This Shabbat is Shabbat Parashat Zachor, the Sabbath of Remembering.
On Friday nights it is customary to sing a selection of verses from the final chapter of the Book of Proverbs (31:10-31) known as Aishet Chayil, A Woman of Valor. At this time of year [pre-Purim], one particular Jewish heroine stands out: Queen Esther.
“Purim Holiday/Purim Holiday/A big holiday for the JewsMasks and noisemakers/Songs and Dance/Let’s make noise rash rash rash.”(Classic Hebrew Purim Song – Hava Nareesha Rash Rash Rash)Although noisemakers are not mentioned in the Book of Esther, …
Whether it’s a long-winded tale, or a story overloaded with details–it’s called a “whole megillah!” (In “the old country” they would have said “a gantse megillah!”)
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I and my maidens will also fast in like manner; and so will I go into the king, which is not according to the law; and i…
One might think that the Book of Esther is a heroic tale about Mordechai and Esther saving the Jewish people through diplomatic skill, after all God is not mentioned once in the entire text. Looking deeper, however, one is struck by the overwhelming number of “coincidences” of the right people being in the right places at the right times.
This year, Purim will be celebrated on Sunday, February 24th (beginning Saturday evening, February 23rd, after sunset). Four mitzvot are associated with the holiday:Megillah Reading – Book of Esther – The Megillah is read twice on Purim, once at night …
Those who first hear about the custom of Purim costumes might assume that the tradition began as an imitation of Halloween. Research, however, places the origin of Halloween costumes in the 18th century, while Purim disguises are mentioned in rabbinic texts as far back as the 13th century.
As the only territory completely under the control of the Federal Government, it is not surprising that Washington, D.C. is home to the only synagogue whose existence was enacted by an Act of Congress and signed by a U.S. President.
What does the holiday of Purim have to do with Jews reconnecting to their Jewish heritage?