By: Pamela Stern
Students at Be’er Hagolah are getting ready to celebrate Purim. “Purim is the most joyous holiday in the Jewish Calendar,” said Rabbi Mordechai Fishman, Principal of Be’er Hagolah. Purim commemorates a time when Jewish people who were living in Persia were saved from being annihilated. Purim means “lots” and that refers to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date for eliminating the Jews, which is why Purim is observed on the 14th day of Adar. This year since it is a leap year, there are two months of Adar and Purim is celebrated in the second month of Adar It’s Time For Purim!
Many different celebrations are taking place for Purim at Be’er Hagolah. The elementary school boys are putting together a carnival which will include games, booths, food and rides on Thursday, March 24th. The elementary school girls will be reveling in their very own Purim party. The girls’ party will include music, dancing, and dressing up in costumes and of course good food and treats like hamentashen. (Hamentashen are cookies in the shape of a triangle and have different fillings inside of them, most common fillings are prune, poppy, raspberry and apricot.) Be’er Hagolah’s high school boys go to their Rabbis’ homes out of respect for them and each Rabbi hosts a party for Purim in his own homes. The boys go there to show their appreciation for their teachers.
Rabbi Mordechai German will be presiding over the traditional reading of the Megillah in the evening of Purim. After the reading of the Magillah, there will be a lavish party with noisemakers, groggers, singing, dancing and food. The reason for this observance is that Haman (advisor to the King) disliked Mordecai because, Mordecai would not bow down to Haman. So Haman was planning to kill all of the Jews in the ancient Persian Empire. Mordecai (Esther’s cousin) learned of Haman’s plan and told Esther who was the Queen of Persia and also was Jewish, but nobody knew that. He asked Esther to do something about it and Esther spoke to her husband, King Ahasuerus. Esther who was nervous to speak to her husband the King, fasted for three days and then went to the King and told him about Haman’s plot against her people. The Jewish people were saved and Haman was hung on the gallows where he was preparing to hang Mordecai.
Ways to Celebrate Purim:
- Hearing the Megillah being read at the synagogue (when Haman’s name is mentioned it is customary to make noise with the groggers and noisemakers)
- Exchanging gifts of food and drink which is known as mishloach manot
- Donating to the poor also known as tzedoka
- Wearing costumes and masks are customary
Enjoy your Purim!
Photos: Be’er Hagolah