Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (and on Adar II in Hebrew leap years that take place every two to three years).
Once upon a time, between the destruction of the First Temple and the building of the Second Temple, the Jews were almost destroyed.
In the city of Shushan, Vashti, queen of Persia, refuses to obey the order of the king of Persia, Ahasuerus, to appear before his guests. The king then searches the country for a new queen. From among hundreds of applicants, Esther, cousin of Mordechai the Jew, is chosen.
The king's prime minister was an evil man named Haman. Haman, a descendant of the tribe of Amalek, hates the Jews and decides to kill them.
He convinces King Ahasuerus to issue an edict which orders the destruction of all Jews in the land.
Mordechai pleads with Esther to save the Jewish people by talking to the king. At the risk of her own life, Esther appears before the king without being summoned by him. She reveals her own Jewish identity to the king and reveals Haman's evil plans.
The king is outraged at Haman, and he issues a decree to make Haman the victim of his own infamous plot. Haman and his sons are hanged, and the Jews are saved.
Be sure to read the entire book of Esther for the full story and all its details.
Celebrating Purim - Purim Customs
On Purim, it is a mitzvah (commandment) to hear Megillat Esther (The Book of Esther)--which is referred to simply as the Megillah (scroll)--read out loud. The Megillah tells the story of Purim, a tale of a princess, a villain, and a hero.
There is a special atmosphere in the synagogue during the Megillah reading. Children and sometimes adults arrive in costumes such as traditional Mordechai and Esther disguises.
Everyone brings noise makers which they shake whenever "Haman", the villain in the Purim story, is mentioned during the reading. Another custom was to write Haman's name on one's shoe soles and to stamp one's feet until the oppressor's name was erased. The custom of making a noise when Haman's name is mentioned is very ancient and widespread.
It is a mitzvah to eat Seudat Purim (a festive meal) on Purim day. A traditional food is known as a 'Haman hat' which is eaten starting with biting off the three corners of the hat.
Another Purim custom related to food is Mishloach Manot or Shlach Manos (sending of portions - food baskets). Part of the Purim atmosphere is seeing children and adults, in costume, walking through the neighborhood giving baskets and plates filled with hamantashan and other goodies to family, friends, and neighbors.
At the festive meal, and during the rest of the day, we eat hamantashen (Haman's ears). Kreplach is another food often eaten at the festive meal.
Matanot LaEvyonim - Costumes and Carnivals
The most popular way to celebrate Purim is to dress up in costumes. The costumes mark the reversal of fate and the fact that Esther concealed her origins.
Purim plays, called Purim shpiels, are also prevalent as a way to increase our joy on the holiday. In Israel, street parades, called Adloyada (which means "until we can't tell" (the difference between cursing Haman and blessing Mordechai), have become popular on Purim. Carnivals and parties are also common ways to celebrate Purim.
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[This lie is also taught by the Orthodox Jews.]
Often Purim songs are sung during this meal. There is even a commandment to drink to intoxication, until we no longer know whether we are blessing Mordechai or cursing Haman.
Elisheva's Comments On The Bogus Teaching That It's Acceptable To Drink To Intoxication On Purim
There is NO commandment that we EVER drink to intoxication, particularly on a Holy Feast day. This is a false teaching by those who use this and other celebrations as an excuse to drink...and woe unto them for deceiving others into believing it is alright to get drunk on a Holy Day!
Shame on Israel and the Rabbis! "In Israel, street parades, called Adloyada (which means "until we can't tell" (the difference between cursing Haman and blessing Mordechai), have become popular on Purim."
When I read this I admit I was beyond furious at this teaching of the Rabbis foolishness to drink until intoxicated and no longer know the difference between cursing Haman and blessing Mordaccai.
Where is it in the Holy Scriptures that such confusion should come upon us until we cannot tell the difference between blessing our enemies and cursing them?
Oh Israel, how far you have fallen from Holiness? Do you really think Abraham or Moses would approve of this?
THERE IS A LIE THAT GOES FORTH ON PURIM MOCKING THE INTENTIONS OF THIS HOLY CELEBRATION FOR WE KNOW THIS IS AGAINST YAHUVEH'S WILL TO GET DRUNK AND WE ARE NOT TO EVER DRINK UNTIL INTOXICATION! ONLY THE DOCTRINES OF A DEVIL WOULD TEACH SUCH A THING! WOE BE UNTO THE RABBIS WHO TEACH THIS AND DO THIS! IN FACT THE ONLY WINE WE ARE TO BE FILLED WITH IS THE NEW WINE FROM HEAVEN FROM THE RUACH HA KODESH!
PURIM is to be a day of Holy celebration where Esther's & Mordaccai's enemies were proven to be YAHUVEH'S enemies because of the obedience and faith in YAHUVEH, her beauty and the purity of Queen Esther. The Bride of YAHUSHUA is to be all of these things and stand as she did without spot or wrinkle! We are spiritual Israel standing in the gap for physical, sinful Israel until they return to Holiness and accept YAHUSHUA as MESSIAH. Just as Esther pleaded for the Hebrew people, so too is the Bride of YAHUSHUA to do the same thing.