Purims, Special

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Following the talmudic injunction that one must recite a special thanksgiving benediction on returning to the place where one was once miraculously saved from danger (Ber. 54a), the custom evolved for Jewish communities or families to celebrate the anniversary of their escape from destruction by reciting special prayers and with a ritual similar to that of Purim. (See: A. Gumbiner's note to Sh. Ar., oḤ 686.) These special communal Purims are called *Purim Katan ("minor Purim"), or Mo'ed Katan ("minor holiday") or Purim… (followed by the name of the community or the special event). In many cases special Purims were preceded by a fast comparable to the Fast of *Esther. In addition, on the Purim Katan itself the story of the personal or communal salvation was often read from a scroll (*megillah) in the course of a synagogue service in which special prayers of thanksgiving, in the style of piyyutim, were offered. Sometimes the *Al ha-Nissim prayer and the *Hallel were inserted into the ritual. The traditional Purim observances of enjoying a festive meal and giving charity to the poor were also applied to special Purims. (See Table: List of Special Purims.)

The Karaites observe a special Purim on 1st Shevat, in memory of the release from prison of one of their leaders, Yerushalmi. The exact date of the event is unknown. The followers of Shabbetai Ẓevi observed a special Purim on 15th Kislev, because on this day in 1648 Shabbetai Ẓevi proclaimed himself Messiah.


C. Roth, in: huca, 10 (1935), 451–82; 12–13 (1937–1938), 697–99; Y.T. Lewinski (ed.), Sefer ha-Mo'adim, 6 (1956), 297–321; M. Steinschneider, in: mgwj, 47 (1901–21) ff.; A. Danon, in: rej, 54 (1907).

