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Rabbi Yehoshua B. Levi said, “Women are obligated in hearing of the Megilah (The Book of Ester), since even they were involved in the miracle.”

Tractate Megilah Chapter 1

Even they: It seems difficult to understand, since the women were the main players in brining about the miracle: in the times of Purim it was Ester, in the times of Chanukah it was Yehudit, and in the times of (the enslavement in) Egypt, it was the righteous women (who did no give up hope, as described elsewhere) in who’s merit we were redeemed from Egypt. So it the expression of “even they” seems to be misplaced.

Rather, “event they” were decreed to be put to death (as opposed as taken as part of the spoils of war).

Tosafot ibid.

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20 March in History

It was on this day in 1897 that Yeshiva Rabbi Isaac Elhanan opened in New York as an Orthodox rabbinical seminary. It later expanded into Yeshiva University, with both Jewish and secular studies, a medical (Einstein) and a graduate school (Ferkauf).

14 Adar in History

Moses was born on the 7th of Adar of the year 2368 from creation (1393 BCE); accordingly, Adar 14 was the 8th day of his life and the day on which he was circumcised in accordance with the Divine command to Abraham.

The festival of Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”

The events of Purim extended over a period of several years, culminating in the victory celebrations of Adar 14-15 of 356 BCE

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Eliyahu came close to the people and said,
“For how long will you be standing on two sides of the fence? If God is the Almighty, follow after Him. And if its Baal, go after him.”

The nation did not answer him.

Kings I 18:21

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18 February in History

In 1955, David Ben Gurion agrees to come out of retirement and serve as Defense Minister. Four months later he will also agree to serve as Prime Minister.

14 Adar in History

According to the opinions that Moses was born on the 7th of Adar I, today was the 8th day of his life and the day on which he was circumcised in accordance with the Divine command to Abraham.

19 February in History

In 2004, Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal was awarded an honorary knighthood in recognition of a “lifetime of service to humanity.”

15 Adar in History

In regular years, the 15th of Adar is Shushan Purim, the festival that celebrates — in Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities — the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman’s evil decree in the year 3405 from creation (356 BCE). In a leap year — which has two Adars — Shushan Purim is observed in Adar II, and the 15th of Adar I is designated as Shushan Purim Kattan, the “Minor Shushan Purim.”

There are no special observances associated with Shushan Purim Kattan, other than the omission of Tachnun (“supplications”) from the daily prayers and a prohibition against fasting or holding eulogies on this day. The Code of Jewish Law cites an opinion that one should increase in festivity and joy, but rules that there is no obligation to do so; “Nevertheless,a person should increase somewhat in festivity… for ‘One who is of good heart is festive always’ “

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