Happy Purim!

Welcome to the most fun holiday of the Jewish calendar year!  Purim (this year observed Monday evening 3/9/20 – Tuesday 3/10/20) commemorates the day Esther, Queen of Persia, saved the Jewish people from execution by Haman, the advisor to the Persian king. Esther bravely exposed her previously hidden Jewish heritage to her husband the king and asked him to save her people, which he did.

On Purim, we traditionally read aloud the Megillah (The Story of Esther) and make noise with groggers to drown out Haman’s name … when we can discern it, of course, as we’re also encouraged to imbibe. 🙂 The source of this practice is a passage from the Talmudic tractate Megillah (7b): A person is obligated to drink on Purim until he does not know the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordechai.”

We also traditionally dress up in costume, following the theme of Purim as a holiday of disguise where nothing is quite as it seems; eat delicious hamantaschen, triangle-shaped cookies named for the villain Haman; eat a festive meal, or seudah; and give gifts of food, called mishloah manot, to our friends. Haman accused the Jews of being a scattered and divided nation; thus, we send gifts to each other in order to show that we are not divided, but united. 

Additionally, Purim is a time when we make a point of giving gifts to the poor.

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In the spirit of Purim, please enjoy this Game of Thrones’ megillah: the-purim-story-in-game-of-thrones-gifs

But if you prefer, here is the text of the megillah in a more traditional format: The Book of Esther

And for hamantaschen aficionados, here’s a map showing where to find the best hamantaschen from sea to shining sea: YUM!

And for those who live near a Trader Joes and want a super easy way to ‘make’ hamantaschen with younger children: purim-hack-two-ingredient-hamantaschen

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For adults who plan to venture out for Purim and seek a little something different, here are two great choices in the Boston area:

1.  Mon, March 9, 2020 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
“An Enchanted Evening” sponsored by YJP – Young Jewish Professionals
Purim Unity Gala at Icon Nightclub
100 Warrenton Street, Boston, MA$36.00; 21+
purim-unity-gala

2. Monday, March 9, 2020 9:30p – 12:00a
Purim After Hours 5780: Monday Night Mishegas
The Mad Raven Pub, 841 Main St, Waltham, MA
Purim After Hours is a flash Purim party – an open, independent gathering not under the auspices or sponsorship of any organization. Jews of all denominations, orientations, identifications, affiliations, political parties, eidot and all philo-Semites are welcome. No cover; 21+ 
And finally … in the spirit of Esther initially hiding her Jewish heritage from her husband the king, and in keeping with the tradition of dressing up in costume for a holiday where nothing is quite as it seems,
here’s a certain Reagle Theatre Sound of Music nunsemble costume doing double duty for Purim! 
Happy Purim, all!  What will you be wearing?

B’ahava,

Cantor Jacqui
Sister Jacqueline
Sistah Cantah

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