Happy March! For those of us who are Jewish and/or interfaith, Purim begins this year on Wednesday evening, March 4, 2015, and continues through Thursday night, March 5th.
So what's Purim about?
|Masks are part of Purim fun!|
According to the website www.chabad.org, the Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife executed for failing to follow his orders, he conducted a beauty pageant to find a new queen and a Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes. She became the new queen, while not letting Ahasuerus know she was Jewish. In the meantime, the anti-Semitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther’s cousin), defied the king’s orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was infuriated and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the eradication of the Jews. Mordechai convinced the Jews to repent, fast and pray while Esther implored the kid and Haman to join her in a feast. Esther told the kid she was Jewish, Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister and a new decree was issued granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
The service for Purim is pretty unusual and a lot of fun, especially for kids. You're encouraged to dress in silly costumes and every time you hear Haman's name, you're supposed to interrupt the service with noise-making devices (as opposed to being quiet).
After extensive research, I found these three websites to help you and your little one get in the spirit of Purim:
- Torahtots.com – A bright, fun website, kids can learn the story of Purim, how it's celebrated, about the foods associated with Purim and the site even has Purim trivia.
- Chabad.org – This site offers games, crafts, printables, videos, songs, stories, music, and more! A MUST-LOOK if you celebrate Purim!
- Aish.com – Offers videos, recipes, coloring pages, tips on Purim costumes, a trivia page and even boasts a guideline for having a Purim Scavenger hunt. Fun!
Everyone loves Purim festivities, but there's deeper meaning. It's about courage, survival, and one woman who made a real difference to her people. Happy Purim!
Please note that a version of this post appeared on www.thegeekparent.com.