What Is Purim?
Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire (Iran today) where a plot had been formed to destroy them. The story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther.
According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier ( a high official in certain Muslim countries), planned to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had risen to become Queen of Persia. The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing.
Based on the conclusions of the Scroll of Esther: “that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.” Purim is therefore celebrated among Jews by:
-Exchanging reciprocal gifts of food and drink known as mishloach manot
-Donating charity to the poor known as mattanot la-evyonim
-Eating a celebratory meal known as a se’udat Purim
-Public recitation (“reading of the megillah”) of the Scroll of Esther, usually in synagogue
Other customs include drinking wine or any other alcoholic beverage, wearing of masks and costumes, and public celebration.
Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, the day following the victory of the Jews over their enemies. In this post I will share some images of the children celebrating Purim in Bene Baraq, an ultra-orthodox community near Tel Aviv.
To be continued…