Purim

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people from certain death at the hands of Haman, a royal official in the Persian empire, during the reign of King Xerxes I (Ahasuerus). The story is recorded in the Biblical book of Esther (also known as the Megillah), which is read aloud in synagogues on Purim night and morning.

The holiday of Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (usually in March or April). On this day, Jews all over the world exchange gifts of food and drink, give money to the poor, and attend special Purim celebrations and readings of the Megillah.

The word "Purim" comes from the Hebrew word "pur," which means "lot." This is a reference to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date on which he would carry out his plan to exterminate the Jews.

The festival of Purim is a joyous occasion, and it is customary to dress up in costumes and wear masks. This is because the story of Purim is one of disguise and deception; Esther had to conceal her Jewish identity in order to save her people, and Mordechai had to disguise himself as a beggar in order to enter the king's court.

Purim is a time to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, and to remember that God is always watching over His people. It is also a time to enjoy the company of family and friends, and to feast on delicious Purim foods!

Purim Foods

One of the most popular Purim foods is hamantaschen (also spelled "homentaschen" or "oznei haman"). These are triangular-shaped cookies filled with fruit or jam. The word "hamantaschen" comes from the German word "Mohnstriezel," which means "poppyseed strudel."

Another popular Purim food is kreplach. These are little dumplings filled with meat or potatoes, and they are traditionally served in chicken soup. The word "kreplach" comes from the Yiddish word "krapele," which means "little dumpling."

Purim is also a time for feasting on delicacies such as blintzes (crepes filled with cheese or fruit), latkes (potato pancakes), and of course, plenty of wine and spirits!

The Purim Story

The story of Purim begins with a man named Mordechai, who was a Jewish official in the Persian empire. Mordechai had a cousin named Esther, who was chosen to be the queen of Persia. Esther did not reveal to anyone that she was Jewish.

One day, Mordechai overheard two of the king's officials plotting to kill the king. He reported this to Esther, who then told the king. The officials were put to death, and Mordechai was rewarded for his loyalty.

Later, the king's chief advisor, Haman, became angry with Mordechai because he would not bow down to him. Haman decided to kill not only Mordechai, but all of the Jews in the empire. He convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all Jews on the 13th day of the month of Adar.

Mordechai went to Esther and begged her to intercede with the king on behalf of her people. Esther agreed, but she knew that she could only approach the king if she was invited. She asked all of the Jews in the empire to fast and pray for three days.

On the third day, Esther went before the king and queen, and she invited them to a banquet she was giving in honor of Haman. During the banquet, she asked the king to spare the lives of her people. The king agreed, and he issued a decree ordering the Jews to be spared. Haman was hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordechai.

The Jews were saved, and they celebrated their deliverance by creating the holiday of Purim. On Purim, we dress up in costumes and eat special Purim foods to commemorate the story of Esther and Mordechai, and to celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

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