The question I have been asked lately by my non-Jewish friends is “What’s Purim“?
I promptly respond, “Why, it’s the Jewish Halloween”
Actually, there’s a bit more to it (as in the majority of Jewish holidays).
King Ahashverosh who ruled Mesopotamia was a widower and searched the land for a new queen. He finally found a young woman to make his bride (Queen Esther).
The king’s second in command was an evil man named Haman. Haman was an anti-semitist and asked the king if he could choose a date from a hat and obliterate the Jews.
The king said fine.
What the king didn’t know, was that his new beautiful bride- was in fact- Jewish.
Meanwhile, the queen’s uncle overheard a plot of two henchmen to poison the King. Word got back to the king, and the plot was foiled. He decided he would one day reward the man who saved him (unknown to him that the man who saved his life was his wife’s uncle).
As the date of the “Jew killing spree” approached, so did the queen’s fear to tell her husband that she was Jewish.
She had a banquet and invited the king and haman over to her quarters, where she revealed that she was Jewish and that his second in command was going to kill her.
Haman was then promptly hung from the tallest tree, the queen’s uncle was given a heroes parade, and the Jews were saved.
So why do children dress up?
We wear costumes on Purim because it’s sort of an “Opposite Day”- as in, we were supposed to be killed, but the man who wanted us dead was the one who was killed!
**Apparently I was Queen Esther, and this was indicated by me wearing a plastic cape and plastic skirt and my mom drawing huge red circles on my cheeks with her lipstick. Man, I look bewildered ****
(Lest we forget the Purim of 1994 when I dressed up as Joey Lawrence- because what better way to express your love for a teen heart throb then to dress up as him. And yes, there is a photo somewhere*)
We also give baskets of food to one another. This started out as giving food to the less fortunate, but has quickly become a “let’s make goodie bags for every person we know”.
This becomes problematic when you are a 5th grader and EVERYONE in your class is planning on giving you a basket- which means you need to buy and make 20 baskets full of candy to distribute. This equates to BIG BUCKS.
You are required to make two baskets and give them out to who you choose. This year, I saved myself the hassle and purchased two already made baskets from a company.
We dressed the girls up in costumes.
Snow White Costume on Soleil:
While Neve didnt seem too thrilled with her costume: