PURIM | Congregation Beth Israel


FEBRUARY 26, 2021

Purim is that Jewish holiday that is hard to quite put your finger on. Some might compare it to Carnival in Brazil, others to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and still others to an extreme Halloween costume party. Even Kermit the Frog gets into a festive mood and bakes treats like Haman’s hat.

And some believe that it can’t be compared to anything other than, well, Purim.

All of these characterizations can be true, depending on the community where one celebrates the holiday. All would agree (even the most conservative and cantankerous person), though, that Purim is different from any other holiday on the Jewish calendar.

It is one of revelry, of fun, and of joy—especially spiritual joy.

Celebrated to commemorate the saving of the Jews from annihilation by the wicked Haman during the Babylonian exile, the story is told in the book of Esther, which is one of the books of the Torah and which we read on the holiday from a scroll. 

As the story goes, Haman cast lots (Purim) to determine the date of the annihilation, and, in the end, through all kinds of plot twists, the Jews were saved and they were able to seek retribution from their enemies. The dust finally settled on the 14th of Adar, the day we celebrate Purim all these years later.

Of course the above is just a short synopsis of the tale, and if you’d like to know more, you’re welcome to come watch CBI’s annual Purim Shpiel which showcases it through song and dance.

With Rabbi Abe reading the Megillah and emceeing in a bourbon haze, you and your family are sure to have a blast.

Oh, by the way, wearing a costume is highly encouraged.

What can you do at home? Get into holiday spirit and host a baking party of these epicurean Purim treats.

Click here to return to the rest of the holidays.

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