Purim (Lots)

The Purim story is a wonderful story.

It involves the heroine Queen Esther; the hero Morechai; the villain Haman; and the fate of the Jewish people.

The festival commemorates the deliverance of Persian Jews from extermination. The story is told in the book of Easter: Haman, the King’s chief minister, plotted to destroy the Jews of the Empire. He fixed the day by using “lots”. On that day Queen Esther, the king’s Jewish wife, proclaimed a fast when she interceded with the King for the benefit of the Jews. As a result of her intervention, the King authorised the Jews to defend themselves. In the struggle the Jews overcame their enemies. The next day they celebrated their victory in Shushan, the capital of Persia.

To commemorate this miraculous turn of events, Jews celebrate Purim on the 14th of Adar by reading the Megillah (the story of Purim) and enjoying a Purim Feast. Another custom is the giving of gifts, usually biscuits, little cakes and wine to our friends and the needy; and having great fun.

• Hearing the Esther Megillah (story)
• Giving gifts of food to at least one person
• Giving charity to at least one person, or to a organisation that gives to the poor or needy
• Having a Purim feast
• Making, giving and eating hamantaschen:
– Little 3 corner pastries representing the evil Haman’s hat
– Some of the fillings for hamantaschen are: chocolate, ground walnuts, jam and poppy seed