Saturday, March 11, 2006

Celebrating Purim Today.

Everyone in Israel loves merry Purim festival, but I am at a loss to explain why tears welled up on my eyes together with a happy smile, when I am looking on dressed up children, going to their schools and kindergartens. May be this really symbolizes for me free Jewish people in their own free state.

Jewish child dressed up at Purim festival This what is said about how to celebrate Purim:
“Read the Megilla, eat, drink, sing, drink, discuss or playact Purim story, drink, read Megilla again, drink, give money to the poor, drink, eat, drink, give Mishloach Manot, drink, eat, drink, sing, drink, sleep, wake up with Excedrin Headache”.

Now just few details.
The Book of Esther is read on Purim night, and again the next day.
It's a tradition when reading the Book of Esther to drown out the name of Haman, the story's villain, with a loud noise. This cacophony is often accomplished with groggers, the special Purim noisemakers.
Because the main theme of Purim is that things didn't turn out, as they seemed they would, it became to the custom to dress up and mask one's own identity. We dress up in costumes and arrange carnival procession to let our defenses down and open up to the deeper reality of our world and ourselves.

There is a custom to perform the Purim story on a stage – such a show has special name “Purimshpiel”. Because of this o many children are dressed up as little Mordechais, Ethers and Achashveroshs.

Purim is known as a time of delicious smells emanating from the kitchen from the baking of the delicious sweets and goodies. The filled triangles to your right are Hamantashen or Haman's hats, the most popular sweet made at Purim.

One of the most peculiar laws of Purim is the obligation to drink wine, and even become intoxicated.
Excessive drinking is frowned upon by Jewish law, yet here it appears that the law specifically advocates drinking!
Purim is a day of taking pleasure but it's also a day of giving pleasure and doing good. We perform mitzvah by donating food or money to at least two poor and we practice Mishloah Manot or the "sending of gifts" by bringing a basket of fruit or plate of sweet treats to friends and relatives. On Purim, it is also a special mitzvah to give gifts of money to the poor. The Jewish people are one unit -- we can't possibly enjoy the holiday if poor people don't have enough.
There is truly no other holiday like Purim!

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