Tonight at sundown begins the celebration of Purim. Purim is a holiday which is centered around the character of Queen Esther. The word Purim means lots like a lottery. On the 13th day of the Jewish month of Adar, a lottery was to be drawn by Haman, the Purim Villian and King Ahasuerus’s advisor, as a way to kill all the Jews of Persia.
Now there are longer and more detailed versions of the Purim story, but this is only an overview. More details will be added in later blogs.
The King never knew his wife, Queen Esther was a Jew and Mordechai, Esther’s cousin, told her she MUST tell the King the truth as Haman had designed a plot to kill the Jews. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, after Haman was put to death for plotting a horrible plan of extermination.
Purim is celebrated by attending synagogue and listening to the story of Esther be read or sung in English or Hebrew. The story is called the Megillaht Esther or The Scroll of Esther. Anytime the name Haman is mentioned, the entire congregation boos, stamp their feet, and use groggers (noise makers) to drown out Haman’s name.
The traditional cookie eaten is called a Hamantashen which symbolizes the shape of the hat Haman wore, a triangle. Many Jews dress up as one of the characters from the story and Purim is a celebration in the Jewish communities all around the world. Also, many congregants will perform a Purim Spiel or play in celebration of the story.
Another tradition during the celebration is to give Shalach Manot or baskets filled with candy, Hamantashen, wine, grape juice, trail mix, and any goodies you can think of. Songs are sang, many temples hold a Purim carnival, and everyone young and old enjoy hearing the story of the day Esther and Mordechai saved the Jewish people from Haman, the wicked man. (BOOOOOOOOOO)