Minhag or Mayhem – Noisemaking during the Purim Megillah Reading

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by R. Dr. Raphael Hulkower

Introduction

During the reading of Megillat Esther each year on Purim, most communities share the custom of making noise upon hearing the recitation of Haman’s name. From stomping one’s feet or “booing” to whirring groggers or the occasional cap gun blast, this custom has become the highlight of Purim for many children, while also remaining the bane of many synagogue-goers intent upon hearing the Megillah clearly in its entirety. Such a lively minhag may pique one’s curiosity on many aspects: What is the origin of this custom? Is it intended for adults or only children, and if so, why? As this minhag teeters between merriment and mayhem it has also produced a fair degree of controversy and opposition recorded in medieval and modern halakhic literature. This essay will explore the halakhic background, religious meaning and communal controversies surrounding this custom of Haka’at Haman, of smiting Haman (or his name) during Megillah reading.

Origins of the Practice

The practice of making noise during the recitation of Haman’s name during Megillah reading is most commonly associated with the European communities of France and Provence, although it has roots in Biblical and Talmudic sources as well. The earliest recognizable description of this practice is recorded in the early 13th century work Sefer Ha-Manhig, by Rabbi Avraham ben Natan Ha-Yarhi (12th C. ):

It was the custom of the children in France and Provence to take smooth stones from the river and write upon them “Haman.” They would strike these stones together when the [megillah] reader would mention Haman, [because of the verse] “and the name of the wicked will rot [Mishlei 10:7]”.1

As the Sefer HaManhig himself notes, the notion that this verse in Mishlei mandates one to actively display disapproval when hearing about the wicked is founded upon earlier Midrashic works. The Midrash in Bere’shit Rabbah states that whoever hears mention of an evil person and does not curse him, has violated a positive mitzvah based upon this same verse, v’shem resha’im yirkav. The Midrash goes on to detail that whenever they would recite “Haman” on Purim, Rav would exclaim “cursed is Haman and cursed are his sons” in order to fulfill this verse.2

Sefer Abudarham (14th C) quotes this custom in the name of the Sefer Ha-Manhig nearly verbatim, but with two interesting additions. First, while he cites the verse in Mishlei, he then adds another source, “as it says in the Midrash: You shall erase the memory of Amalek, even from upon the trees and the stones.”3 In citing this second verse, Abudarham is likely incorporating the version of our minhag cited in the writings of a slightly earlier contemporary, the Orhot Hayyim, Rabbi Aharon ben Yaakov Ha-Kohen (late 13-14th C.). Orhot Hayyim is the earliest source which cites both verses as the basis for our custom. The connection between this custom and the verse commanding one to erase the memory of Amalek is clear, as Haman is identified in the Megillah as a descendant of Agag, the king of Amalek (Esther 3:1 and I Shemuel 15:8). Furthermore, Orhot Hayyim is the first source which claims that our custom to jeer Haman on Purim has an early precedent from the times of the Talmud as well.4 In describing the practice of the idolatry known as Molekh [Vayikrah 20:4], the Talmud Bavli in Sanhedrin 64b compares it to mashvarta d’Purayah, a Purim style leap or dance.5 Based upon this, Orhot Hayyim states that there used to be a practice among the “children of Bavel and Eylim to make an image of Haman and to hang it around their necks for a few days until Purim when they would hang the image over a fire while they jumped over the fire from side to side.”6

Second, Abudarham adds that the children would strike the smooth stones together “in order to erase Haman’s name.” This addition is also likely based upon the text of the Orhot Hayyim (although it is not recorded in our versions), as this phrase is similarly written in the Beit Yosef’s recording of the Orhot Hayyim.7 These two additions of the Orhot Hayyim as recorded by Abudarham are obviously connected. If the children are simply clanging stones to fulfill v’shem resha’im yirkav, then their action is merely an expression of taunting and booing Haman’s name. However, if this practice is a derivation of the command to “erase” the name of Amalek, it is far more apropos that the children’s stone smiting would actually erase Haman’s name!

