Every year the Jewish people celebrate their survival during a holiday called Purim. The Jewish holiday is held every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month, Adar, which occurs in late winter or early spring.
“Purim” is the Hebrew word for “lots.” This is due to the fact that the king of Persia used a lottery system to determine the day he would exterminate every Jew. The Jews, after being called to fast and pray, survived the harrowing ordeal. For this reason, Purim is a day to celebrate the strength and resilience of the Jewish people.
Here are some more facts about this holiday:
- It is considered the jolliest day of the year.
- It is customary to fast on the day before Purim.
- Purim is deferred one day in Jerusalem.
- Purim is always a month and a day before Passover.
- The Gulf War ended on Purim.
While Purim is considered a Jewish holiday, many Christians also recognize this special day. To them, it serves as a reminder of God’s promises to all of humanity.
HOW TO OBSERVE #Purim
- Jews throughout the world celebrate this fun day with costumes, parades, and spinning noisemakers called graggers.
- Read the book of Esther in the Tanakh (Old Testament).
- Give monetary gifts to at least 2 poor people.
- Send gifts of two kinds of food to at least one person.
- Hold a festive Purim feast, which often includes wine.
- You can help spread the joy on social media with #Purim.
During the 4th Century BCE, King Ahasuerus ruled the vast Persian Empire. Both he and his wife, Queen Vashti were evil rulers who liked to torture their Jewish subjects. But the King was so evil that he executed his wife for refusing to appear at his party. After she was executed, the King held a pageant to find a new queen. During the pageant, he found favor with a Jewish girl named Ester. She did not divulge her nationality, however.
At this time, a man named Haman was appointed prime minister. He commanded that all Jews bow to him. Mordecai, the leader of the Jews and Esther’s cousin, refused these orders. As a result, Haman convinced the king to execute all of the Jews in a single day. The king held a lottery to determine the extermination date, the 13th of Adar. When Esther told Mordechai about this plan, he called all Jews to a time of prayer and fasting. Queen Esther helped convince the king to issue a new decree. This decree granted the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemy. Haman was hanged and Mordechai was appointed prime minister. On the 14th of Adar, the Jewish people were able to celebrate and rest. The Jews have continued to celebrate this holiday ever since.
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