Purim will be here soon, on March 1. Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia circa 357 B.C.E. The story is recorded in The Biblical Scroll of Esther/Megillat Esther. Celebrating Purim can be one of the most joyous holidays to celebrate with your kids. Whether you dress up in costume, read the Megillat Esther, exchange mishloah manot (gifts of food and drink), or eat the se’udat Purim (celebratory meal), it is a fun and festive day.
At the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School one of our core values is Mitzvah Gorrerret Mitzvah. “A mitzvah leads to another mitzvah and a wrongdoing leads to another wrongdoing.” (Mishnah Avot 4:2) Purim is an opportunity to gather your family and perform a mitzvah (commandment) for members of your community. The tradition of making a mishloah manot, a Purim gift basket, for your family, friends, or those in need is a wonderful way to serve. Whether you make a traditional basket of Hamantashchen (triangular cookies with filling), nuts and dried fruit, or a fun themed gift basket, teaching your child to care for others is what it’s about.
Another fun way to celebrate the day is to dress in costume. One of the key themes of the story of Purim is the reversal of fates (Esther, Haman, the Jews, etc.). This theme, called ונהפכו/v'nahafoh hu in Hebrew, is why we dress in costume on Purim, so we can spend one day a year pretending to be something we are not. To add to your family's celebration of Purim, take time while having dinner or making your mishloah manot to talk about the following questions. You may be surprised at what your kids have to say.
- If you could be anything or anyone, who would you be and why?
- If you could change any one thing in your life, what would it be and why?
- How can we help improve someone else's day or life - much like Esther did for the Jews?
No matter which traditions you and your family partake in, Hag Sameah!
- Fun at Home