This raises the question of whether the more modern practice simply to make noise during the recitation of Haman’s name can still be viewed as a derivative of the command to erase the memory of Amalek. The Shibbolei Ha-Leket, Rabbi Tsedekiah ben Avraham Anav (13th C) quotes in the name of Rashi that there were communities who had the practice to “stomp with their feet, bang stones together, or even break plates when they heard the name of Haman or his wife Zeresh.”8 Perhaps they viewed the act of drowning out the sound of “Haman” as an auditory blotting out of Haman’s name. In any case, the practice of purely making noise in response to Haman’s name, without erasing his name, appears to have been a well-established practice in many medieval European communities. Later commentators still sought homiletically to connect the custom of noising making during the recitation of “Haman” to the command to erase the memory of Amalek. For example, Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher, the Ba’al Ha-Turim (13th C.) and Rabbi Moshe ben Avraham of Parmisle, the Matteh Moshe (16th C.) note that the gematriah, or numerical value, of the phrase mehah emhe (you shall surely erase,” Shemot 17:14) equals the same value as the phrase ze Haman.9 Taking this connection to extreme measures, Rabbi Tsvi Hirsch Kaidanover (17th C.) in his Kav HaYashar records one pious individual’s practice to use his leftover ink to write out “Amalek” or “Haman” in order to erase the words in fulfillment of Mahah emhe et zekher Amalek.10 In contrast, some communities solely grounded their noise making custom in the verse from Mishlei, with some even exclaiming “v’shem resha’im yirkav” in response to Haman’s name.11

While this custom originated in the communities of France and Provence, Rabbi Moshe Isserles (Ramah) states that it spread to other communities. It most likely became more popularized with its inclusion in the writings of Rabbi Yosef Caro in his Beit Yosef and the Ramah in his glosses on the Shulhan Arukh.12 It is noteworthy that although Rabbi Caro records this minhag in the Beit Yosef, he omits it entirely in the Shulhan Arukh, perhaps implying that he did not believe the custom was practiced outside those communities.13

Finding New Meaning in Simulated Smiting

Based upon the earliest sources of this minhag, it is apparent that the practice of making noise during the recitation of Haman’s name was seen as a fulfillment of the Torah’s mandate to erase the memory of Amalek, or to verbally protest the wicked. However, later commentators added additional meaning to this custom, focusing on the significance of vicariously smiting Haman through the act of stomping on the ground or smacking stones or hammers.

In a more mystical approach to this minhag, Rabbi Eliyahu ben Avraham Shlomo Ha-Kohen (17th C.) in his work Midrash Eliyahu writes:

He have received the tradition that when we recite ‘cursed is Haman’ or his name or his wife’s or children’s names and we smite, the Holy One Blessed be He arranges that Haman feels the blows to continue to suffer greatly, since everyone who comes into this world is viewed as if the miracle happened in his days, because had [Haman’s] advice been fulfilled they would not have come into the world.14

This meaning became well accepted as seen in the writings of the late 18th century commentator, Rabbi Hayyim Palaggi. In his work, Ruah Hayyim, Rabbi Palaggi comments, “the reason that we smite Haman during the reading of the Megillah is well versed in the mouths of people – that Haman receives these blows each and every year in Geheinom.”15 This symbolic reasoning is also alluded to in earlier works, such as the Matteh Moshe, who notes that the last letters of the first three words in the phrase V’haya im ben ha-kot ha-rashah, “if the wicked one is liable for lashes (Devarim 25:2),” spell out the word Haman.16

Others found strength in viewing the custom of smiting at Haman’s name as an act of defiance against potential future enemies. Rabbi Palaggi, in another work, Mo’ed L’khol Hai, emphatically states “in order that the Nations will hear about our wrath in each generation so that they will not attack the Jewish people, therefore we write the name “Haman” on a hammer and smite with it.”17 Similarly, the Hida, Rabbi Hayyim Yosef David Azulai (18th C.) records that the reason we have a custom to make a ruckus in the synagogues when we recite “Haman” is to make the non-Jews inquire about the noise. When they ask what this noise is about, they will learn about Haman and be fearful of repeating his plans. This is the allusion in Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra’s poem when he writes, shomei davar ben ha-Midatah, tipol aleihem eimatah – “those who hear the matter of the son of ha-Midata, fear will fall upon them.”18

