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Happy Purim!

Posted: March 31, 2015

It’s Purim!  Often people say, a little bit tongue in cheek, that every Jewish holiday can be summed up by: “they wanted to destroy us, we fought back and won, now let’s eat.”  This is pretty much true for Purim, but as usual there are some unique aspects:

  • We celebrate with wild, rather than reflective, reverie.  Most Jewish holidays have a contemplative element, but Purim is really all about fun.
  • We prepare little packets of treats and drop them at each other’s homes.  We don’t restrict ourselves to collective feasts at home or in the synagogue, but share the wealth at an individual level.
  • We make a special point of charity to “the poor”. We remember that supporting those less fortunate is a collective responsibility.  We certainly welcome contributions to JCHE, the leading Jewish housing agency serving low-income seniors in Boston.

One other interesting aspect for me—during the reading of the Megillah at Purim, we try very hard to blot out the villain Haman’s name by making noise when his name is read—we even have special groggers to make loud noise.  Right now, with so much evil in the world which  is sometimes taking the form of Holocaust denial, we are working hard to remember and speak loudly, for all to hear, that our people’s very existence was threatened and that we lost so many.

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