Seudat Purim

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One should increase in festivities on Purim. There is mitzvah to eat one meal on the day of Purim. [1] Below are the details of the meal of Purim.

Practices of Seudat Purim

  1. When one has the Seudah, one should have intent that one is eating the meal in order to fulfill the mitzvah of Seudat Purim.[2]
  2. The meal should be eaten with friends and family. [3]


  1. It is improper to fast on Purim unless it is a fast for a nightmare. [4]

When should one eat Seudat Purim?

  1. Many Ashkenazim have the minhag to eat the meal after mincha, while many Sephardim have the minhag to eat the meal in the morning.[5]Some have a minhag to eat a small meal the night of Purim. [6]
  2. The mitzvah of Seudat Purim is during the day and not the night, yet one should have simcha and a small meal at night (and make the meal of the day greater). [7] If Purim falls out on Motzei Shabbat and Sunday, having Seudat Shelishit isn’t considered as having a small meal during the night of Purim. Rather, one should have a special meal for the sake of Purim. [8]
  3. If one began the meal on Purim and ate past nightfall, one should still mention Al HaNissim in Birkat HaMazon [9] unless one already said Maariv, in which case one shouldn’t say Al HaNissim. Some say that one can say it even after davening Maariv. [10]

What should one eat at Seudat Purim?

  1. Many poskim hold that one should eat bread and meat in the meal.[11]

If one forgot Al HaNissim

  1. If one forgot Al HaNissim in Benching, one doesn’t repeat benching. However, if one remembers that he forgot Al HaNissim while still benching one should add it in the Harachaman’s by saying Harachaman Hu Yaaseh Lanu Nissim and continue with Al HaNissim. [12]

Drinking on Purim

  1. The mitzvah to drink only applies to wine. Although most Rishonim seem to require one to reach a level of drunkenness [13], most later authorities, Ashkenazic and Sephardic, hold that one should only drink a little more than what one is accustomed to drink and then sleep (see note for procedure). [14] All agree that if one going to end up violating or degrading any halacha such as Birkat HaMazon, one should not get drunk. [15]
  2. If one’s parent tells one not to drink on purim one should listen to them and only drink a little more than usual. [16]
  3. Women are not required to drink as much. One cup or less is sufficient. [17]
  4. If one damages property as a result of celebrating purim, one is exempt from paying for the damages. [18]

Avoiding Davening or Brachot After Drinking

  1. One who is not in a state that is fitting to speak before a king is forbidden to daven Shemone Esrei[19] or recite the Shema and its accompanying blessings.[20] If one prays in such a condition his prayer is considered an abomination and he must repeat Shemone Esrei and Shema[21] (all 3 paragraphs) once he is sober.[22]
  2. One who is truly unfit to speak before a king must delay davening even if this means that he will miss the time to daven altogether. In such a scenario, he may pray a make up tefilla (tashlumin). [23] Nonetheless, one must not be overly stringent about this considering the fact that, today, our kavana during davening is not so great even when we are not drunk.[24]
  3. If one is concerned the time for Shema will pass before he becomes sober he should recite the Shema (including all three paragraphs). Nonetheless, if he becomes sober before the time for Shema ends he should repeat Shema (all three paragraphs).[25]
  4. Even if one is accustomed to drinking and is therefore not affected by drinking, nonetheless, if one drinks a reviit of wine, or the intoxicating equivalent of another beverage, ideally he should not daven then. When one drinks this minimal amount of wine or its intoxicating equivalent from another beverage, a walk of 1 mil and a tiny bit of sleep will suffice to wear off the alcohol's effect.[26]
  5. Ideally, one should avoid reciting any brachot when one is drunk to the extent that he would be incapable of speaking in front of a king.[27] Strictly speaking however, one make recite all brachot[28] (including Birkat Hamazon)[29] as long as one is not drunk to the level of Lot's drunkeness.[30]
  6. Once one is drunk to the extent that he can no longer speak in front of a king he also cannot be counted for a minyan (although for a zimun it is possible that this is permitted).[31]
  7. One need not do any test in order to determine if he is sober enough to daven; rather, each individual is trusted to make this determination independently.[32]