Finally, modern commentators see a motif of repentance in the act of smiting Haman during Megillah. Rabbi Eliezer Haim Deutsch (19th C. ) in his responsa work Pri Ha-Sadeh suggests that when we recite “cursed is Haman” or smite and make noise in response to hearing his name, Jews are not simply referring “to Haman who lived in the days of Ahashverosh – for his bones have already disintegrated!” Rather, writes Rabbi Deutsch, the meaning of one’s actions is to smite and extinguish the power of the kelipah, the mundane physical barriers which hinder one’s spiritual growth and impede service to God.19

Opposition to the Minhag: A Custom to Scorn or to be Scorned?

When the minhag of noisemaking for Haman’s name is quoted in the Beit Yosef and the Ramah, both authorities conclude with a fascinating admonition. Both warn that one should not “remove or mock any minhag, because customs were not established without purpose.”20 Perhaps in their great wisdom they realized that such a lighthearted minhag might be taken to extremes and come to interfere with the megillah reading itself.21 More likely, they already were aware that various authorities or communities were opposed to this minhag.

This earliest source to express discontent with this minhag is the Maharil, Rabbi Yaakov ben Moshe Moelin (14th C.). The Maharil is quoted as not having been stringent (makpid) or concerned (hoshesh) about sustaining the minhag of smiting to make noise during the recitation of Haman’s name.22 Although this Maharil is often cited by those opposed to the minhag, the wording itself suggests that he was not opposed to the Minhag but rather indifferent to it. As the Maharam Shik, Rabbi Moshe ben Yosef Shik (19th C.) explains, the Maharil himself was the Sheliah Tzibur. When he would lead the congregation in Megillah reading, the Maharil’s students noticed that he was not concerned about this minhag to the point of ensuring that the children made noise during Haman’s name. He did not protest the custom if children made noise on their own, but he would not actively encourage it by pausing to remind them. Had he felt that the minhag was important, he would have paused to arouse the children to participate. Therefore, although the Maharil did not intend to mock or remove the custom, he chose not to support it either, as he was not convinced it was a respectable practice.23

While the Maharil was indifferent to the practice of making noise for Haman’s name, other authorities were adamantly opposed to it. The Pri Megadim, Rabbi Yosef ben Meir Teomim (18th C.) writes that those who follow this custom “have lost more than they have gained, since they cause a great disturbance [during Megillah reading] and the Sheliach Tzibur is forced to be silent during their banging which is not proper since ideally it is forbidden to interrupt the reading for more time than to take a breath.”24 Thus the Pri Megadim was opposed to this custom on religious grounds as it prevented the community from properly fulfilling their obligation to hear the Megillah. His comments are in response to the Magen Avraham’s suggestion that the sheliah tzibur pause in silence while the community makes noise and that each individual read a verse or two ahead in one’s own humash during the noise to ensure one does not miss hearing any part of the reading.25 In Mekorei Ha- Minhagim, Avraham Lewizon (19th C. ) writes that one should protest this minhag which actually causes the Megillah reader to repeat Haman’s wicked name extra times in order to ensure that the congregation can hear the Megillah. Others simply felt the minhag had devolved into excessive lightheadedness and disrespect in the synagogue.26 In some cases, these protests developed into formal synagogue rules of decorum. The earliest reported ban against noisemaking during Megillah was enacted by the Portugese congregation in Amsterdam in 1640.27 In 1783, the Mahamad of the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation of London forbade anyone from making noise during the Purim service. When a few members of the congregation refused to honor this ruling at the night time Megillah reading, the Mahamad called in the local constables the following morning to remove the offenders. The event was known as “Purim riot” among local gossip, but the offenders were simply fined or wrote apology letters.28 Similarly, in 1866, the congregation of Rogasen in Posen, Poland, prohibited the use of groggers in the synagogue on Purim.29

