As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies,
&c.] Having slain all those that rose up against them, and assaulted them:
and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from
mourning unto a good day;
for in this month Adar, on the thirteenth day of it, they expected to have been all destroyed, which had occasioned great sorrow and mourning in them; but beyond their expectation, in the same month, and on the selfsame day of the month, they had deliverance and freedom from their enemies; which was matter of joy, and made this day a good day to them:
that they should make them days of feasting and joy;
keep both the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month as festivals, eating and drinking, and making all tokens of joy and gladness, though not in the Bacchanalian way in which they now observe them; for they say F14, a man is bound at the feast of Purim to exhilarate or inebriate himself until he does not know the difference between `cursed be Haman' and `blessed be Mordecai:'
and of sending portions one to another;
and these now consist of eatables and drinkables; and according to the Jewish canons F15, a man must send two gifts to his friend, at least; and they that multiply them are most commendable; and those are sent by men to men, and by women to women, and not on the contrary:
and gifts to the poor;
alms money, as the Targum, to purchase food and drink with, nor may they use it to any other purpose; though some say they may do what they will with it F16; and a man must not give less than two gifts to the poor; these are called the monies of Purim F17.
F14 T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 7. 2. Lebush, par. 1. c. 695. sect. 2. Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 695. sect. 2.
F15 Lebush & Schulchan, ib. sect. 4.
F16 Ib. c. 694. sect. 1. 2.
F17 Ib. sect. 2. 3.