Purim is the most entertaining Jewish holiday and with more drama. At what other time can you dress as a bunny and eat dough triangles stuffed with plums and seeds?
By Felicia Jimenez
Purim occurs on Adar 14. (In certain walled cities such as Jerusalem, “Shushan Purim” is celebrated on Adar 15).
The main event is to read Ester’s book. Written in Persia 2300 years ago, the “Meguilá” (as is commonly called) tells how a series of apparently unrelated events spoke to save the Jewish people from annihilation. The short version is as follows:
When King Ajashverosh is at a huge six-month party and the queen refuses to follow her orders, she is replaced by a new queen – Esther, the Jew. Esther’s uncle, Cordejai, the leader of the Jews, reveals a plot that some individuals planned to kill the king – also putting him in a favorable position. All this is useful when Hamán, the king’s top advisor, obtains the approval of a decree to destroy all Jews.
In the end, through a complex turn of events, Ester gets the decree to be reversed, Hamán is hung on the gallows, and Mordechai becomes prime minister.
The name Meguilat Ester (Ester Roll) really means “revealing the hidden.” Unlike all other books in the Bible, the name of God is not mentioned in the Meguilát Esther, not even once. The hidden hand of God is revealed through the labyrinth of events. There are no coincidences.
The Meguilát Ester teaches us that the challenges of life are always for the better because obstacles are really opportunities to grow. Everything comes from the invisible hand of God who guides our destiny, at every step of the road. Ester’s book is read on Purim night, and again the next day. Each word must be heard clearly. We read it in the synagogue because the more public, the more advertising the miracle of our salvation is being done.
On the morning of Purim, we go everywhere visiting friends and giving them delicious sweets – Mishloaj Manot. Purim is the day we approach to hug our Jewish – independent of any religious or social difference. After all, Hamán did not discriminate between us … That is why it is particularly good to give gifts to those with whom you can have a discussion or someone new in the community that a new friend needs.
In Purim, it is also a special mitzvah to give gifts or money to the poor. The Jewish people are a single unit – we cannot in any way enjoy the holiday if poor people do not have enough. All our current problems and imperfections of life are mixed with good until they become a unified expression of the infinite perfection of the Almighty.