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Thought for the Day: Celebration of Purim Depends On Where You Intend To Be

Having been through this several times now, I think I have it right.  Purim is the one holiday we have whose date of celebration depends on location.  This is not quite the same as "yom tov sheini shel galiyos", because there everyone is supposed to celebrate the holiday on the same day, it is just that there is uncertainty about when that date occurs.  The date of the Purim celebration, however, is actually different for cities that were walled from the time of Y'ho'shu bin Nun than for unwalled cities.  Even better, it depends on where you intend to be, as well as where you are.  Even better, it depends on where you intend to be in the morning, but there is already stuff to do the night before.  So here goes...

A Tel Aviv-nik decides to spend the day in Yerushalayim... the day, though, is the 14th of Adar.  He plans to return late-ish (after tzeis ha'kochavim) on the 15th.  Since he plans to have left Yerushalayim before one would be obligated in the morning megilla reading, he has the din of a "paruz"/one who lives in an open city.  Our Tel Aviv-nik will need to hear (or lein) the megila on the evening and morning of the 14th.  On his way to shul in the morning, though, he notes what a beautiful day it is and how fun Purim is and how good it will feel to be in the holy city... ahhh; so he decides to stay in Yerushalayim over night and leave on the morning of the 15th -- after, though, alos ha'shachar.  He can go find a Tel Aviv minyan that is not reading megila today and get his day in Yerushalayim started earlier, right?  Wrong.  The decision point happened at alos ha'shachar, when we still had in mind to return to Tel Aviv, so he is already obligated to read like a Tel Aviv-nik.  Moreover, he'll need to hear (or lein) megila again tonight and tomorrow morning, since he will then be a one day walled city dweller; even though he has already heard megila twice in Tel Aviv.

It could work the other way, also.  A Yerushalmi decides in the afternoon of the 14th of Adar to travel to Tel Aviv to spend the rest of the day and the next.  (I have no idea why anyone would want to stay a day in Tel Aviv; that's not the point.)  He won't be reading (nor leining) megila in Tel Aviv, because he wasn't there on the morning of the 14th at alos ha'shachar.  He won't read on the 15th, because by alos ha'shachar on the 15th he won't be in Yerushalayim.  (Spending a day in Tel Aviv and missing megila; I really, really don't get this guy.)  One twist: If he leaves after sundown on the 15th, then Halichos Shlomo recommends that he read/lein without a bracha out of nervousness for those opinions that the obligation takes hold at sundown instead of dawn.

In case you get bored, you might want to consider the following three cases that happen at 10:00AM on 14th of Adar in Chicago:
  1. An onein whose aninus ends
  2. A 13 year old boy who sprouts two hairs
  3. A ger whose conversion is affirmed by beis din and comes up from the mikveh


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