Jerusalem, Israel - Feb. 24, 2021 - In Yerushalayim, Purim celebrations are not one, but three days this year!
Shushan Purim, the 15th of Adar, is the regular Hebrew date of Purim in Yerushalayim, but this year it would be Shabbat, and there is no Megillah reading on Shabbat, so the regular Mitzvot of Purim are divided up over 3 days.
THURSDAY - Fast of Esther - February 25 - Megillah reading at night.
FRIDAY - PURIM, February 26 - Megillah reading in morning & Matanot La’evyonim,
SHABBAT - February 27 - Al Hanisim in Tefillah and Birkat Hamazon
SUNDAY - February 28 - Mishloach Manot & Purim Seudah without the Al Hanisim.
Besides being a "Triple" Purim year, there are multiple restrictions and regulations coming from the Prime Minister and Ministry of Health Offices. Stores and most businesses are finally open again after months of closure. Some children went back to school, dressed in holiday costumes on Wednesday. But already reports are of teachers coming in with "symptoms" and young children again being sent into isolation at home.
The Cabinet approved in principle the Health Ministry outline for the Purim holiday, from Thursday evening, February 25th until Sunday morning, February 28th.
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A night lockdown is to be in place from 8:30 pm until 5:00 am according to the format of the third lockdown with a distance restriction of 1 kilometer during those hours, as well as the prohibition on being in another person's residence.
To remove doubt, it was emphasized that during all hours of the day, events may not be held that deviate from the regulations on gatherings (10 people in a closed space and 20 people in an open one); this means that Purim parades, gatherings, performances, and large meals may not be held. Seminary and Yeshivah students are not to go to private homes for Shabbat or Purim meals.
In a conference call, the requirement for those returning from abroad, from all countries, to quarantine in state-sponsored designated hotels was extended until Tuesday, March 9, 2021. The quarantine is for 14 days for those who do not undergo a coronavirus test and 10 days for those who undergo two coronavirus tests with both being negative, in accordance with the existing procedure.
Hamentashen and costume displays were not out early in the huge quantities as in most years. However, the President's Residence was into the Purim spirit, posting an inflatable Monster over the main gate for the week of Purim.
As five new ambassadors to Israel presented their credentials on Wednesday morning, the official ceremony was once again Corona downsized. Following the three-motorcycle escort, the official diplomatic limousines drove in under an oversized Monster as people on the street stopped to take photos on their phones.