Exodus 27:20-30:10 (P 618, RP 563, WTC 475)
Ezekiel 43:10-27 (P 719, RP 577)
Exodus 30:11-21 (P 634, RP 584, WTC 497)
Shabbat Zachor is the second in a series of five special Shabbatot before Pesach. On Shabbat Zachor, we commemorate the actions of Amalek, who attacked the Israelites after they left Egypt. The traditional Haftarah from I Samuel continues on this theme, recalling a battle between the Israelites and Amalekites during the days of King Saul. In this Haftarah, the king of the Amalekites is identified as Agag. Shabbat Zachor occurs the week before Purim because, in Megillat Esther, Haman is called an Agagite, and is thus considered to be a descendant of Amalek. Some Reform synagogues read a selection from the book of Esther as an alternative to the traditional Haftarah.
Deuteronomy 25:17-19 (P 1507, RP 688, WTC 1184)
I Samuel 15:2-15:34
Esther 7:1-10, 8:15-17 (P 1649, RP 1453)
The Mitzvot of Purim:
It is a Mitzvah to hear the reading of Megillat Esther. The Megillah is traditionally read at both the evening and morning services. On Purim, we give Mishloach Manot, gifts of food and drink to our family and friends. One should give at least two types of food to one person. It is also a Mitzvah to give Matanot L'Evyonim, gifts to the poor. We should give a gift to at least two people. Finally, one should partake of a S'udat Purim, a festive Purim meal in the afternoon.
Procedure for Reading the Megillah:
1. The reader should unroll the Megillah scroll and fold it like a letter.
2. The reader recites the blessings before beginning to chant (MT 573).
3. The reader then chants the Megillah, keeping in mind the following:
a. Many communities have the custom to recite certain verses to special melodies. These verses and melodies vary from community to community.
b. The following verses are chanted according to the trope for the book of Lamentations: 1:7, 2:6, 3:15, 4:1, 4:16
c. Before the reader chants 2:5, 8:15, 8:16, and 10:3, the congregation should recite the verses. The reader should then continue with the chanting of the special verse.
d. In 9:7, the names of Haman's sons are traditionally chanted quickly on one note, and in one breath, if possible.
e. Whenever the reader chants Haman's name, the congregation makes noise in an effort to blot out his name.
4. The reader then chants the blessing after the Megillah. These blessings can be found in the Koren Siddur, pp. 903-904. Traditionally, this blessing is followed by the chanting of Shoshanat Ya'akov.
For more information on reading Megillat Esther and examples of melodies see ATC II, 85 and A.W. Binder, Biblical Chant, Sacred Music Press, 1963.
Add Al Hanisim for Purim (MT 557) to the Amidah (MT 94)
Read the Megillah after the Amidah (for procedure, see above "Reading the Megillah")
After reading the Megillah, continue with concluding prayers