When it is Purim, I think of my friends Georges Banet and Judith Klau, who introduced me to the holiday years ago one Purim with a mitzvah, a good deed. They brought me a Purim box that contained two hamantaschen, pastries in the shape of a triangular hat, filled with all manner of deliciousness (the ones they brought me were prune-filled and poppyseed-filled). The printed box explained the story of Purim, which essentially is this: In ancient Persia, Haman, the royal vizier to the king, plotted to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plot was discovered and foiled by Queen Esther and her father, Mordecai. It’s a story from the Book of Esther.

Each year at Purim, the story is retold in the reading of theĀ Megillah, and each time the name Haman is spoken, the congregation boos and hisses and twirls graggers to drown it out. The pastries are meant to evoke Haman’s hat. And then there are costumes! Purim is a bit like Halloween in springtime: kids dress up in costumes for the day and great parties ensue. The costumes traditionally call to mind the characters of the story, but don’t be surprised to see all kinds of costumes on Purim, which begins this year with the setting sun tonight, this last day of February. Gragger away!

Image: A 1951 photograph of elementary school students in costumes for the Purim parade at the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa. [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons. I love the fairy on the left.


5 thoughts on “Purim

  1. Graham Moss says:

    And Vashti, what happened to her? Sories of the hunt will glorify the hunter, until the ducks get their own historians.

  2. Arthur J Williams says:

    So glad Purim has a wonderful meaning for you. Keep eating those human-tashen. And don’t forget to wear your costume.

  3. Grace Fishenfeld says:

    The triangular Hamantasch is also the symbol of Esther’s and all female vaginas
    Purim is more than Halloween. It is a celebration of Esther’s bravery. She had to win the King’s heart,l when she bravely confessed that she was Jewish. He loved her and so Haman’s plan to exterminate all Jews fell through. Her revelation saved the Persian Jews at that time.

    Your fan,
    Grace Fishenfeld

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *