Purim is a holiday that celebrates the Jewish people's deliverance from a plot to annihilate them. It is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. In 2023, Purim will be celebrated at the start of sundown on March 6th and continue through the 7th.
The story of Purim is recounted in the Book of Esther. According to the story, Haman, the king's advisor, plotted to kill all the Jews in ancient Persia. Esther, a Jew who had become queen, saved her people by revealing Haman's plot to the king.
Haman, one of the king's advisors, hated Mordecai, a Jew who worked in the king's palace. Haman came up with a plan to kill all the Jews in the empire, but Mordecai found out about it and told Esther. Esther went to the king and begged him to spare her people. The king did as she asked, and Haman was hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.
Purim is celebrated with costumes, gifts of food, and charity. Festive meals and celebrations also mark the holiday.
How to celebrate Purim
There are many ways to celebrate Purim. Here are some of the most popular traditions:
Dressing in Costume: One of the most popular Purim traditions is dressing in costume. This is because Esther did not reveal that she was Jewish when she went before the king to beg for her people's lives. Instead, she pretended to be someone else. As a result, many people dress up as Esther or other characters from the story on Purim.
Many people dress up as characters from the Book of Esther, such as Queen Esther, King Ahasuerus, or Mordechai. Others dress up as their favorite Biblical or Talmudic figures. And still, others simply wear fun and festive costumes. Make sure you have a good time, no matter what you choose to wear.
Giving Gifts of Food: Another Purim tradition is giving gifts of food, known as Mishloach Manot. These gifts typically include baked goods and snacks that can be easily eaten on the go. They may also include fruit or dry fruit, spacial cookies called hamantaschen (triangular cookies filled with fruit or chocolate), and wine.
Giving to Charity: A third Purim tradition is giving to charity. This tradition is based on a verse from the Book of Esther which says, "And they gave money according to their means." (Esther 9:22) Known as matanot l'evyonim, it is customary to give money to at least two poor people on Purim day. The money should be enough to cover their daily basic needs, such as food and clothing. Charity on Purim is a way of fulfilling this commandment and helping those who are less fortunate.
Purim is a joyous occasion that is celebrated with feasting, costumes, and gifts of food. The holiday has a long history dating back to biblical times. If you're looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate Purim this year, try following some of these traditions.
And while the holiday is marked by costumes, gifts of food, and giving to charity, perhaps you and your family have other traditions. Feel free to drop us a line and regale our readers with a quick anecdote or special time shared. This Purim, share your blessings with those around you and reap in the glory of how giving is a true glory gifted to us.
Peace and blessings from all of us at Jerusalem Export.