It’s Purim! Be Happy!

megillahA Happy Purim to all of my Jewish readers! (Do I have any?)

Tonight we head over to our temple for the reading of the Story of Esther. It is sure to be loud and fun, because it’s supposed to be!

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: Way back in the day in the land of Shushan, King Ahasuerus wanted his wife, Queen Vashti, to appear before his buddies wearing only her crown. She refused to do that, and he banished her from the kingdom. After that, he wanted to find a new Queen so he conducted something like a beauty pageant and chose Esther from hundreds of “applicants”. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle (or cousin: this has been under dispute…depends on who you ask to interpret the story!), told Esther not to reveal to the King that she was a Jew.

Soon after, Mordecai uncovered a plot to kill the King and reported it. The King had an advisor, a man who shall not be named. (Not this one…but THIS ONE.) The King promoted that man so that he was more powerful than the other officials. He wanted everyone to bow down to him. Mordecai refused to do that. After Mordecai’s refusal, the one who shall not be named thought that it would be a good idea to dispose of all the Jews. He rolled dice, or lots (called “Purim”) to decide the date that this would all go down.

Mordecai appealed to Esther to talk to the King and, without waiting for an invitation to see him, was brave enough to go to her husband and talk to him. She told him that she was Jewish. She asked the King what he would do if he heard that somebody was plotting to kill all of her people, and he said that he would bring that fate onto the person who was making such a dastardly plan. And that was the end of the one who shall not be named!

Today we celebrate with great merriment. Purim is a funny holiday: you’re supposed to drink and have a merry old time (though many just have the merry old time without the alcohol). We dress up in costume, like Halloween, but tonight at the temple we’ll see lots of people dressed like the characters in the story.

As the story is read, every time that man’s name is spoken, people “boo” and “hiss” and play instruments and shake noisemakers to drown out his name. It’s really, really fun. In fact, if I remember, I will take a couple minutes of video footage to post tomorrow.

Oh, by the way: one of my favorite things about Purim is that we eat Hamentaschen, triangle-shaped cookies that remind us of that guy’s three-cornered hat. They are DELISH!

So there’s Purim in a nutshell! Hope you enjoyed!


  • Colleen

    I love your Jewish stories. You’ve become that “token” Jewish online friend for me. :O) Thanks for the lesson! (And have fun tonight!)

  • Mom24

    Have you ever seen Esther, the veggietale movie? I’m guessing not because of the ages of your boys, but it’s one of our favorites. Have fun tonight. I would make some Hammentashen (sp?) to celebrate, but I know that my darling picky eaters wouldn’t touch them. They don’t do jelly. Have some for me!

  • Melisa

    Thanks Colleen! I’m happy to be your token Jew friend: LOL! 🙂

    Stacey: Ahem, no…I was lucky enough err…unfortunately I missed Veggietales, sort of. They started getting popular, as you assumed correctly, when my boys were a little older than the target audience. When I worked in the nursery at the health club though, kids used to bring them in now and then. I seem to recall an annoying theme song: but that’s probably true of most kid videos!

    BTW, you can also make Hamentaschen with CHOCOLATE on the inside. Yummy! 🙂

  • Mom24

    Chocolate…Hamentaschen. Now that sounds wonderful. I would love a tried and true recipe if you have one.

    Have fun at Temple. I reminded DH that today was Purim and it brought back wonderful memories for hiim.

  • Joeprah

    You are my ‘token’ lady Jewish friend online, I have other Jewish guy friends. I love reading about other cultures traditions, cool post. Triangle hat cookies sound good!

  • Sue

    Enjoy tonight! I love reading about Jewish traditions that I am pretty clueless on. Now I can converse with my neighbors and sound like I know a little!

  • Kat

    Happy Purim! Thanks for the “story” around the “festivity”-I love to learn everything about your religion and you make it so much fun I wanna take lessons.

  • Melisa

    Stacey: I will get a recipe and e-mail it to you (it’s in a book in my kitchen!).

    Joeprah: Ha! You’re my “token” Stay-at-home-Dad friend online. LOL

    Sue, Janice, Kat: Thanks! We had a great time! Posting about it later…

  • KathyLikesPink

    I don’t know how I missed this post before, I check your blog every day.

    Very cool story, and it sounds like a really fun holiday.

  • The Microblogologist

    The cookies look like they are very similar to kolackies, but with a much simpler design than the shape my mom uses. Another awesome holiday my kind didn’t “borrow” from ya’ll, idiots!