Aside from the religious arguments, additional authorities opposed the Minhag on grounds of communal safety. In his 16th century commentary on the Ashkenazic Mahzor, Maaglei Zedek, Rabbi Binyamin ben Meir HaLevi quickly reviews the various practices of this minhag from making an effigy of Haman to banging with hammers in the synagogue. He then concludes:

All customs such as these are better to be nullified in our times than to be observed. Because in each generation, our enemies rise against us to destroy us and make evil claims about us. And these [customs] will lead to communal danger. Furthermore we have seen that many religious obligations were nullified when there is concern it will lead to danger… and even for a concern of mockery by the non-Jews we have seen many practices discontinued… All the more so when this practice is not an obligation or a commandment but simply a custom to arouse happiness… These practices are appropriate to be fulfilled depending upon the [conditions] of each generation and time period.30

In this sad irony, while some communities found new meaning in this custom as a message of strength to their outside enemies, communities such as Binyamin Ha-Levi’s had to discontinue the minhag for fear of retribution. Similarly, Yom Tov Lewinsky cites additional sources describing communities who uprooted this minhag because they were concerned that it caused hilul HaShem, desecration of God’s Name, when non-Jews came to visit the synagogues. In one community, they stopped observing this minhag because the children of their non-Jewish neighbors would throw stones at the synagogue windows when they heard all the noise during Megillah reading.31

Compromise – Deciding for which Mentions of “Haman” to make Noise

In an effort to both maintain this meaningful minhag and curtail the disturbances it caused during the reading of the Megillah, some authorities sought a compromise approach. This compromise first finds mention in the 16th century writings of Rabbi Avraham ben Shabtai Horowitz, father of the famed Shelah. In Emek Berakhah, Rabbi Horowitz writes, “one should not smite [and make noise] at every mention of Haman’s name, but rather only when we read of his downfall.”32 Similarly, the community of Worms had the custom to make noise only after the Megillah states that “the Jews smote all their enemies” in chapter 9 – essentially the last two mentions of Haman.33 In Itim L’Binah, Rabbi Yosef Ginzberg records that the custom of the communities in Lithuania and Russia was to make noise only during the times when Haman’s name is recited along with his ancestry, as in “Haman ben Ha-Midata Ha-Agigi” or “Haman Ha-Agigi.”34 Chabad is cited as having the custom to make noise only when the name of Haman is recited with some added descriptive term, either his ancestry or “the wicked”, etc.35 In a more minimalist approach, the Ben Ish Hai, Rav Yosef Hayim of Bagdad (19th C.) writes that his personal custom was to stomp with his feet only for the first and last mention of Haman’s name.36

For Children Only?

Although in modern practice, many communities allow the entire congregation to make noise during the recitation of Haman’s name, the vast majority of sources discussed above indicate that it was intended as a custom for children. If this minhag is truly respectable and possibly even rooted in Biblical verses and commands, why should it be limited to the youngest members of the community? Conversely, if it was viewed as a disturbance, why should this disturbance have been tolerated for a child’s custom?

In Mekore Minhagim, Rabbi Avraham Lewysohn (19th C.) suggests that this custom was designed for children as a substitute for saying the actual phrase, “v’shem resha’im yirkav.” Ideally the entire community was obligated to say this phrase in response to hearing of a wicked person. Children who were too young to know this phrase were taught to voice their displeasure through hitting Haman’s name or making noise.37

