Your interactive guide to Purim 5779!
The Megilah reading: Who are the people in the Purim story?
The Megilah refers to Megilat Esther or The Book of Esther. Achashverosh was the king of Persia. His wife Vashti refused to entertain his guests by showing off her beauty and was banished. He chose Esther as his new queen. His adviser Haman tells him the Jews are disloyal and they embark on a plan to kill all the Jews. Esther and Mordechai help the king to see that Haman is the problem, not the Jews. Vashti is the wife of king Achashverosh of Persia but is banished because she refuses to entertain his guests by showing off her beauty.
Queen Esther was a Jewish woman chosen to be the new wife of the Persian king. He did not know she was Jewish until the Jewish people were threatened and he saved the Jews in order to save her.
Mordechai is Esther's cousin. He saves the king's life after hearing a plot against him. He also refuses to bow to Haman which leads to the plan to kill all the Jews. He encourages Esther to hide her Jewishness until she has established a good relationship with the king.
Haman wants everyone to bow down to him but when Mordechai refuses he creates a plot to kill all the Jews. He is eventually hung on the gallows meant for Mordechai.
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Are you prepared to hear the megillah reading? '11 Things to Know About a Megillah Reading'
Take this Quiz and find out which Purim Character you are!
Power and Patriarchy in Megilat Esther
Megilat Esther is a story of power and resistance to power
Vashti stood up and resisted
Esther resisted from within the system
In a section of the Purim story that I didnâ€™t grow up hearing (and one that is sometimes overlooked), the Jews of Shushan go on the offensive, killing 75,000 people according to Esther 9:16. This demonstration of Jewish power may make some of us uncomfortable. After all, as Jews, we do not typically revel in the celebration of physical might or military victories; we celebrate the miraculous nature of Jewish survival against all odds. Here, we see a new image of Jewish power â€” not just self defense, but offense. Sometimes things in our lives get turned upside down. But the story of Purim is a reminder that we always have the power to act. There are moments when we are like Esther and have to stand up for what we know is right. And there are moments when we are like the Jews of Shushan and must recognise our own power and how to use it responsibly. - Rabbi Heath Wantenmaker
During the Megilah reading... It is c u s t o m a ry t o m a k e n o is e u s in g g ro g g e rs s t a m p in g y o u r and by fe e t w h e n e v e r H a m a n 's n a m e H e re a re in s t ru is s a id . c t io n s t o m a k e y o u r o w n g ro g g e rs ! M a t e ri a ls : O n e c o lo rf u l p o p s ic le s t ic k C o lo rf u l t w in e 8 -1 2 C o lo rf u l s m a ll b e ll s (y o u can get them e a s il y o n Amazon) Scotch tape D ir e c t io n s : S t ri n g t h e b e ll s on to the tw in e . W ra p t h e t w in e a ro u n d t h e p o p s ic le s t ic k S e c u re t h e e n d s e it h e r b y t y in g lo o s e k n o t s o r b y t a p in g it down. Shake!
Taking back Purim: The story of Esther and Vashti as a springboard for womens revolution
Wave your flags too to celebrate the triumphs of the hero ines of the Purim st ory!
What does a Purim Social Justice Guide look like?
LAVANOT L'EVYONIM Giving to those in need is another Mitzvah to carry out on Purim. One good way to do this is to give cupboard goods to your local food bank to support those who do not have enough food.
Find your local Food bank here
The Challenges of Purim Drinking on Purim is often seen as a given, not an option. This idea comes from a talmudic account of how to properly observe the rituals of the Purim meal. The sage Rava says we should drink on Purim until we cannot differentiate between the phrases “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai” (Megillah 7b). But if you are someone who struggles with alcohol, or if you simply do not enjoy it, you might find Purim really difficult. There are plenty of other ways to celebrate, but one thing that is really important if you are drinkin is not to pressure anyone else to drink. On this holiday in which the villain (Haman) encouraged persecution of a minority group (the Jews) by pointing out their different customs, it’s important that we respect individual choices, especially about whether you choose to consume alcohol.
Reclaiming Purim There was a time where Liberal Judaism downplayed the festival of Purim, choosing not to celebrate. But why was this? Read the sermon from Danny Rich below and blog post from Rabbi Leah Jordan to find out!
Why Liberal Jews have reclaimed Purim
Purim: A Topsy Turvy World!
Rabbi Leah Jordan
Rabbi Danny Rich
F E A S T S Purim is all about celebration and joy, so get some friends together and eat and be merry! Hamantaschen are eaten on Purim because they represent Haman's pockets filled with bribe money! Check out some recipe's below!
Vegan/ Gluten Free Hamantaschen!
Hamantaschen Recipe! Purim Foods around the world
CH A O L H MIS NOT MA
Mishloach manot is the sending of food packages to friends. It highlights the importance of friendship and community. General tradition suggests sending two different friends a package containing two different food groups.
rom f e v i pect s r e rim P aplain u P A h n PJS C el Lichma ani D i b Rab
Playing Dress Up: Hiding or revealing our true identities? The book of Esther is a story that celebrates disguises, subterfuge and pretence. By dressing up as a Persian Esther saves the Jewish people. Perhaps this is why we dress up on Purim: maybe you can save a part of your inner identity by exhibiting a different part of your identity on the outside. Dressing up enables us to play with the shadow-parts-of-ourselves â€“ the parts that we have learnt to hide because they are not acceptable can come out in the play of dressing up. Yet Estherâ€™s dressing up play was only able to save the Jewish people when she revealed herself and came out by telling everyone that was a Jew all along. Esther invites each of us to play with our identity and through play to learn how to come out into our identity: how to allow our outer appearance to mirror our inner selves and thus become recognised as whole people.
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Progressive BIRTHRIGHT! Have a free trip to Israel even if you've been on Israel Tour!