Purim

Jewish Ministry

Purim

Purim is the holy day in March that celebrates the events of the book of Esther.

The heroes of the book are Esther and her caretaker and cousin, Mordecai. The evil Haman is the Prime Minister who tricks the dimwitted Persian King Ahasuerus into giving an edict calling for the annihilation of the Jewish people.

The king’s edict for the annihilation of the Jews was issued on the day before Passover (Esther 3:12; Exodus 12:18). Can you imagine the bewilderment of the Jews when they heard about the King’s edict? Passover is supposed to be a festival that celebrates deliverance.  Instead, their celebration was marred by the threat of genocide.

With Mordecai’s encouragement, Esther led Israel in a three-day fast (Esther 4:15–17). After the Jews fasted for 3 days, Haman was exposed. He was hung on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. The Jews were delivered, and Mordecai was promoted.

Jews celebrate Purim with great parties and plays depicting the story. Jews also celebrate Purim with cookies called hamantachen (“Haman’s pockets” or “Haman’s ears”). Purim plays are a popular way to celebrate this feast, and groggers (or noisemakers) are used for people to create a loud noise every time Haman’s name is mentioned.