A more eloquent explanation is offered by one of the disciples of the Hatam Sofer, a Rabbi Yisrael David Margulies Yaffe (19th C.). Rabbi Yaffe, in the reponsa work Milei D’Avot, explains on numerous levels why this custom is specifically designed to involve children. First, on a historical level, Haman sought to wipe out the entire Jewish people, including the children. Therefore it is essential that the entire community, including children, be involved in the act of protesting the memory of Haman and his wickedness. As such, similar to Rabbi Lewysohn’s opinion, noisemaking is seen as a practical way of including children in this act of communal protest. On a more profound level, Rabbi Yaffe notes that the Sages of the Talmud made a connection between the commandments of Purim Megillah reading and those of the first night of Passover. On both occasions woman are obligated in these mitzvot, despite being time based commandments, since “they too, were included in the miracle.” Rabbi Yaffe argues that this time logic applies to children as well – children must also be involved in these commandments since they were also saved from Egypt and from Haman’s decree. As such, just as the Sages instituted many customs and practices designed to arouse the children’s interest in the Passover Seder, so, too, they arranged customs to pique the interest of children in the reading of the Purim Megillah. Children will come to the synagogue because they want to playfully make noise during Haman’s name, but in the process they will also come to listen to the entire Megillah, word for word.38

Support for the Minhag

Despite the previously discussed opposition to the minhag, many communities wholeheartedly accepted the custom of noisemaking during Megillah reading. Commonly, the entire congregation participated, not only children, and many Rabbinic authorities actively engaged in the minhag personally.

While the Sefer Ha-Manhig, Abudarham, Orhot Hayyim, and Ramah all supported this minhag as a practice only for children, it is noteworthy that then the Shibbolei Ha-Leket describes this practice in the name of Rashi’s community, he makes no mention of limiting the custom to children, implying the involvement of the entire congregation.39 Similarly, in the 17th century, the Havot Ya’ir, Rabbi Yair Hayyim Baharah, describes that he saw “multitudes of people, including women stomping with their feet on the ground during the recitation of ‘Haman.’“40

Many rabbinic authorities themselves also were noted to respectfully participate in the noisemaking. In his siddur, Rabbi Yaakov Emden (18th C.) records seeing his father, the Hakham Tsvi (17th C.) “smack and stomp on the ground with his feet and slap with his sandals when they mentioned Haman.”41 Similarly, the Ben Ish Hai writes that he would personally stomp with his feet – even if only for certain mentions of Haman’s name, as described above.42 In the modern era, both the Hafetz Hayyim and Rabbi Yaakov Kanievsky stomped their feet at Haman’s name – in fact, Rabbi Kanievsky did so every time it was mentioned.43

Conclusion:

Haka’at Haman is the minhag of noisemaking at the recital of Haman’s name during Megillah reading. This curious custom originated in the medieval European communities of France and Provence, based upon either the concept of protesting the wicked or erasing the memory of Amalek, from whom Haman descended. As the minhag spread, additional interpretations were offered for this practice. Some saw it as a sign of Jewish strength over their oppressors. Some viewed it as a symbolic act of repentance. Others used it as a way to engage children in the mitzvah of megillah reading. Despite these positive attributes, the minhag also received a fair amount of opposition, as it was seen as a disrespectful or disruptive practice. Controversy spawned a variety of compromise opinions, with some communities opting to make noise for some but not all mentioned of Haman – attempting to redeem this meaningful minhag from its potential mayhem.


  1. Rabbi Avraham ben Natan Ha-Yarhi, Sefer Ha-Manhig, (Bar-Ilan Project, Version 16), Hilkhot Megillah, pp. 242-43.  

  2. Bere’shit Rabbah (Bar-Ilan Project, Version 16), 49:1. Rav’s opinion is also quoted in Masekhet Sofrim 14:3. 

  3. Rabbi David ben Yosef Abudarham, Sefer Abudarham, (Bar-Ilan Project, Version 16), Seder Tefillat Purim. This midrash is not found in extant Midrashic literature, but the verse referred to is either Shemot 17:14 or Devarim 25:19. 

  4. Rabbi Aharon ben Yaakov Ha-Kohen, Orhot Hayyim, Hilchot Megillah U-Purim, (Yerushalayim: Shteitsburg, 1956), section 41. 

  5. Rashi s.v. Rava Amar on BT Sanhedrin 64b explains that the children used to hop over a fire from side to side during the days of the Purim celebration. 

