Happy Purim!

Jews around the world celebrate miraculous deliverance from annihilation in ancient Persian empire.

Tags: Purim
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Children celebrate Purim
Children celebrate Purim
Hillel Meir/TPS

The Jewish holiday of Purim began at sundown Monday evening with the reading of Megilat Esther, the story of how the Jewish people were saved from destruction in ancient Persia.

There are four commandments the Jewish people observe on Purim, the reading of the megillah, Matanot L'ebyonim (gifts to the poor), mishloach manot (sending of portions), and a festive meal.

Megillah reading: We read the Megillah twice on Purim, once at night and once during the day, publicizing the great miracle which occurred when the Jewish people were saved from the machinations of the wicked Haman, who sought to wipe them out. Noise is made whenever Haman's name is read in the megillah, symbolically erasing his name from history.

Matanot L'evyonim: On Purim Jews are enjoined to give gifts to the poor and to share the joy of the holiday.

Mishloach Manot: We give two packages of food and wine to friends and family on Purim as a sign of the unity of the Jewish people.

Festive meal: On Purim because the salvation of the people of Israel was a physical salvation, we celebrate the feast and feast. On Purim, a great emphasis is placed on drinking wine, which, as the miracle was performed by a banquet with wine, we also drink wine.

Many Jews also dress up in costumes for Purim in commemoration of the hidden nature of the miracle. G-d's name does not occur once in the megillah, though the divine hand can be seen throughout the story.