Israel celebrates Purim

This evening, festivities commence for Purim, marking national salvation in days of the ancient Persian empire.

Tags: Purim
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yonatan Sindel | Flash90

This evening, celebrations for the holiday of Purim commence, during which Jews celebrate their national salvation in the days of the ancient Persian empire, when G-d turned the scheme of the evil Haman to annihilate the Jewish People on its head. In Jerusalem, and in cities that were walled in the days of Joshua, Purim starts tomorrow night.

Purim is the last of the holidays mentioned in the Bible, and signifies hope for redemption for the generations. On Purim, Jews fulfill four commandments: Reading the megillah (scroll) containing the Purim story, sending food gifts to friends, sending money gifts to the poor, and holding a festive feast.

Megillah: The megillah is read twice on Purim, once at night and once during the day. In reading from the scroll, Jews publicize the miracle that befell them and strengthen their faith in G-d’s providence.

Food gifts: Jews are obligated to send items of food to friends, to increase love and unity among the Jewish People. Ultimately, the unity of the people was what enabled them to overcome Haman’s plans to annihilate them. The minimum obligation is two types of ready-to-eat food to one friend.

Gifts to the poor: Jews are to give the poor money gifts, and to remember the poor on every happy occasion, making sure they are happy as well; This is true happiness. The minimum obligation is to donate money to two different people. Some charitable organizations accept donations before Purim and pledge to give the money to the poor on Purim day.

Feast: Because the salvation experienced by the Jews was a physical salvation, Jews celebrate it with food and drink. Special emphasis is placed on drinking wine, which allows one to reach a state beyond everyday logic, where the goodness underlying all of creation can be revealed.