Did you know that today was Purim Katan? I sure didn’t. In fact, I didn’t know there was such a holiday. but there is. Here is the explanation from israelnationalnews.com:
The little-known, yet important holiday of Purim Katan only takes place seven times in the course of the 19-year cycle of regular and “pregnant” years (as Jewish leap years are referred to) that make up the Jewish calendar.
Purim Katan is frequently overlooked by the popular Purim Festival, which takes place during the second Adar. However, the Mishna (the codification of Jewish oral law) teaches that “there is no difference between the first Adar and the second Adar, aside from the reading of the Megillah and the distribution of gifts to the poor (Megillah 6b).” The very last entry in Orech Chayim (Jewish Laws of Daily Life) concerns Purim Katan and says that it is praiseworthy to have a festive meal to celebrate the day.
Following Purim Kattan is Shushan Purim Katan, which begins Wednesday evening. Shushan Purim is regularly celebrated on the 15th of Adar II and it is the day Purim is celebrated in Jerusalem as well as other Israeli cities surrounded by walls in the time of the Joshua’s conquest of the land.
All the days of Purim are a celebration of the hidden ways in which God runs the world and redeems the Jewish people, and the Jewish people’s refusal to bow down to oppressors.
The Scroll of Esther, read twice on Purim, describes the saga of the Jews near-annihilation in Persia at the hands of a King influenced by an evil advisor, Haman. The megillah contains the phrase oft-repeated throughout the festive day: “And it turned about: the Jews gained the upper hand over their adversaries.” (Esther 9:2)
The word “Purim” means “lots” and refers to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date for the massacre of all of the Jews of the Persian empire.
In 1927, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn of Lubavitch delivered a massive address about the greatness of Purim and the re-acceptance of the Torah on Purim Katan in the largest synagogue in the capital city of Russia. The Rabbi disregarded the inherent dangers of giving such a speech publicly at the time, emulating the act of Mordechai in the Purim story. Mordechai refused to bow down to the wicked Haman despite that refusing to do so kindled the powerful advisor’s anger against all the Jewish people.