Purim | Reconstructing Judaism

Purim

Purim, falling on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar, revolves around the biblical book of Esther and its farcical story of the threatened genocide and eventual salvation of the Jews. The festivities surrounding Purim are the most outlandish and whimsical of the Jewish calendar. Most Jews associate Purim with costumes and carnivals, graggers (noisemakers) and hamantashen (three-cornered, filled cookies that evoke the three-cornered hat of Haman) that appeal to children. But it would be wrong to dismiss Purim as a holiday only for children. Whether considering the deeper messages of the Megillah, the scroll containing the Book of Esther, or joining in the self-mocking atmosphere of a Purim shpiel, a satirical skit or short play, adults deserve to celebrate and enjoy Purim.1

  • 1. Adapted from A Guide to Jewish Practice, Volume 2—Shabbat and Holidays

Purim Resources

Remembering and "Blotting Out" Amalek

The Torah commands us to “wipe out the memory of Amalek…do not forget!” (Deut. 25) But is Amalek an external enemy—or something inside us?

Document

Remembering Amalek

The Torah commands us to “wipe out the memory of Amalek…do not forget!” (Deut. 25) What exactly does “Amalek” represent, and what might it mean to remember (or blot out) that memory? 

Document

She Said No!

This song, based on the Book of Esther, praises Vashti and Esther for their challenges to the king.

Music