Purim Evening Services and Megillah Reading

Date: 

March 9, 2020 - 7:15pm

Location: 

Schechter Manhattan, at 805 Columbus Ave, entrance 100th St.

 

Join us for a festive Maariv & Megillah reading
Costumes are encouraged! Afterwards, stick around for a Purim "kiddush."  

Kids
Kids are welcome, as always, in the main service. We will not be holding a separate children's program, nor will we have child supervision in the side classroom. 

Participate from home
If you are not feeling well, showing any symptoms (sneezing, coughing), or are under quarantine, please stay home, rest, and do not come to shul. Individuals with specific health concerns should consult their medical team and/or the latest official guidance in making their decision about whether to attend.

For those unable to attend megillah reading, we will offer a livestream of megillah reading on the KH Facebook page. (Please see below for guidance from our halachic advisor, Rabbi Ethan Tucker, regarding being unable to attend a megillah reading in person.)

Giving tzedakah on Purim
At services we will be collecting donations of matanot l’evyonim (gifts to the poor) for West Side Campaign Against Hunger and Mazon. In addition, we will donate a portion of the money collected directly to the poor on Purim day in order to fulfill the halachic requirements of matanot l’evyonim

​There will also be an opportunity to donate to Kehilat Hadar.

Purim Morning
We will not hold services on Purim morning, March 10. Hadar Institute invites the KH community to attend their services at 9AM at West End Synagogue, 190 Amsterdam Avenue. 


Guidance for those unable to hear the megillah in person, from Rabbi Ethan Tucker
There has been debate as to whether hearing the megillah through a microphone or a telephone is considered equivalent to hearing a person read it in physical proximity. There is good basis for the lenient position, in my view, with respect to these technologies, which truly mirror the human voice in many ways. It is a bit of an extension to apply the same logic to a livestreaming medium that relies on buffering and that can end up having a growing time gap between the moment of speech and its reproduction for the listener.

For this reason, I would propose the following guidelines and framework for thinking about megillah reading and livestream.

  1. Someone who is unable to get in the same space as a megillah and a megillah reader for health reasons is exempt from the requirement to read the megillah.
  2. Despite being exempt, there is a value to coming as close as possible to reading the megillah, and there might be circumstances when a livestream is reliable enough that it can fulfill the requirements of hearing the megillah. Therefore, we should provide such readings for those who are quarantined.
  3. During the day, there is the view of the Meiri that those unable to hear the megillah should say Hallel preceded by its berakhah. However, this has not generally been a conventional practice. I therefore recommend that those only able to hear a livestream of the megillah during the day say the regular full Hallel without a berakhah, thus fulfilling the mitzvah in an alternative way and also as a way of expressing gratitude for our continued health at this difficult time.

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