  1. Rama and S”A 695:1
  2. S"A 60:4 rules like the Rishonim who say that Mitzvot need kavana. Mishna Brurah 60:9 quotes the Gra who says that mitzvot derabbanan also need kavana, while the Magen Avraham disagrees. It’s clear from S”A 696:7 that eating Seudat Purim is MeDivrei Kabbalah (which in some respects is similar to a Deoritta). Therefore, Pri Megadim (M”Z 695:1) writes that one should have intent that one is eating the meal to fulfill the mitzvah of Seudat Purim. Mishna Brurah 695:4 quotes this as halacha.
  3. Eliyah Rabba 695:4 writes that the meal should be eaten with family and friends in order to have Simcha. Mishna Brurah 695:9 quotes this and adds that it should be a Simcha of Torah. See Gemara Shabbat 88a which says that Purim was a Kabbalah MeAhava of the Torah.
  4. Rama 695:2
    • Rama 695:2 writes that the minhag is to eat the meal after mincha, but one should ensure that majority of the meal is eaten during the day. Rabbi Willig (“Practical Laws of Observance of Purim”, min 41-2) explained that the Rama means that the primary parts of the meal such as the bread, meat, and wine should be consumed during the day. Shalmei Todah (pg 317) also explains the Rama this way.
    • However, the Maaseh Rav of the Gra (#248) recommends eating it in the morning. Kaf HaChaim 695:23 quotes kabbalistic reasons for eating Seudat Purim in the morning.
  5. S”A 695:1 writes that one doesn’t fulfill one’s obligation by eating a nighttime meal. The Rama adds that at night one should have a small meal. Pri Megadim E”A 695:6 presents different minhagim about having meat at the nighttime meal.
  6. S”A and Rama 695:1, Mishna Brurah 695:3
  7. Mishna Brurah 695:3
  8. S”A and Rama 695:3
  9. Mishna Brurah 695:16
    • Rambam Megillah 2:15 writes that the meal should consist of meat and wine. The Magen Avraham 696:15 questions the need for meat. Nonetheless, many poskim including Kaf HaChaim 695:6, Chazon Ovadyah pg 173, and Nitei Gavriel 71:3 agree that one should have meat. Shaar HaTziyun 695:12 implies it’s an obligation. Kovetz MeBet Levi (5758, vol 13, pg 32) writes that having meat is not MeAkev.
    • The Birkei Yosef 695:1-3 and Magen Avraham 695:9 write that there’s no obligation to eat bread. However, Aruch HaShulchan 695:7, 12 argues that mishteh is defined by bread. Chayei Adam 155:30 says the same. Nitei Gavriel 71:1 and Yalkut Yosef 695:4 write that one should be strict to have bread. Mishna Brurah makes no mention of it except in Shaar HaTziyun 695:4 where he leaves it as a dispute.
  10. Mishna Brurah 695:15
  11. Gemara Megillah 7b. Rambam (Laws of Megillah 2:15), Rif Megillah 3a in Dapei HaRif, Rosh Megillah Perek 1 Siman 8, Tur Orach Chayim 695:1 seem to require one to reach a level of drunkenness.
  12. The Bet Yosef 695:1 quotes the Orchot Chaim who writes that it’s forbidden to get drunk; rather the mitzvah is to drink a little more than one is accustomed to drink. Darkei Moshe HaAruch 695:2 quotes the Mahariv as saying that one should drink, and then sleep so that one doesn’t know the difference between Arur Haman and Baruch Mordechai. Rama 695:2 combines the Orchot Chaim and Mahariv saying that one should drink more than one is accustomed to drink and then sleep.
    • Mishna Brurah 695:5 explicitly rules that this is the accepted halacha. This was also the minhag of Rav Shlomo Zalman (Halichot Shlomo pg 343 note 78). Rav Hershel Schachter in a shiur on (“Inyanei Purim”, min 81-83) explained that one should drink a little more than one is accustomed to, and then fall asleep after the meal. Rabbi Willig (min 42-6), however, explained that according to the Rama one should drink a little, sleep, and then have the Seudah, and drink a little in the meal. Yalkut Yosef 695:14 rules like the Orchot Chaim and makes no mention of sleeping. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu in MaAmer Mordechai 64:36 who seems to agree.
    • Rashi Megillah 7b s.v. LeIvsumei and Rambam 2:15 specify wine and not other intoxicating drinks. Kaf HaChaim 695:6 and Nitei Gavriel 73:2 codify this as halacha. Rabbi Willig (min 44-5) rules that it’s prohibited to have intoxicating drinks other than wine on Purim or any day of the year. However, Shalmei Todah (pg 326) quotes Rav Nissim Karlitz saying that it’s not MeAkev to have wine specifically. Rav Shlomo Zalman (Halichot Shlomo pg 342, note 76) writes that grape juice does not suffice.
  13. The Chaye Adam 155:30 writes that if one knows that getting drunk will cause one to degrade fulfilling a mitzvah such as making Brachot, Birkat HaMazon, or Maariv, one shouldn’t get drunk. This is quoted by the Beiur Halacha s.v. Ad and Kaf HaChaim 695:17. This is supported by the Mieri (Megillah 7b) who writes that we’re not commanded to have happiness of vanity and frivolity, rather one should have happiness that leads to Ahavat Hashem and a desire to thank Him for the miracles he did for us.
  14. Halichot Shlomo 19:25
  15. Sh"t Rivevot Ephraim 1:458, Moadim Uzmanim 2:190
  16. Rama 695:2
  17. S.A 99:1
  18. Rama 99:1 and M.B. 99:7
  19. M.B. 99:8
  20. S.A 99:1 M.B. 99:5 writes that if he davens Shemona Esrei then it is as if he has worshiped idols. Contrastingly, if he avoids davening then he will be saved from all distress.
  21. S.A. 99:1
  22. M.B. 99:3 quoting the Yam Shel Shlomo
  23. M.B 99:8 quotes the Levush and Likutei Ha'Ramban who are lenient regarding reciting Shema when drunk. Nonetheless, the Gra explains the Yerushalmi as forbidding one from reciting Shema in such a scenario. The M.B. therefore concludes in accordance with what the Magen Avraham states regarding Birkat Hamazon (quoted in M.B. 185:6 as "Achronim") that one must still recite Shema or Birkat Hamazon if he finds himself already drunk, but ideally, one should avoid this situation.
  24. S.A 99:2 M.B. 99:17 quotes the Yam Shel Shlomo that on Yom Tov it is permitted to daven even if one drank a little because it is impossible to wait. The M.B writes that this applies all the more so today when even when we are not drinking are kavana is not so great.
  25. M.B. 99:11 quoting the Gra
  26. Rama 99:1
  27. M.B 99:9
  28. M.B. 99:11 quoting the Mishbitzot Zahav
  29. M.B. 99:10
  30. S.A. 99:3