What is the Mishnah Berurah’s disclaimer about traveling to different cities on Purim?

As we have learned, walled cities celebrate Purim on the fifteenth day of Adar while all other cities keep Purim on the fourteenth day of Adar. The poskim extensively discuss the halachos which pertain to the resident of one type of city who travels to the other type. After explaining one of the views, the Mishnah Berurah writes the following disclaimer: “I request from the reader not to rely entirely upon my view and to be stringent with regard to reciting a brocha.” Such a disclaimer is unique; no such thing can be found throughout the rest of the sefer.

[שו"ע תרפח, ה, משנ"ב יב, וביה"ל ד"ה בן עיר]

When does a visitor read the Megilah?

A resident of an open city who travels to a walled city prior to the fourteenth retains his status (of reading on the fourteenth) if he plans to leave the walled city before the onset of the fifteenth. This is the case even if he ends up staying in the walled city. If he planned to be in the walled city at the onset of the fifteenth, he should celebrate Purim on the fifteenth. The reverse applies to a resident of a walled city who travels to an open city. His status is conferred based on where he intended to be on the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar. Some poskim hold that a person’s status is determined by his intentions on the day of Purim itself. For example, if a resident of a walled city is in an open city on the fourteenth and plans to stay for the day, he should read on the fourteenth even if he ends up returning to the walled city.

[שו"ע תרפח, ה, ומשנ"ב יב; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 21 ו־24]

What is the schedule of a Purim Meshulash?

According to the Jewish calendar, the fourteenth of Adar will never fall on a Shabbos. The fifteenth can fall on Shabbos. When Purim falls on Shabbos, it is known as a Purim Meshulash. The schedule is as follows: The Megilah is read on Friday. Matanos L’evyonim is distributed on Friday as well. On Shabbos, one should expound upon the Megilah. Al Hanissim is added to davening and bentching. The Maftir is the kriyah of Purim. The Seudas Purim and Mishloach Manos take place on Sunday. Some distribute Mishloach Manos on Shabbos. They also add a special food to the Shabbos meal as a fulfillment of the Purim Seudah. A third view maintains that the Mishloach Manos should be given out on Friday.

[שו"ע תרפח, ו, משנ"ב יד, טז, יזי ו־יח, ושעה"צ ל; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 33 ו־35]
  • Cities which were walled during the time of Yehoshua Ben Nun (the era in which Klal Yisroel entered Eretz Yisroel) read the Megilah and celebrate Purim on the fifteenth day of Adar. This day is known as Purim D’mukafin (Purim of the walled cities). All other cities celebrate Purim on the fourteenth day of Adar. Cities which are unsure of their history must celebrate Purim on both the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar.

  • Cities that are within a mil of walled cities also celebrate Purim on the fifteenth of Adar. Shulchon Aruch rules that peripheral cities which appear to be part of walled cities should also read Megilah on the fifteenth, even if they are further than a mil away. A minority view maintains that such a city must be within a mil of the walled city in order to celebrate on the fifteenth.

  • Presently, only the city of Yerushalayim celebrates Purim D’mukafin. The city of Teveria has the status of a possible walled city. Other cities which have an uncertain status include Haifa, Lod and Yaffo.

  • Can the Megilah be read before Purim?

  • Should women go to shul to hear the Megilah?

  • From what age is a child obligated to listen to the Megilah?
PLEASE NOTE: The information in this email is for learning purposes only. Please review the Mishna Berura and Biurim U'Musafim before making a halachic decision. Hebrew words are occasionally transliterated to enable a smoother reading of the text. Common Ashkenazi pronunciation is generally used in these cases.
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