top of page

Our Purim

Haman was a bad guy: as the Persian king's highest government official, he wanted to murder all the Jews in his kingdom. He determined the time of the planned massacre by drawing lots (Purim in Hebrew). The Jew Mordechai was an employee at the court of King Ahasuerus (known in Greek and Latin as Xerxes I). In order to save the Jews, Mordecai convinced his adopted daughter Esther, a beautiful Jewish woman, to make representations to King Ahasuerus. She was successful. Instead of the Jews, the king had the wicked Haman and his brothers killed. The Jews were saved and King Ahasuerus and the beautiful Esther became a couple. So much for the biblical story, which was probably written down in the book of Esther in the 3rd century BC. What is certain is that Jews have been celebrating Purim for more than 2000 years.



Afterwards, the exuberant dancing begins (https://youtu.be/_XbYO_3Ej8I)

Purim should be celebrated extensively, including with highly stimulating drinks, as in the song of Rabbi Elimelech:


And when the Rabbi Elimelech,

has become very happy,

Elimelech became very happy,

he took off his tfilin [prayer straps],

and put on his glasses,

and sent to the two fiddlers.

...

And when Rabbi Elimelech,

became quite drunk and cheerful,

Elimelech became quite drunk and cheerful,

he ended the service

with a heartfelt prayer ...



In Judaism, there are two festivals that commemorate the rescue of the Jews from their enemies: at Passover, we remember the successful escape from Egyptian slavery under Pharaoh, led by Moses. And on Purim, the rescue from Haman by Mordechai and Esther. Everyone can decide for themselves to what extent divine assistance was involved. The fact that these festivals are still so significant today is explained by the long history of persecution of the Jews from the Middle Ages to the Holocaust.


Even today, hostility towards Jews is not a thing of the past. I am convinced that Jews and non-Jews getting to know each other through shared experiences is a powerful means of reducing hostility towards Jews. And this also includes celebrating together. Like the Purim festival: last year together with Christians in the Elim community. This year with neighbours, friends and acquaintances of all denominations. And the more exuberant the evening became, the better all the guests got on.

Recent Posts

See All

Purim

Comments


bottom of page