Purim - A Day of Charity and Celebration

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Of all the Jewish holidays, Purim is one of the most beloved by the Jewish people and also one of the most joyous. It is celebrated in the first part of the year, normally in the month of March. This holiday is marked by festivals, special meals, the giving of gifts, and even the wearing of masks. The history of the holiday dates back to the Book of Esther. In this article, you will learn some details about the history of this celebratory holiday, how the holiday has traditionally been celebrated, and how you can celebrate Purim.

The story of Purim originates in the Book of Esther. In this story, Esther, a Persian Jew who has hidden her identity, uses her courage to alert the Persian king that one of his advisors, Haman, has a plan to exterminate the Jewish people. The Jewish people are saved because of Esther’s courage in confronting the king. Jewish people often relate this story to modern history, which allows the story to retain its importance. The story shows that even though there are attempts by enemies to destroy the Jewish community, G-d acts in unexpected ways to help and save them.

On Purim, the Book of Esther is read twice, once at the beginning of the day and once at the end of the day. It is customary for listeners to boo every time the name of Haman is mentioned so that they can get rid of his name. Jews also drink and have a great time on this holiday. While heavier drinking is allowed and even encouraged on this day, there is some debate among Jewish communities as to how much drinking is alright. Those who have had drinking problems from the past, or who suffer from health issues are not expected to drink on this holiday.

Finally, Purim is a day of parades and charity. It is common for celebrators to dress up in masks and funny costumes. This holiday is a great time for children. They can make their own costumes and show them off in front of classmates, parents, and friends. It is also a part of Purim to give gifts to friends, and perhaps more importantly, to give gifts to charity. This holiday is about celebration, but it is also about helping one another and being generous. One the most enjoyable of any holiday in any culture, this day is a celebration of living and giving.

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Posted by on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010. Filed under Jewish Holidays. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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