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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. The Guide may be ordered from the Reconstructionist Press.
Seedling sprouting through crack in the stone

Hashivenu: A Podcast on Resilience

In this episode: Judith Rosenbaum reflects on the #metoo movement and the book of Esther.

More Purim Resources

Righting a World Turned Upside Down

Purim 2020 was the last in-person event celebrated by many Jewish communities around the country before the COVID-19 shutdown. Little did we understand that the essential psychological principle of Purim of hafichut – the reversibility of our world – would come to mean something even more profound than what we had come to expect. 

D'var Torah

Amalek: Out There, or In Here? A Text Study for Shabbat Zakhor

On the Shabbat before Purim, we read the commandment to “wipe out the memory of Amalek…do not forget!” But is Amalek an external enemy — or something inside us and our society?

D'var Torah

Purim: The Danger of a Single Story

Purim teaches the dangers of accepting a single, simplistic story about others. As we uncover our own complicated selves this holiday, let us be willing to open to the complicated and nuanced stories around us.

D'var Torah

Four Lessons We Learn From Purim

Rabbi Elliott Tepperman shares four lessons for today that we can draw from the holiday of Purim.

D'var Torah

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?


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? 


She Said No!

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


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