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Purim is exactly a month from today. This year in the Jewish calendar is a leap year, which means we add an extra leap month instead of just one day, and if you

think that’s confusing, here’s an article about Jewish leap years to help you out — but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

Purim Katan is.

Purim Katan literally means “little Purim,” or, as I like to call it, mini-Purim. If today was the normal month of Adar, we’d be celebrating Purim right now, getting all manner of joyous and stuffed and dressing up as Queen Esther or Mordechai or Lady Gaga.

There are no official rules or precedents or things you’re supposed to do for Purim Katan. The Rema, the ancient sage who kind of decided what Ashkenazic Jews do and don’t do, says about it:

“Some are of the opinion that one is obligated to feast and rejoice on the 14th of Adar I (known as Purim Katan). This is not our custom. Nevertheless, one should eat somewhat more than usual, in order to fulfill his obligation according to those who are stringent. ‘And he who is glad of heart, feasts constantly.'”

So there you go. Command yourself to do a little something extra today — have dessert with lunch (or, if you usually have dessert, have two). Party a little more than you usually do. Or do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do to spread joy. After all, there are two months of Adar this year — we’ve got to do twice as much work to spread our joy.

Posted on February 17, 2011

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