Feast of Lots (Purim)

Date in Hebrew calendar: 14th and 15th of Adar

Scripture references: Esther 9:20-22

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Book of Esther.  It’s a story of mystery and intrigue as Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordecai, uncover and foil Haman’s plot saving the entire Jewish population.  A two-day holiday was instituted to commemorate this event.  Even though God is not mentioned in this book, His hand can be clearly seen in the many miraculous twists of the story.

Today, Purim is celebrated in Jewish homes and schools as children dress up in costume, put on plays re-enacting the Purim story, and give each other gifts of Haman’s Ears cookies and other treats.  In the synagogue on the evening of Purim and on the following morning, the entire Book of Esther is read.  Everyone is provided with or brings their own noisemaker so that whenever Haman’s name is mentioned, the congregation will drown out his name.  Although Purim is a joyous light-hearted event, it recalls great danger, great deliverance and the great faithfulness of the God toward those who trust in Him.

Photo credit (Roni Schutzer/Flash90)

Photo credit (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Photo credit (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Photo credit (http://archive.lakanto.com/kosher-lakanto-in-hamantaschen-cookie/)
 
Photo credit (http://archive.lakanto.com/kosher-lakanto-in-hamantaschen-cookie/)

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