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20 March 2011

Purim in Israel

The Jewish Festival of Purim Begins Saturday Night in Israel! 

  

Purim is the holiday remembering a very specific story of Jewish past. In short, we Jews were exiled from the Land of Israel (6th century BCE), and found ourselves under Persian rule. Persian King Ahasverus had a high-ranking officer named Haman, a descendant of Amelek - arch enemy of the Jewish people. When Haman was entering the palace, the high priest of the Jews, Mordechai, would not bow down to him. Haman wanted to kill Mordechai and all the Jews, and he got King Ahasverus' permission to make a decree to exterminate all the Jews in the Persian Empire, that would have eliminated almost every Jew in the world. So, Mordechai sends in his niece, Ester, Ahasverus' new queen, and she talks to old King Ahasverus. He loves her, she reveals Haman's plan, King Ahasverus has Haman hung on the very trees he planned to hang the Jews on... yay!  Then the Jews, "And the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and with slaughter and destruction, and did what they would unto them that hated them."(Esther 10:5)

As we say: "For the miracles and the deliverance and the victories​ and the salvation​ and the battles that You did for our ancestors​, in those days at this time!"

Purim is celebrated by giving gifts to the poor, gifts to our friends (mishloach manot), listening to the reading of the Scroll of Ester (telling this story -- which is found in the Tanach/Bible) twice, and finally, getting very drunk during a ritual meal and wearing costumes. 

We dress up in costumes to help celebrate. Since charity is a central feature of the holiday, when givers and/or recipients disguise themselves this allows greater anonymity thus preserving the dignity of the recipient.

World leaders have always known about our connection to our faith and festivals. Hitler banned and forbade the observance of Purim. In a speech made on November 10, 1938, (the day after Kristallnacht), Julius Streicher surmised that just as "the Jew butchered 75,000 Persians" in one night, the same fate would have befallen the German people had the Jews succeeded in inciting a war against Germany; the "Jews would have instituted a new Purim festival in Germany."


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تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

2 comments:

Paul said...

חג פורים שמח

Greg W. said...

Esther has always been one of my favorite books. A great thing to celebrate. I was with you right up until the costumes and drunk part. Am I missing the connection? Just a reason to party? Also it is chapter 9 verse 5. There are only 3 verses in chapter 10.

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