What is Purim?
Thursday, February 21, 2013 • 11:39am
Purim at Temple Beth El Mekor Chayim of Cranford and Westfield
In March, as winter holds on and spring fights to emerge, the Jewish people have the opportunity to celebrate one of the most fun of the Jewish holidays, Purim. Due to the way the Jewish and secular calendars align this year, Jews have the rare treat to celebrate Purim in February.
The holiday of Purim celebrates a Jewish heroine, Esther. Married to a King, this brave woman foiled the plans of the king’s chief advisor Haman, who intended to murder all of the Jewish people in the kingdom. People come together for this one day a year, to celebrate a day when everything that was planned got “turned on its head. Dressed in various costumes we read the story of Esther. The story of Esther is read detailing all of the adventurous (and often humorous) details. Charged to remember and avenge the memory of Haman, children and adults alike make as much noise as they can every time his name is mentioned in the story.
At Temple Beth El Mekor Chayim of Cranford and Westfield, there is a custom of members dressing up in wild and fun costumes and finding instruments that make fantastic noises. Some shake boxes of pasta (which are later donated to the food bank), some will use noisemakers called groggers, others use horns, ring bells, shout and boo, and some even blow a vuvezela. There is also a costume parade and prizes for best costume.
The customs do not stop there. An annual homemade carnival (this year on Feb 24 at 12pm) run by the temple’s youth group (Kadima/USY) offers childrens of all ages chances to win tickets by knocking down cans, throwing bean bags into targets, winning a goldfish (something every adult who went to a Purim carnival as a child remembers doing) and participating in the most popular event “throw the sponge at Rabbi Goldstein.”
An hour before the Purim carnival preschoolers and kindergarten age children dressed in costume can come to a free Purim craft activity where they can take home what they make and get a starter set of tickets for the carnival.
Join TBEMC this Purim and celebrate!
February 23, 2013 Magilah Reading, costume parade and prizes 6:30 pm
February 24, 2013 Morning Prayer Service and Magilah Reading 9:30 am
February 24, 2013 Free Purim craft hour 11am (please rsvp by Friday Feb 22 at12pm email@example.com)
February 24, 2013 Purim Carnival 12pm