This week our Akiva mensches will enjoy Friday’s Purim Carnival – both as helpers (Grade 6) and as participants (the rest of the students). Each student will sign this pledge to show they know how to apply the Derech Eretz principles that we promote in the school. Akiva School, it’s time to #getyourmenschon!
Where is the holiday of Purim from?
- The holiday of Purim comes from the Book of Esther in the Bible.
What does the holiday celebrate?
- The holiday celebrates that the Jewish Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai saved the Jewish people from the evil Haman, advisor to the Persian King Ahashverosh. Haman convinced Ahashverosh to order all the Jews in the Persian empire killed.
What does the word Purim mean?
- The word Purim means “lots” and refers to the lots Haman cast in order to decide on which day the Jews should be killed.
What are the requirements of the holiday?
- To listen to the book of Esther (Megillat Esther) read in synagogue in the evening after sundown and then again the following morning of the holiday. This year Purim falls on Saturday night, March 11 and Sunday, March 12.
- To give gifts of food to friends and family, known as Mishloach Manot.
- To give gifts of money to the poor, known as Matanot la-Evyonim.
- To partake in a festive meal (seudah) and to give thanks to God afterwards with a special prayer called “Al ha-Nissim,” – “for the miracles He performed in those days at this time.”
What are the customs of the holiday?
- To make noise with a noisemaker (Grogger in Yiddish, Ra’ashan in Hebrew) whenever Haman’s name is said in the reading of the story in synagogue.
- To dress up in costume – because Esther kept her Jewish identity hidden from the king when she was chosen as queen.
- To eat triangle-shaped filled cookies called Hamentaschen (Yiddish) or Oznei Haman (Hebrew).
- To be joyful and happy and fun.