  6. Rabbi Aharon ben Yaakov Ha-Kohen, Orhot Hayyim, Hilchot Megillah U-Purim, (Yerushalayim: Shteitsburg, 1956), section 42.  

  7. Rabbi Yosef Caro, Beit Yosef, (Bar-Ilan Project, Version 16), Orah Hayyim 690:17.  

  8. Rabbi Tsedekiah ben Avraham Anav, Shibbolei Ha-Leket, (Bar-Ilan Project, Version 16), Chapter 200. Of note this source does not specifically state that the noisemaking for Haman or his wife was during the actual Megillah reading. 

  9. Rabbi Yakov ben Asher, Ba’al Ha-Turim, (Warsaw, 1881) Shemot 17:14; Rabbi Moshe ben Avraham Parmisle, Matteh Moshe (Kalner: Frankfurt, 1719), Volume 5, section 1006.  

  10. Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Kaidanover, Kav Ha-Yashar, (Yerushalayim: Haktav Institute, 1982), chapter 99, page 229. 

  11. See the opinion of the Levush, cited in Magen Avraham 21 on Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayyim 690. See also Iggrot Moshe Orah Hayyim volume 1, number 192 where he discusses whether this practice constitutes a hefsek, or interruption in the reading of the Megillah. 

  12. Rabbi Yosef Caro, Beit Yosef, Orah Hayyim 690:17. Ramah on Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim 690: 17. 

  13. See Rabbi Moshe ben Yosef Shik, Shut Maharam Shik, Yoreh De’ah, (New York: E. Grossman’s, 1960), number 216 who suggests this understanding of the Rabbi Yosef Caro. 

  14. Rabbi Eliyahu ben Avraham Shlomo Ha-Kohen, Midrash Eliyahu,(Chernivtsi: Gzernowitz, 1864) page 89b.  

  15. Rabbi Hayyim Palaggi, Ruah Hayyim, Orah Hayyim, (Ismer: Segurah, 1876), 696:9.  

  16. Matteh Moshe, volume 5, section 1006. 

  17. Rabbi Hayyim Palaggi, Mo’ed L’khol Hai, (Ismi, 1862) Chapter 31, section 91. Rabbi Palaggi goes on to support this statement with the previously cited idea of the Matteh Moshe based upon Devarim 25:2, V’haya im ben ha-kot ha-rashah, but does not refer to Mishlei 10:7 or the verses about Amalek. 

  18. Rabbi Hayyim Yosef David Azulai, Mahzik Berakhah, (Levorno: Kashtilu, 1785), Kutress Aharon section 687. 

  19. Rabbi Eliezer Chaim Deutsch, Shut Pri Ha-Sadeh. (Paks: Rosenbaum, 1915), Volume 3. Number 42. 

  20. Rabbi Yosef Caro, Beit Yosef, Orah Hayyim 690:17. Ramah on Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim 690: 17. 

  21. In the same responsa of the Pri Ha-Sadeh cited above, Rabbi Deutsch claims that the Ramah knew through divine inspiration that this custom was destined to be mocked or discontinued by some people. 

  22. Rabbi Yaakov ben Moshe Moelin, Sefer Maharil, Hilchot Purim. (Warsaw: Unger, 1875), p. 60 side a. See also, Magen Avraham Orah Hayyim 690:19 and Darkhei Moshe Orah Hayyim 690:4.  

  23. Rabbi Moshe ben Yosef Shik, Shut Maharam Shik, Yoreh De’ah, (Munkatch: Grossman, 1884), Number 216. 

  24. Rabbi Yosef ben Meir Teomim, Pri Megadim, Eshel Avraham on Orah Hayyim 690 note 21. 

  25. Rabbi Avraham Gombiner, Magen Avraham, Orah Hayyim 690:19. 

  26. Cited in Yom Tov Lewinsky, Ketsad Hiku et Haman bi-tefutsot Yisrael, (Tel-Aviv: ha-Ḥevrah ha-ivrit le-Yeda-am, 1947), p 32. 