Purim of…Observed onEstablished inReason for Observance
Algiers (called Purim Edom)4th Ḥeshvan1540Saved from destruction in Spanish-Algerian wars of 1516–1517 and 1542.
Algiers (called Purim Tammuz)11th Tammuz1774Saved from danger.
Alessandria Della Paglia (Italy)25th Av1779Saved from massacre.
Ditto2nd Ḥeshvan1797Saved from riots during revolutionary war.
Ancona21st Tevet1690Saved from earthquake.
Ancona15th Tishri1741Synagogue escaped destruction by fire.
Ancona24th Adar1775Jewish quarter saved from conflagration.
Ancona12th Shevat1797Saved from riots in revolutionary war.
Angora/Ankara/(called: Purim Angora or Purim Sari-Kiz)21st Elul?Saved from blood libel accusation.
Angora, called Purim Abazza11th lyyar??
Angora, called Purim de la Turquito14th Tammuz1775Saved from blood libel accusation.
Avignon24th Tammuz??
Avignon28th Shevat1757Escaped dangers of a riot.
Baghdad11th Av1733Relieved from Persian oppression.
Belgrade19th Sivan1822Saved from destruction during Turko-Serbian war.
Breche (Champagne, France)14th Adar1191Chief Jew-baiter executed.
Cairo18th Shevat??
Cairo, called Purim Miẓrayim28th Adar1524Saved from extermination.
Candia (Crete)18th Tammuz1583Saved from collective punishment for treason, during Turco-Venetian conflict.
Carpentras16th Kislev1512Saved from riot.
Ditto9th Nisan1692Saved from annihilation.
Ditto, called Yom va-Yosha21st Nisan1651Saved from threat of massacre.
Casablanca, called Purim Hitler2nd Kislev1943Escape from riot and Nazi occupation.
Castille (Spain) called Purim Martinez1st Adar1339Saved from annihilation following accusations by Jew-baiter Gonzales Martinez, king's adviser.
Cavaillon (Provence)25th Iyyar1631Plague ended.
Ditto29th Sivan1677Saved from blood libel accusation.
Cento (Italy)12th Av1820Escaped from fire.
Chieri (Italy)1st Av1797Saved from danger of war.
Chios (Greece), called Purim de la Senora ("Purim of the Good Lady")8th Iyyar1595 (or 1820)?Saved from death during Franco-Turkish war.
Cuneo (Italy)5th Kislev1799Synagogue saved from destruction by shell.
Ettingen (Germany)18th Iyyar1690Saved from destruction by enemies.
Ditto29th Sivan1713?
Ferrara24th Kislev?Saved from destruction by fire.
Ditto18th Iyyar1799Escaped war riots.
Fez22nd Kislev1840Saved from destruction.
Florence27th Sivan1791Escaped sacking and riots.
Fossano (Italy)18th Nisan1796Saved from bomb explosion during war.
Frankfurt on the Main, also called: Purim Winz or Purim Fettmilch20th Adar1616Expelled Jews readmitted to town and chief Jew baiter, Fettmilch, executed.
Fulda15th Elul??
Gumeldjina (Thrace) called: Purim de los ladrones ("Purim of the thiefs")22nd Elul1786Saved from collective punishment for instigating robbers to sack town.
Hebron1st Av?Saved from collective punishment and execution by Ibrahim Pasha.
Ditto, called Purim Takka ("Window Purim")14th Tevet1741Saved from annihilation by miraculous ransom money on the windowsill of synagogue.
Ivrea (Italy)1st Shevat1797Escaped plundering during revolutionary war.
Komotini (Gumurjina, Gumuldjina) (Greece)22nd Elul1768Saved from destruction during Turkish suppression of Greek revolt.
Kovno7th Adar (II)1783Privileges of civic freedom granted by King Stanislaus II
Leghorn12th Shevat1742Saved from destruction in earthquake.
Ditto25th Tevet1810Plague ends.
Ditto16th Adar1813?
Lepanto (Greece)11th Tevet1699Saved from destruction during Turkish war.
Medzibezh (Poland)11th Tevet1648 or 1649Saved from annihilation by Chmielnicki's bands.
Morocco13th Nisan1771Saved from annihilation.
Mstislavl (Russia)4th Shevat1744Saved from slaughter by Cossacks.
Ditto3rd Kislev1844Saved from collective punishment for alleged rebellion against authorities.
Narbonne20th Adar1236Saved from riots.
Oran6th Av1830Saved from massacre before arrival of French troops.
Ostraha23rd Nisan1734 or 1768Saved from pogrom.
Ditto7th Tammuz1792Saved from destruction during Russo-Polish war.
Padua called Purim di fuoco ("Fire Purim")11th Sivan1795Saved from fire.
Ditto, called Purim di Buda10th Elul1684Saved from massacre during Austro-Turkish (in Budapest).
Ditto, called Purim dei Sassi (?)Shabbat "Bo"1748?
Pesaro/see also: Urbino and Senigallia?1799Escaped damages of war.
Pitigliano (Italy)15th Tammuz1757Collapse of school roof, no casualties.
Ditto15th Sivan1799Saved from damages during revolutionary war.
Posen1st Ḥeshvan1704Saved from death during Polish-Swedish war.
Prague14th Ḥeshvan1620Saved from sacking and riots by protection of Emperor Ferdinand.
Ditto, called Vorhang Purim ("Curtain Purim")22nd Tevet1622Beadle of synagogue saved from hanging for keeping stolen curtains.
Purim Byzanc (observed by Jews of Thrace)14th Adar1574Saved from extermination.
Ragusa?1631Saved from accusation of blood libel.
Rhodes14th Adar1840Saved from annihilation.
Ritova (Lithuania) called Purim Jeroboam b. Nebat.14th Adar1863Jew-baiter Count Aginsky died.
Rome1st Shevat1793Ghetto saved from assault and fire.
Sa'na18th Adar?Saved from extermination.
Sarajevo4th Ḥeshvan181910 leaders of Jewish community freed from prison and saved from execution.
Senigallia (Italy)/see also: Urbino and Pesaro15th Sivan1799Saved from annihilation during war by escaping to Ancona.
Sermide (Italy)25th Tammuz1809Saved from earthquake.
Shiraz, called Purim Mo'ed Katan2nd Heshvan1200 or 1400Permitted to practice Judaism after having being forced to convert to Islam.
Sienna15th Sivan1799Saved from destruction during revolution.
Spoleto21st Sivan1797Saved from annihilation during revolutionary war
Ditto7th Adar??
Syracuse (Sicily), called Purim Saragossa17th Shevat1425Saved from destruction for alleged treason by honoring King Alfonso with empty cases of Torah Scrolls.
Tetuan and Tangiers, called Purim de las bombas, or Purim de los Christianos2nd Elul1578Saved from destruction during Moroccan Portuguese war.
Tiberias7th Elul1743Saved from danger of war.
Ditto4th Kislev??
Trieste14th Adar1833Leading Jew-baiter died.
Tripoli and Tunisia25th Shevat??
Ditto, called Purim Sheriff or Purim Kadebani ("False Purim")24th Tevet1705Saved from destruction by hostile ruler, Khalil Pasha.
Ditto, called Purim Borgḥel29th Tevet1793Saved from destruction during occupation by Bourgel Phasa of Turkey.
Tunisia, called: Purim Sheleg ("Purim of Snow")24th Tevet1891Jewish quarter saved from natural disaster
Tunisia15th Shevat??
Turino1st Av1797Saved from war and sacking.
Urbino11th Sivan1799Saved from war and riots.
Verona20th Tammuz1607Permission granted to lock ghetto gates from inside instead of from outside.
Vidin, Bulgaria, called Purim de los borrachones ("Purim of the Drunken")4th and 5th Ḥeshvan or 9th–10th1806Saved from annihilation following accusation that the ruler had been poisoned by his Jewish physician.
Ditto2nd Adar1878Saved from destruction during Russo-Turkish (Balkan) war.
Vilna15th Av1794Saved from destruction during Russo-Polish war.
Zborow (Galicia)12th Tevet?Saved from annihilation because of blood libel accusation.
Family Purims
Altschul family of Prague22nd Tevet1623Head of family, Hanokh Moses, saved from death.
Brandeis family of Jungbunzlau (Bohemia), called Povidl Purim "Plum Jam Purim"10th Adar1731David Brandeis and family saved from accusation of having killed gentiles by poisoning plum jam.
Danzig family of Vilna, called Pulverpurim ("Powder Purim")15th Kislev1804Family of Abraham Danzig author of "Ḥayyei Adam" saved from explosion of magnesium.
Elyashar family of Jerusalem2nd Nisan?Saved from death.
Heller family of Prague1st Adar1629Head of family, Yom Tov Lipman, rabbi of Prague saved from death sentence.
Jonathan ben Jacob of Fulda (Germany)17th Tammuz??
Maimon family of Lithuania?1750Grandfather of Solomon Mimon saved from death sentence for blood libel.
Meyuḥas family of Jerusalem16th Adar1724Head of family, Raphael Meyuhas, escaped death by highwaymen.
Samuel Ha-Nagid of Spain1st Elul1039Saved from death plot of conspirators.
Segal family of Cracow1st Iyyar1657Family saved from drowning in river while escaping from pogrom.
Treves family (?)Shabbat "Va-Yeẓe"1758Escaped from fire.