´¯`•. March 13, 2017

What is Purim?

I thought since it’s Purim (starting at sunset tomorrow – but I don’t post on Saturdays, so), I might tell you what the deal is about today:

“And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, To establish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.

“And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;   Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;   But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.  Wherefore, they called these days Purim after the name of Pur.

“Therefore,  for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,  The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed every year;  And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.”   Esther 9:17-28

The festive meal made for this feast is called “Seudah”, and is celebrated with family and/or friends.  The traditional foods are “hamantashen” cookies  – they are triangle shaped cookies  filled with jam or honey or something sweet.  The word can mean “Haman’s Pockets” (Yiddish) or “Haman’s Ears” (Hebrew).  The treats are to remind people of the victory over this evil man.  ((I’m probably going to make pop-n-fresh rolls with grape jelly innards.  I’ll have two portions of rolls – one for my experimental Challah, and the other will be made into “Hamantashen”.))

After the meal, the story of Esther is read, and costumes are encouraged for the reading time.  Children are given noisemakers (kazoos, pots/spoons, horns, etc.) and every time the name “Haman” is read they bang the pots and blow the horns (the ‘official’ noisemaker is a “grogger”, but you can improvise) and boo him.  Every time Mordecai’s name is read, everyone cheers.  Rabbinic tradition actually stresses the ‘joy factor’ of this feast to the point where they recommend people drink until they don’t know the difference between Haman and Mordecai (extreme, in my humble opinion, but you get the idea of how light hearted and ‘party-time’ this feast is.)

In the spirit of giving, families often give plates of food to friends, neighbors, and family.  And we usually watch Veggie Tales: Esther for the sake of fun on a kid level for the chil’uns, banging pans whenever they say the name ‘Haman’.  We’ve also found a YouTube that the kids LOVE to watch:

The secondary part of this holy day is to stress the responsibility of man to accomplish God’s will.  Esther is the only book of the Bible with no clear reference to God, yet He can be seen working out the details behind the scene.  So we eat tortellini for our feast meal – as the cheese is ‘hidden’ inside of the tortellini.  Besides, it’s something I don’t make everyday.

Purim actually has THREE fulfillments, by the way.  The first was the Esther/Haman story.  The second fulfillment took place in 1946, and I wrote about it here (LINK)… It was a Hitler/Jews story.  But the last fulfillment is yet to come.  What will it be?  It will be the nations attacking the nation of Israel, but Israel wiping them out in a single moment.  I wrote about it here (LINK), because the Jews are quite sure Iran’s president is the future incarnation of Haman.  It’s very interesting to watch!

This Weekend is Purim!
Hag Sameach!


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