Purim (Hebrew: פּוּרִים) is a Jewish Holiday which commemorates Jewish people being saved from extermination in Persia.
The story of Purim comes from the Biblical book of Esther. In it, Haman a high ranking advisor to King Ahasuerus sought to kill all Jews in ancient Persia. He is motivated by an incident in which Mordechai, a Jewish leader, defied the king's orders and refused to bow to Haman.
Haman is stopped through the actions of Mordechai and his niece Esther, a beautiful and courageous Jewish woman. Esther initially disguises her Jewish Identity and eventually becomes Queen. Through their actions the King becomes aware of Haman's plot and is persuaded to have him hanged.
Purim Facts & Quotes
- Purim is considered to be a joyous holiday often accompanied by celebrations, plays, festive food and costume parties.
- Purim holiday is often preceded by fast, referred to as the Fast of Esther. This fast commemorates Esther's three days of fasting in preparation for her meeting with the king. The fast is observed from dawn until dusk on the eve of Purim.
- The story of Purim is told in the book of Esther, which is also known as "the Scroll" (Megillah> in Hebrew).
If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life - this is my petition, and the life of my people - this is my request. (Esther 7:3)
Purim Top Events and Things to Do
- Make a Mishloach Manot (also known as mishloach manos or shalach manos). This is a gift of at least two kinds of food that are ready to eat. Give them out to neighbors, friends and associates.
- Make Hamantaschen cookies. These are pocket triangle shaped cookies that are often made with fruit, poppy seed or cheese filling.
- Attend a Purim Carnival or Festival. Some of the more popular ones are the Carnival at Mamilla (Jerusalem) and Cirque Du Purim in Minneapolis.
- Donate to the poor. It is customary and part of tradition to give at least two gifts to two poor people on Purim.
- Visit a Jewish Museum. Many put on special activities for kids such as plays, performances, and costume parties
Purim References and Related Sitesjewfaq.org: Purim
Cantor Matt Axelrod: Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder
, Jason Aronson Inc., 2013