• Ronit Tal Shaltiel

What is Purim?

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

The word Purim means lots and refers to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date for the massacre.

Purim is one of the most fun holidays celebrated by the Jewish people, but is often under recognized.

Purim (held on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, usually March or April) commemorates the day Esther, Queen of Persia, saved the Jewish people from execution by Haman, the advisor to the Persian king - Achashverosh. Esther bravely exposed her previously hidden Jewish heritage to her husband the king and asked him to save her people, which he did.

Purim Customs

There is a spirit of liveliness and fun on Purim that is unparalleled on the Jewish calendar. If there were ever a day to “let loose” and just be Jewish, this is it!

It is also customary for children (and adults, if they want ) to dress up in costumes.

A traditional Purim food is hamantaschen (or ozney Haman), three-cornered pastries full with poppy seeds or another sweet filling.

During the synagogue service, the "megillah," of Esther is read aloud, telling the story of Esther and Haman. Because the book says Haman's name was "blotted out," everyone in the synagogue stamps their feet, yells, and heckles using "graggers" (ratchet noisemakers) all 54 times his name is read in the story.

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