what kind of the question is this - would any father actually choose to keep the money and give up his child?


RAV PAM answered the question that it is now for the father to decide now. We are not asking if the father would forgo his son at his PIDYON HABEN for a few dollars. The question the Kohen is asking is long-term "father, this is your first son, you are starting home, what are your priorities? What your goals and ideals for this home and your children are? What will you put first your child or your money….."

[1]עי׳ היטב לשון הרמ״א תרצו:ח [2]עי׳ היטב לשון הרמ״א תרצה:ב יש שנהגו וכן נכון [3]עי׳ היטב לשון הרמ״א תרצו:ח ללבוש פרצופים עי׳ שבולי הלקט רב׳ [4]עי׳ היטב לשון מ״ב תרצה ס״ק יג מקפידין ואין מנהג וכו׳ [5]עי׳ היטב לשון המ״ב מקפידין וכו׳ [6]עי׳ היטב לשון המ״ב תרצה ס״ק יג מחלק בין היזק גדול לקטן ודוק [7]עי׳ היטב לשון המ״ב בין בגוף בין בממון דבהזק גדול וכו׳ [8]עי׳ היטב לשון המ״ב תרצז ס״ק לב [9]עי׳ היטב לשון הרמ״א ״החוטפים״ ודוק סוף תרצו סעיף ח ובמ״ב ס״ק לא בשם השלה [10]עי׳ מ״ב ס״ק לו ודוק [11]עי׳ ש״ע חו״מ סימן רלה:כב [12]לענ״ד תלוי בדין מוציא מחבירו. שעל החוזר להביא ראיה. וגם תלוי איך דנינן המחוזק [13]עיין מ״ב תרצ״ה ס,ק כה [14]עייו מ״ב ס״ק יד [15]עיין היטב בנ״ל [16]דוק בל״ המ״ב [17]עיין שולחן שלמה [18]בשם מרן הגריש״א אלישיב [19]עיין היטב שדי חמד מערכת ד מינים סימן יג אות ח ודו״ק

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