How to Have a Fun and Successful Purim

Wednesday, 9 March, 2022 - 3:08 pm

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Purim is almost here! This fun and action packed holiday is celebrated on the 14th of the Jewish month Adar to commemorate Judaism’s miraculous salvation almost 2,000 years ago. This year it will start the night of March 16th and last until March 17th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last two years have limited the Purim celebrations. However, with the end of the pandemic in sight, it’s time to celebrate with our friends and family in person again. Below we have listed the things to do before Purim, the four special mitzvahs of Purim and links to fun costume ideas and delicious recipes. 


What to do before Purim

#1. Torah reading of Zachor 

On the Shabbat before Purim (March 12th), a special reading is held in the synagogue. We read the Torah section called Zachor (“Remember”), in which we are enjoined to remember the deeds of (the nation of) Amalek (Haman’s ancestor), who sought to destroy the Jewish people.


#2. The Fast of Esther

Fasting occurs on the day before Purim (March 16th) to commemorate the fast of the Jewish people during the Purim story. It will last an hour before sunrise until sundown that same day. 


#3. The half coins (Machatzit HaShekel) 

It’s custom to give three half-dollar coins to charity, to commemorate the half-shekel that each Jew contributed as his share in the communal offerings in the time of the Holy Temple. This custom, usually performed in the synagogue, is done on the afternoon of the Fast of Esther or before the reading of the Megillah.


The four mitzvahs of Purim 

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#1. Hear the Megillah

Head to your local synagogue to listen to the whole Megillah. The Megillah is the “Book of Esther” and tells the story of Purim. You are supposed to listen to the story twice, once on the night of March 16th and once during the day of March 17th. Also, when you hear Haman’s name, you are allowed to stomp your feet or use noisemakers to eradicate his evil name


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#2. Give to the needy (Matanot LaEvyonim)

One of Purim’s main themes is Jewish unity, which is why it’s important to give to the less fortunate on this day. Make sure to make a donation, whether it’s food or money, to at least two people during the day of March 17th. You can also give to your local synagogue since they will likely be collecting donations.


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#3. Send food gifts to friends (Mishloach Manot)

Purim is a day to also value friendship and community so it’s important to deliver gifts of food to your friends. On March 17th you can send a gift to your friends that contains at least two items that are ready to eat or drink. This can be pastries, fruit, or bottled beverages. 


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#4. Feast

During the day of March 17th, gather your friends and family for a festive Purim feast. Typical dishes include hamantaschen, kreplach, meat, sweet treats like candy, and lots of wine. 


Links to fun costume ideas for children and delicious recipes 

#1. Recipes 

#2. Costume ideas

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