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Be Happy, It’s Adar!

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 11:57 am by shirlala

PurimTopBorder PurimSideBorder Be Happy, It’s Adar! And I’m not just saying that, that’s an instruction directly from the Mishnah. On Purim we celebrate mistaken identity, madcap antics, absurd twists, heroes, villains, fools, chance, and of course salvation. Did it all really happen? Well… we do know that the Scroll of Esther was written around the year 330 B.C.E.* and that there’s been plenty of evidence in each direction. It sure does make for a great story though, which upon closer look makes for a study in Jewish life throughout history. When I was in elementary school, once a year we had "Backwards Day!" when we wore our clothes backwards and we had a lot of fun insisting that "yes" meant "no" and so on. This is Purim. In honor of all all the crazy twists of the story and the big dramatic ending where the Jewish people manage to reverse their ill fate (They not only save the day for themselves but wreak havoc on their enemies instead), we get nutty, dress in costumes, and basically behave in the opposite way that we’re supposed to. Here are the four basic mitzvot to be fulfilled on Purim: 1. Listen to the Megillah reading – or a crazy version of it called a Purimspiel performed in local synagogues everywhere on the 13th of Adar, Purim Eve. 2. Give gifts of food to friends called mishloach manot. 3. Give tzedakah to the poor. 4. Eat a great festival meal. The last three of the mitzvot come directly from the story of Esther. You’ll see them when you get to the very end. Purim is definitely one of the most boisterous and fun holidays of the year. As usual, the way we celebrate is related directly to the story, and we party like it’s 330 B.C.E. *"Teaching Jewish Holidays" by Robert Goodman, A.R.E.

2 Responses to “Be Happy, It’s Adar!”

  1. Parisa says:

    Shira- Thanks for such an informative and fun way for all of us to learn more about the meaning and significance of special Jewish holidays. Wish I was around to celebrate the mad-cap antics of PURIM with y’all.

  2. Parisa says:

    Shira- Thanks for such an informative and fun way for all of us to learn more about the meaning and significance of special Jewish holidays. Wish I was around to celebrate the mad-cap antics of PURIM with y’all.

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Posted in Holidays, Purim

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