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Home > Holidays > Purim


Purim, which falls on the 14th of Adar, celebrates the story of the Jews of Persia, who were saved from Haman's evil decree. According to tradition, Haman was a descendant of Amalek, the nation that attacked the Jews in the desert. He hated the Jews and Mordechai, a Jewish leader, in particular, and won King Achashverosh's blessing to exterminate them. The king was married to Mordechai's niece-some commentaries say wife-Esther, who kept her Jewish identity secret until the time came to plead with the king to save the Jews.

This story is recalled in vivid detail in Megillat Esther, the Book of Esther, which is read twice on Purim. What makes the day unique is that the megillah does not mention God's name once, which is thought to teach about the hidden hand of God.

The festive day is also marked with three other practices-sending of gifts of food from friend to friend, giving gifts to the poor, and eating a special Purim meal. Tradition also teaches that the day should be celebrated with drinking until a person can't tell the difference between Mordechai, a hero in the megillah, and Haman.

In Jerusalem Purim falls on the 15th, since the megillah states that it should be observed in walled cities one day later. People in Israel-especially those who like drinking-can therefore celebrate Purim twice if they choose. Megillah and Purim Audio Purim Israeli Style
Ahavat Israel: Purim
Aish Hatorah: Purim
Chabad of Maryland: Purim
Everything Jewish: Purim
Holidays on the Net: Purim
The Jewish Agency for Israel: Purim
Judaism 101: Purim
NCSY Publications: Purim

Melitz: Purim
Nurit's Purim Spiel
Ohr Somayach: Purim
OU: Purim
Pedogogic Center: Purim
Project Genesis: Purim
Purim on the Web
Virtual Midrash: Purim

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