Is PurimLit. “Lots.” A carnival holiday celebrated on the 14th of the Jewish month of Adar, commemorating the Jewish victory over the Persians as told in the Book of Esther. Purim is celebrated by reading the megilla (Book of Esther), exchanging gifts, giving money to the poor, and holding a festive meal. At the megilla reading, merrymakers are dressed in costumes, people drink, and noisemakers (graggers) are sounded whenever the villain Haman’s name is mentioned. about the hidden and the revealed? About the solemn task of using power wisely? About communal celebration? About the rights of Jews and of women? A deadly serious grown-up holiday, or a fun and frivolous day of festivities for children? Purim is all of these. While costumes bring a light note to our reading of the MegillahLit. Scroll Usually refers specifically the Scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther) read on Purim, telling the story of how Esther saved the Jewish people. Megillat Ruth is read on Shavuot. (Scroll of EstherHeroine of the Purim story and Megillat (the scroll of) Esther. She is married to the king by her cousin Mordecai and ultimately saves her people from execution.), our gifts to the poor and to each other echo the themes of community and mutual responsibility. On Purim, we hear the story of Esther, participate in a festival meal (se’udat mitzvahLit. Commandment. It is traditionally held that there are 613 mitzvot (plural) in Judaism, both postive commandments (mandating actions) and negative commandments (prohibiting actions). Mitzvah has also become colloquially assumed to mean the idea of a “good deed.”), give tzedakahCharity. In Hebrew, the word tzedakah derives from the word for justice. Tzedakah is not seen as emanating from the kindness of one’s heart but, rather, as a communal obligation., and give gifts to friends (mishloah manot). Drowning out Haman’s name is now joined by waving Esther and VashtiIn the Purim story, she is King Ahashveros’s first wife. In the first chapter of the Book of Esther, Quieen Vashti refuses to dance for the King and is banished. Long villainized, Vashti has been recently embraced by Jewish women as a contemporay feminist heroine for her defiance of the king. flags, to call attention to these women’s complex and important roles in the Purim tale.
Bringing mindfulness to the act of welcoming guests through a chant and series of ritual intentions
Mindfulness meditation and teaching for Purim
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