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 Holiday Central > Purim 

Purim in a Nutshell
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Purim in
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Purim is celebrated every year on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar.

The holiday of Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar and in Jerusalem on the 15th day of Adar. Purim commemorates a time of trepidation, suffering, and terror for the Jewish population of Persia living in the fourth century B.C.E. 

Purim is also a celebration of survival against many odds.  The Scroll (book) of Esther, Megillat Esther in Hebrew, recounts the story of Haman, one of the most colorful villains in Jewish history.  It also tells the remarkable tale of Mordechai and his niece, Esther, who were instrumental in the resurgence of Jewish spirit and courage.   Haman who devised a plan to annihilate the Jews of Persia, obtained the approval of the Persian King Ahasuerus, and just when he was about to set his evil plot in action, an unexpected turn of events foiled his efforts.  The Jewish Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai managed to thwart Haman's vile scheme, and brought upon the fall of the house of Haman. 

The Jewish population of the City of Shushan celebrated their good fortune with song, dance, and feast.  Queen Esther established the tradition of the annual festival of Purim, in commemoration. The tradition has been kept up with since.
Purim is a Holiday of Unity
The three main observances of Purim, all comply with the theme of togetherness.

  • Kri-aat Megillah - gathering in synagogues for the reading of Megillat Esther
  • Matanot Laevyonim  - giving charity to the poor, and
  • Mishloach Manot - exchanging gifts of goodies with relatives, friends, and neighbors

More Purim Traditions

  • A Festive Meal
  • Masquerading, Carnivals and the Purim Shpiel (entertaining skits based on the historical account of the Persian king, Mordechai, Haman, and Queen Esther).
  • Eradicating the name of Haman. This is accomplished by stumping feet and making noise with graggers upon the mention of Haman's name.
    Hamantashen (triangular pastries filled with poppy seed - "mon" in Yiddish) are eaten to denote the obliteration of Haman (the "mon" in the pasty represents Haman).
  • Some people write the name "Haman" on the bottom of their shoe, and obliterate the name with every step they take.

This, in a nutshell. For more on the history, traditions, customs, and celebrations of Purim click below:

Mazor Guide for Purim brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.

"Purim in Pictures and words" recounts in detail the extraordinary story of the miraculous reversal of fortune of Persian Jewry in the days of Xerxes I, the emperor who is more widely known as King Achashverosh.

The story begins with King Achashverosh's grandiose party and ends with Mordechai's appointment as the Persian king's top minister. The complicated story involves a beauty contest, servants conspiring to kill the king, and an evil plot by an evil man to eliminate the Jewish people. This informative coloring book, which is based on the text of Megillat Esther (the Scroll of Esther), also includes an overview of the main customs and traditions associated with the celebration of the holiday.

Recommended for children between the ages of 6-11. Enjoy!
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