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Purim is unique in that it is the only holiday that Jews celebrate the chag on two separate dates. Jerusalem and walled cities celebrate Purim on the 15th of Adar, while the rest of world Jewry, inside and outside of Israel, celebrate one day earlier on the 14th of Adar.

With the return of the Jewish People en masse to Israel and the growth and construction that has taken place all throughout the Jewish State, many modern communities in the Jerusalem as well as other areas wrestle with the question in halacha, which date of Purim should be celebrated? Are these new neighborhoods or communities part of Jerusalem and therefore celebrate Shushan Purim on the 15th of Adar or are these communities considered to be outside of Jerusalem and celebrate “Purim” on the 14th of Adar?
Our town, Yishuv Adam, which is just two kilometers from the Jerusalem city limits, is among the list of questionable places when it comes to the date of Purim observance.
The following article is a brief sketch of the complicated halachik discussion involving the proper date of Purim in Yishuv Adam aka Geva Binyamin.

Areal view of Yishuv Adam

The first mishna in Megilla (2a) teaches that walled cities during the time of Yehoshua observe Shushan
Purim.
The Gemara (2b and 3b) goes one step further to include villages which are either “next to” (סמוך) or
“seen with” (נראה) the walled city, as part of the walled city in terms of observing Purim on the 15th . The
Gemara (2b) does give a limiting factor to the above inclusion. The adjacent village must be within a
distance of a mil (about 1 kilometer) from the walled city.

Jerusalem Walls

The Rishonim grapple with the following question; regarding this stipulation of the adjacent village being within a mil of the walled city, which case does it apply to?
There are three options:
1) The mil limitation applies only to villages which are סמוך“next to” the walled city. The
limitation does not apply to villages which are נראה “seen with” the walled city. Meaning, if
village is seen with the walled city but beyond the distance of a mil it would still be considered
part of the “walled city area.”
2) The mil limitation applies only to villages which are נראה “seen with” the walled city. The
limitation does not apply to villages which are סמוך “next to” the walled city.
3) The mil limitation applies to villages which are either סמוך “next to” and נראה “seen with” the
walled city.
A majority of Rishonim, including Rash”i, Rabbenu Chananel, the Ritv”a in the name of his rabbis, the
Meiri and Rabbenu Yerucham all opt for option #1. The Beis Yosef explains that if the mil limitation
would apply to נראה “seen with” as well, then נראה is not teaching us anything novel. All the Gemara
would have to teach us is “mil,” within a “mil” – 15 th , outside of – 14 th . As a result, these Rishonim explain that village must be either סמוך“next to” (within a mil) or נראה “seen with” even outside of a
mil.
The simple reading of the Ramba”m and the Tur would indicate that they are explaining the Gemara
according to either options #2 or #3. The Rav HaMaggid on the Rambam and Beis Yoseh bring different
גירסאות (textual versions) and alternative ways of explaining the Rambam and the Tur to make them fit
with a majority of Rishonim. צע”ג
At this stage, based on the explanation of a majority of Rishonim and the psak of the Mishna Brurah
(תרפח ס”ב, ס”ק ו), there would be strong basis for Adam to keep Shushan Purim. Even if the Yishuv is
outside of Yerushalayim beyond a kilometer, since it can be seen from outside the city (looking in from
Beit El) as part of Yerushalayim it would be judged like the walled city – Yerushalayim.
However, the Ra”n, the Meir”I and the Ritv”a add an important condition which greatly impacts this
discussion. They teach that a village can only be considered as “seen with” the walled city if it is משתתף
עמו בענינו “participates with the walled city in its matters.” If Adam was included in the Yerushalayim
eruv (as is Mevasseret Zion) or the residents paid taxes to the Jerusalem municipality, then Adam would fulfill this criterion of משתתף עמו בענינו. Adam has its own eruv and residents pay taxes to the Binyamin Council, not to the Jerusalem municipality.

As such, most modern day poskim rule that Yishuv Adam and its residents are meant to keep Purim on the 14th of Adar.

The Miller Family on Purim

I must say it is a special privilege to be living at a time and in a place where questions of this nature
involving Yerushalayim and its suburbs are practically relevant. Part of our celebration on Purim in Israel is that we have the blessing to celebrate Purim in Israel, the eternal home of the Jewish People.

With an ever expanding Capital City and Yishuv Adam being a growing community, this halachik question might be revisited in the near future.

Purim Samaach


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