EtsyChai members all have different traditions – here we’ll share some more of ours:
“The Sages of our tradition loved to celebrate the holiday of Purim. Their love for Purim was so great that they proclaimed "From the time that the month of Adar [the month in which Purim falls] begins we increase our joy." While Purim falls in the middle of the month of Adar the Sages decided to expand the joy felt at that time by including the entire month! They also proclaimed that in the future Messianic Age, when most holidays would be abolished, the holiday of Purim would still be observed and celebrated.
The joy that is celebrated at Purim also contains one of the strangest laws in all of the Jewish legal system. On Purim one is to drink enough alcohol so that they no longer know the difference between "Blessed is Mordechai" and "Cursed is Haman". The rabbis believed that Purim was the one night of the year when we are commanded to do something that we ordinarily consider wrong. This belief came out of the great joy of Purim as being perhaps he happiest day of the Jewish year – a time that we celebrate victory of the Jewish people over Haman and his plot to destroy all Jews. Perhaps the destruction of the Second Temple and the mass persecutions of Jews under the Romans led the Sages to emphasize the joys of Purim.
Some of the other ways that we celebrate Purim are through the giving of Mishloach Manot and the giving of Tzedakah. Traditionally people give gifts of food to others and include items such as hamentashen, fruit, juice and candy. On Purim we are supposed to give tzedakah to anyone that asks, even if you have reason to believe that the individual doesn't really need to receive tzedakah.
The major mitzvah of Purim is to hear the chanting of the Megillah (Scroll) of Esther. On Purim Eve and then in the morning, Jews all over the world will gather in their places of worship to hear the chanting of the Megillah and to try and drown out the name of Haman [with graggers, boxes of rice or pasta that is donated to the poor]."
Submitted by Linda Blatchford of Linda B’s Beaded Jewelry
Don’t forget this week’s video blog post where you can learn how to make your own noise maker!
From the Purim story: Once Haman was defeated, there was still the issue of his decree, for the 13th of Adar, to have all the Jews in Persia killed. That order couldn’t be rescinded, but the king, mending his ways, granted the Jews permission to defend themselves against their enemies.
Dress up to celebrate: