The story of Purim: The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen—though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality. Meanwhile, the antisemitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther’s cousin), defied the king’s orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed, and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made (hence the name Purim, “lots”). Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G‑d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At the feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies. On the 13th of Adar the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.
On the Purim many Jewish Individuals will:
Head to the synagogue and listen to the Megalith reading (the story of Esther) It is here that you will hear about the antagonist Haman who was out to destroy the Jewish people. Since Haman was out to kill the whole group the Jewish individuals should stay together and therefore help those who need help. Before the end of Purim they each want to help at least 2 individuals in need. It is also important to offer food gifts to friends. One great idea would be this tasty treat:
3/4 c margarine, soft
3/4 c sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 drop water
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
sugar (for sprinkling)
2 1/4 c flour
Cream margarine in mixer bowl. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Beat in egg, lemon peel, and vanilla. Add in flour and salt. Beat in water a few drops at a time until dough starts to come away from sides of bowl. Place dough in a 2-quart size bag and form into a flat disk. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2-3 hours and maximum of 2-3 days. Roll out dough flat about an 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using a round cookie cutter or the top of a cup, cut out circles. Spoon 2 cherries and a little bit of filling onto the dough circles. To fold into the shape of a hamentashen (a triangle) use both thumbs and the two first fingers on each hand. Slide two fingers from left hand under left side and two fingers from right hand under right side and two thumbs under the bottom of circle. Bring all fingers (with dough) together to form a triangle and try to pinch close. Repeat this process with remaining circles and dough. Place on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar on top of each one. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes or just starting to turn pale golden.
The purim will also include a feast, a group prayer and a skit explaining the story. For more information visit here