  27. Yosef Kaplan, ha-Yehudim ha-Porṭugeziyim be-Amsṭerdam ba-meʼah ha-shevah esreh, (Yerushalayim: Ha-Sifriyah, 1975, 7(6), p. 181. 

  28. James Picciotto. Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, Chapter 26: The Purim Riots, (London: Trubner & Co, Ludgate Hill, 1875), p. 205-206. Downloaded from books.google.com; Yom Tov Lewinsky, Ketsad Hiku et Haman bi-tefutsot Yisrael. p. 33. 

  29. Jonathan Cohen, “London Sephardi Minhag: Purim.” https://sites.google.com/site/londonsephardiminhag/purim. Downloaded 11/20/13

  30. Rabbi Binyamin ben Meir Ha-Levi, Mahzor Maaglei Zedek, Laws of Purim (Sevonto: 1878). Page 43 side a. 

  31. Yom Tov Lewinsky, Ketsad Hiku et Haman bi-tefutsot Yisrael. (Tel-Aviv: Ha-Ḥevrah ha-ivrit le-Yeda-am), 1947. pp 29-31. Lewinsky’s source is cited as Minhagei No’ Amon, Hilchot Purim. 

  32. Rabbi Avraham ben Shabtai Horowitz, Sefer Emek Berakhah, Dinei Purim, (Amsterdam: Herts, 1729), p. 65. A similar position is recorded in the 18th century work Hemdat Yamim chapter 3, page 77 (Istanbul: Kushtah, 1735) The exact author is unknown. 

  33. Cited in the 17th century work of Rabbi Yair Hayim Baharah, (Havot Ya’ir), Makor Hayim, volume 2, section 690. 

  34. Rabbi Yosef Ginzberg, Itim L’Binah. (Warsaw: Goldman, 1887), Section 15, p 119 side a (237 in English numerals). This custom would amount to half a dozen times where one makes noise during the Megillah. 

  35. Rabbi Gedalya Oberlander, Minhag Ha-kaat ‘Haman’ b’keriyat ha-Megillah, Ohr Torah Volume 19. (New York: M’chon “Ohr Yisrael”, 1998), p 102. 

  36. Rabbi Yosef Hayim, Ben Ish Hai, Hilchot Purim (after Parshat Tetzaveh), section 10. (Yerushayalim: Merkaz Ha-Sefer, 1985), p. 118. 

  37. Rabbi Avraham Lewysohn, Mekore Minhagim (Berlin: Kornegg, 1846), chapter 62, pp. 89-90. The same reasoning is offered by Rabbi Yitshak Tirna in his Sefer Ha-Minhagim (Warsaw: Goldman, 1869), minhag shel Purim, ha-ga’ot, number 55.  

  38. Rabbi Shmuel Schlesinger ed. Shut Milei D’Avot, Orah Hayim, Volume 3, number 13 (Bardiow: Schlesinger, 1925). Note that Rabbi Yisrael David Margulies Yaffe is only listed as the author of volume 3. 

  39. Rabbi Zedekiah ben Avraham Anaw, Shibbolei Ha-Leket, chapter 200.  

  40. Rabbi Yair Hayim Bacharach, Makor Hayim, volume 2, section 690. 

  41. Shulhan Arukh Orah Hayyim 690, Mishnah Berurah 59. 

  42. Rabbi Yosef Hayim, Ben Ish Hai, Hilchot Purim (after Parshat Tetzaveh), section 10, P. 118. 

  43. Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, Nitei Gavriel: Al Hilchot Purim, (Brooklyn: Zinner, 1984), chapter 46, p. 267; Rabbi Avraham Horvits, Sefer Orhot Rabenu, (Benei B’rak: Horvits, 1990), Volume 3 p. 43. 

About Raphael Hulkower

Rabbi Dr. Raphael Hulkower is a past Editor of Verapo Yerape and has published articles on various topics in Jewish Medical Ethics in the RJJ Journal, Journal of Jewish Medical Ethics, and YU Torah to Go. He is currently a practicing endocrinologist in New York.

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