Can you work on Purim?

Thanks very much.

Answer:

According to the strict halachah it is permitted to work on Purim. The Megillah describes the day of Purim as an occasion of “mishteh ve-simcha” — feasting and rejoicing (9:22). No mention is made of a “Yom Tov,” a day on which work is forbidden.

Nevertheless, the custom developed among some communities to refrain from work on Purim day, and the halachah is that in such communities one should abide by this custom. This is ruled by the Shulchan Aruch (696:1), the Rema citing from the Kol Bo that today, all places have the custom of not working.

Furthermore, the Shulchan Aruch notes that work performed on the day of Purim does not result in beracha (blessing); it is therefore inadvisable to work on Purim in any case.

The Mishnah Berurah rules that it is permitted to engage in business, because a person “enjoys” business. This cannot generally be said for office work.

Therefore, one should not work on Purim, if possible. If significant loss is involved, however, it is permitted to work – though as noted, it is not recommended.

Best wishes.

Tags: Halacha melacha Purim work working

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