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In Megilas Esther it is written, “ Vimay Hapurim haeleh lo yaavru mitoch haYehudim etc.”- “And these days of Purim will remain by the Jews forever”. The Chasam Sofer points out that the word, vimay , is found one more time in Tanach, in the parsha of krias shema- Limaan yirbu yimeichem ‘ vimay’ vineichem al haadama etc.’. What is the association between these two pesukim that share this common word?

The Gemorah in Mesechta Shabbos tells us that the Yidden stood at the foot of Har Sinai and Hashem held the mountain over their heads threateningly, forcing them to accept the Torah and its tenets . Tosfos asks that this seems to be a contradiction to that which Klal Yisroel were greatly rewarded for proclaiming, “ naaseh vinishma ”- they stated emphatically that they would undertake to fulfill everything, wholeheartedly. This seems to be a far cry from being forced by a menacing mountain being dropped on their heads!

 The author of the sefer , Lev Aryeh, explains that their offer to willingly accept the Torah when they declared their famous mantra,” naaseh vinishma ”, was specifically in Eretz Yisroel , while living in the Holy Land amongst their brethren. They did not agree to accept and observe the Torah in chutz laaretz , living amongst the nations of the world. They were not willing to accept the challenge of conforming to all the requirements of the Torah while residing amongst the goyim. However, Hashem willed it otherwise. He required that the Torah should direct the lives of Yidden wherever they may exist, even while living in midst of their enemies. The threat of death was necessary, to force the Yidden to accept the yoke of Torah wherever they may be located. This state of force existed until the story of Purim took place.

Upon witnessing miracles, even in foreign lands amongst foreign nations, they arrived at the realization that Hashem’s hashgacha and protection exists even while spread out amongst the nations of the world; even amongst those who seek our destruction. This is the meaning of the statement in Megilas Esther , “kiymu vikiblu ”- they accepted to fulfill the Torah willingly . Until this point in time, outside of Eretz Yisroel , they were compelled to fulfill the Torah due to the original fear of imminent death by crushing. The main function of the nes of Purim was the open demonstration of Hashem’s hashgacha even in chutz laaretz . Even in the throes of galus, Hashem’s hands are ready and waiting to spare us from our oppressors.

Perhaps this may shed light on the words of Chazal that state that the days of Purim will remain with us forever, whereas, other Yomim Tovim will cease to exist. The Yom Tov of Purim reflects Hashem ’s dominion, reigning supreme throughout the entire world. This will never cease, rather, the entire world will come to recognize Hashem ’s majesty and all of the nations of the world will subjugate themselves under His yoke, as we say three times daily in the tefilah of ‘ Aleinu’- “visaken olam bimalchus shakai etc. vilicvod shimcha yikar yiteinu vikablu chulam es ol malchuscha aleihem etc,”- “ The entire world will pay homage to Hashem and they will accept the yoke of Your kingship and You will reign over them etc.”. Of course, the Yom Tov of Purim will endure until the end of time because Purim represents the end of time when Hashem ’s presence will be felt everywhere and by everyone.

The Chasam Sofer concludes; this is the parallelism of the word “vimay’ . In krias shema, the word ‘ vimay’ is included in a sentence that indicates that the prime place for Torah observance is Eretz Yisroel, as is written, “ Limaan yirbu yimeichem vimay etc. al haadam asher Hashem elokiechem nosain lachem etc. On the other hand, the possuk in Megilas Esther that includes the word ‘ vimay ’, is a reference to that the days of Purim will remain with us forever and everywhere since they then came to the realization that Hashem and his Torah is not limited to Eretz Yisroel.

Purim is the manifestation of Hashem’s hashgacha over us throughout the duration of our galus and it is a declaration that we are bound to Hashem and his Torah even through exile and hardship. 

An alleyway built like a courtyard
As we have learned, one may only carry in an alleyway, that is open on one side, if a lechi or a korah is built by the opening. In order to be able to carry in an open courtyard, a person must build either a pas daled or a lechi on both sides of the opening. A typical alleyway is constructed in a rectangular shape with the opening running along the side of its width. An atypical alley, in which the width is the same size as the length, has the halachic status of a courtyard.  A courtyard which is built according to the specifications of an alleyway (rectangular), has the status of an alleyway provided that the courtyard opens into the alleyway.

שו"ע שסג, כו-כז, משנ"ב קה, קו ו־קטז, ושעה"צ עח

A courtyard built like an alleyway

As mentioned, it is permissible to carry in a courtyard that is built according to the specifications of an alleyway which has only a korah or a lechi built at its opening. The halacha is more lenient with this type of alleyway than with an actual alleyway in that it does not have to open to other courtyards (see yesterday’s overview). If, however, this courtyard is open to a reshus harabim or a karmelis, a pas daled or two lechis must be built at its opening. According to some opinions, nowadays, the concept of an alleyway is no longer applicable. They explain that the essence of an alleyway is to open into a courtyard that people use for their daily needs; today, people no longer use courtyards for their needs. Therefore, the concept of alleyways open into courtyards, and the concept of courtyards, are obsolete.

[ שו"ע שסג, כו, משנ"ב קז; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 90]

The accepted custom to only rely on a tzuras hapesach

It has become the accepted custom, for many generations, to rely only on a tzuras hapesach to close the opening of all our alleyways and streets, and not to rely on a korah, a lechi or a pas daled. The poskim explain that nowadays all of our alleyways have the status of a courtyard (see above). Although a courtyard suffices with two lechis or a pas daled, a courtyard that opens on one side into a karmelis or reshus harabim does not. In addition, many openings are wider than ten amos which according to the basic halacha have to be closed off by a tzuras hapesach. If an alleyway is open on both sides, they should both be closed off with a tzuras hapesach. If the crossbeam of one of the tzuros hapesach falls down on Shabbos, b’dieved one may rely on the side posts to act as a lechi, provided that the opening is less than ten amos.

[ שו"ע שסג, כו, משנ"ב קי-קיא; ביאורים ומוספים דרשו, 91]
  • An open alleyway (which only needs a lechi or a korah) must have at least two courtyards attached to it. Each of these courtyards must have two houses open to them and each one of these houses must have an area of at least four by four amos.

  • An alleyway with a narrow opening

  • A bridge over a river

  • Relying on a seashore as a partition
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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