Purim

people chanting from colorful megillah

Is Purim about the hidden and the revealed? About the solemn task of using power wisely? About communal celebration? About the rights of Jews and of women? A deadly serious grown-up holiday, or a fun and frivolous day of festivities for children? Purim is all of these. While costumes bring a light note to our reading of the Megillah (Scroll of Esther), our gifts to the poor and to each other echo the themes of community and mutual responsibility. On Purim, we hear the story of Esther, participate in a festival meal (se’udat mitzvah), give tzedakah, and give gifts to friends (mishloah manot). Drowning out Haman’s name is now joined by waving Esther and Vashti flags, to call attention to these women’s complex and important roles in the Purim tale.

 

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