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The Purim Story
The story of Purim is recounted in Megillat Esther, usually referred to as the Megillah, the Scroll on which the Book of Esther is written. TREAT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIEND WITH SPECIAL PURIM FOOD. TO SEE OUR PURIM RECIPES PLEASE CLICK THE LINK. The events commemorated by Purim happened in the fifth century BCE, under the reign of King Achashverosh in the ancient Persian Empire. We are told in Esther 3:6 that Mordechai, a Jew, refused to bow down and prostrate himself before Haman, the vizier to the King. As this was outrageous Haman immediately set out to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom. The chosen date was the thirteenth of Adar. Letters, written by Haman and signed by the king, were sent out throughout all the provinces, commanding all persons to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish all the Jews Esther 3:13. The Jews were rescued, by Esther, Mordechai's niece, who had been chosen queen a few years earlier. The Miracle was that not only that the Jewish people were saved but the vicious Haman was hanged on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordechai. Since this day Purim takes place on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar. Purim has became days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions, Mishloach Manot one to another and gifts to the poor.
see Purim recipes
The Four Mitzvahs of Purim
Purim commemorates the miraculous salvation of the Jewish People recorded in the Scroll of Esther. To celebrate of the Purim Festival we have to fulfill the four Mitzvahs of Purim. We have to listen to the Megillah and relive the miraculous events of Purim. On Purim everyone has to send gifts of food to at least one other Jew. The food must be useable immediately. Come Purim we have to strive to fulfill the Mitzvah of helping those who are less fortunate and give gifts to the needy thus emphasizing the importance of Jewish unity and friendship. At the day of Purim we are required to make a festive meal and have with family and friends to rejoice in the spirit of Purim.
After reading the Megillah, the Book of Esther in the synagogue on the eve of Purim, where we make a lot of noise with Graggers, we get together with friends and family for a Purim party. We let the children, and feeling like children we do so too, dress up as the characters found in the Scroll of Esther and other costumes as desired and send out Mishloch Manot to friends and relatives. When Purim comes it is considered a Mitzvah to get drunk. Not just to have a sip or two of wine, but to get truly sloshed until we cannot discern the difference between the names Mordechai and Haman. In Israel we have costume parades called adloyada. The name comes from the expression Ad Lo Yada, meaning until one couldn't tell. To get to the Purim Recipes please click the link
Purim we read the Megillah, the Scroll of Esther, in the synagogue the Megillah being one of five scrolls in the Bible. Megillat Esther is a firsthand account of the events of Purim written allegedly by the heroes themselves Esther and Mordechai. The Book of Esther is the only book in the whole of Scripture which does not contain G-d's name yet whoever knows how to read between the lines will see the Hand of G-d in the story.
Ad Delo Yada
Ad Lo Yada means until one couldn't tell When Purim comes it is considered a Mitzvah to get drunk. Not just to have a sip or two of wine, but to get truly sloshed until we cannot discern the difference between the names Mordechai and Haman. In Israel almost every town has a costume parades called Adloyada. The name comes from the expression Ad Lo Yada, meaning until one couldn't tell.
One of the beautiful symbols of Purim is the gragger. Graggers are special noisemakers that are used during the reading of the Meglliah. It is a tradition that every time the name of Haman is mentioned, everyone stamps their feet, boos, hisses, and let their graggers twirl. There are many forms of Graggers, we at Gans collected some for you. The one photographed here is by Israeli artist Avner Agayof.
One of the nicest traditions of Purim is Matanot Laevionim, the giving of gifts to the poor, and Mishloach Manot, sometimes also called Slach Manos, the giving of gifts of food to friends and family. This is done to ensure that everyone has sufficient food for the Purim feast. The inspiration behind Purim's this special mitzvah or commandment is to give charity to the poor. On the day of Purim one must send two items of food to at least one person. As the food is meant to rejoice the Mischloach includes usually sweets, like Hamantash and chocolates and wine. Women too are obligated to perform this mitzvah since they were also included in the Purim miracle.
Half Shekel Tzdaka Custom
On Purim eve it is customary to give three coins to charity,Tzdaka, in order to recall the half-shekel that was donated annually to the Temple treasury in the month of Adar. When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, every man over the age of twenty was annually required to donate half a silver Shekel to the Temple coffers. Today according to Halachic authorities, charity is given from the age of thirteen, Bar Mitzvah. We give three half shekel coins, Machatzit HaShekel, because in the portion of the Torah dealing with the half-shekel, Exodus 30:11-16, the word terumah,donation or charity, appears three times. - They shall give this, everyone who passes over to those who are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary; the shekel is twenty gerahs; half a shekel for an offering to G-d. Please be aware that in order to fulfill the Mitzvah one should not give one whole coin and one half-coin, and not give more than the correct amount and than ask for change.