Purim Pick Up

by on January 17th, 2011
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Every year, close to spring, Jews celebrate Purim. Like many of the Jewish holidays, this one also celebrates the fact that Jewish people overcame persecution and/or extermination. Purim focuses on The Book of Esther. Queen Esther, and her cousin Mordecai, (pronounced MOR- DEH – KHIE) save the Jews from Haman, a noble from Persia, who wishes to rid Persia of all its Jews.

Jews celebrate this traditional holiday each year in mid-March and have a festival. The festival usually consists of the following:

The reading of the book of Esther.
The reading is to honor Queen Esther and Mordecai and to teach children, and those who are not familiar, the story of Purim.

Giving gifts of fruits and nuts.
That is the tradition, and depending on your synagogue, the sweet might be cookies and candies, and the salty might also be pretzels or crackers. Our synagogue makes a gift box for each family on Purim filled with Hamentashen (cookies filled with fruit), pretzels and trinkets for the kids.

Giving gifts to the poor.
The Jews are always so grateful for their lives and their livelihood, that giving back is always a huge tradition. Having a coat drive, donating to food pantries and shelters, or providing a helping hand at city-center are just a few ways to give.

Costumes and noise makers.
This holiday is festive and enjoyable for all ages. The costumes are for fun, and kids and adults dress up as Queen Esther, Mordecai, Haman or the Jewish people. When the rabbi mentions Haman, everyone shakes their noisemakers.

Food and wine.
Because this is a festive almost zany holiday, there is a fun feast as well as plenty of wine to make the spirits even higher.

Purim is a wonderful holiday for Jews, and for those who are not Jewish and want to learn a fun tradition.

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