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Ad Di'lo Yada Bein HaFourteenth VihaFifteenth

We all know that cities walled from the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun celebrate Purim on the 15th of Adar and all other cities celebrate on the 14th.

The gemara at the beginning of Maseches Megillah adds that if an unwalled city is either visible from ["nireh"], or in close proximity to ["samuch"], a walled city, then their residents celebrate on the 15th. [The distance of "samuch" is defined by the poskim as a "mil" - an 18 minute walk.]


Yes, Ramot!

What do they do in Ramot???

The Old City is walled from the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun so in the Old City you read on the 15th. The Old City extends outwards so all of the other neighborhoods of Jerusalem are also going to read on the 15th. But Ramot is too far to be considered "samuch", and it isn't visible from the Old City, so it isn't "nireh" either. Also, there is no continuum of homes from the Old City [the Ramot Road is in the middle] so it cannot be considered an extension of the Old City.

So the Halacha is [drum roll...] CELEBRATE ON THE 14TH AS AN UNWALLED CITY!

Wait, not so fast Chuckie!!

When I was in Yeshiva in Ramot over 20 years ago [I am getting OLD!!] we celebrated BOTH days. The rationale was that since Ramot is considered part of Greater Jerusalem with respect to taxation, transportation etc. etc. it is really part of a walled city. So out of doubt we did everything on both days. A BRACHA was made on the megillah reading on ONLY one of the days [I don't remember which]. [The true winners were the wine merchants...]

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zatz"l ruled [among many others] in Halichos Shlomo that this is not necessary. Ramot is part of Jerusalem and hence Purim is on the 15th. Period! This is based on a Ritva in Megillah who says that if an unwalled city is "mishtateif" with a walled city [meaning same taxation etc. as we explained earlier] then the 15th is the day. I understand that this is the prevalent custom today.

But waiiiiiiiiiiiiiit a second! If you look at the Ritva [he is also quoted by the Shaar Hatziyun in simman tarpach s"k he"h] he requires that in ADDITION to the condition of "mishtateif" the city must also fulfill the condition of "nireh"! This is not the case as far as Ramot is concerned. So we could argue with Rav Shlomo Zalman and say that in Ramot the Megillah should be read on the 14th.


But Rav Ovadiah Yosef Shlita is VERY EMPHATIC [in Yabiah Omer 7/59-60] that the 14th is the day and the 15th may be done only out of doubt [meaning read w/o a bracha]. He adds that even if he is incorrect and the 15th is the correct day it doesn't realy matter because the halacha is that in doubtful cities [such as Ramot] Purim should be celebrated on the 14th. So either the Ramot is an unwalled city and the 14th is the day or it is a doubtful city and the 14th is the day.

Despite this post the Holy Residents of Ramot will celebrate the 15th!

There is not even a "REMOTE" chance that they will do otherwise [pun inteeeeeeeeeeended!!!] - except of course for Chassidei HaRav Ovadiah.

So this post is "lihagdil Torah u'lihaadirah".

Love and Blessings to all.

is the concept of "nirah" only one-way i.e. from the old city to the unwalled city or is it either direction?

on a clear day from our shul in efrat, one can see the har habayit and even on a foggy day, one can see certain buildings in the "new jerusalem" (such as the bell tower, plaza hotel, etc).

i was told that when rav nebenzahl came to our shul, he thought that we probably should read on the 15th.

any thoughts?

הר"ן במגילה כותב שתלןי אם אפשר לראות מהעיר לכרך המוקף חומה ועליו כנראה בנוי הפסק שלו אבל לא ראיתי באחרונים שפסקו כדברי הר"ן

האם יש מישהו באפרת שקורא בט"ו??

not that i know of. r' riskin, chief rabbi of the town paskened not to. but that was a historical decision before our neighborhood was built (northern-most closest to j-lem)


You can also see Har Habayit from parts of Neve Daniel (mostly the older parts). But there too they read on the 14th.

Ramot makes a bracha on he 15th

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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